Premier League team of the weekend as Chelsea duo join Man Utd & Liverpool stars
Liverpool extended their lead atop the Premier League table to five points this weekend, their win over Newcastle combined with Manchester City ’s loss at Norwich giving Jurgen Klopp’s men breathing room at the top.
The Reds have a 100 per cent record at the top of the table, while a number of clubs currently sit on eight points, including Manchester United , who beat Leicester 1-0, Chelsea , 5-2 winners at Wolves , and Spurs, who saw off Crystal Palace with an excellent first-half display.
Watford came from two down to draw with Arsenal on Quique Sanchez Flores’ return, Brighton and Burnley drew 1-1, Bournemouth saw off Everton 3-1 at Dean Court and Southampton helped themselves to victory at Sheffield United.
But which stars impressed over the course of nine weekend matches – ahead of Aston Villa vs West Ham on Monday night?
In a wonderfully attacking 3-3-2-2 formation – hat-tip to Marcelo Bielsa for the inspiration – here’s Mirror Football’s Team of the Weekend.
Angus Gunn (Southampton)
Chris Wilder was unhappy that his Sheffield United side had failed to claim at least a point against Southampton, despite managing 17 shots on goal. One of the key reasons was Saint’ stopper Angus Gunn.
According to Understat.com, the home side’s xG figure was 1.88 this weekend – more than any other home side except Liverpool and Watford.
Ex-Man City youngster Gunn provided a formidable barrier, however, coming up big with six saves and also relieving pressure when necessary with some smart claims.
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
Alongside compatriot Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the Spurs defence, the 30-year-old was excellent for Mauricio Pochettino’s side – both defensively and starting attacks from deep.
In an attacking sense he made 119 passes on the day, with a success rate of 89 per cent – including a terrific flighted ball for Son Heung-min’s opener.
On the other side, he comfortably dealt with Jordan Ayew, had a 100 per cent tackles success rate and was a calming presence throughout.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed Harry Maguire because Manchester United were simply too flimsy defensively last season and game’s like Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leicester would have been either a draw or a defeat.
Maguire, however, was a towering presence for the Red Devils at Old Trafford against his former club, commanding those around him and ensuring that, for all Leicester’s possession, they struggled to generate any real chances for Jamie Vardy.
Registered five interceptions, made five clearances and won every aerial duel he was involved in inside his own penalty area; a very good day’s work from the world’s most expensive defender.
Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea)
The 21-year-old’s 30-yard opener at Molineux wasn’t a bad way to introduce himself to the travelling Chelsea fans in the Black Country.
And the England Under-21 international also produced a fine defensive display on his second Chelsea start in the Premier League this season.
He won tackles, dealt well with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez and also started attacking moves with smart passing out of the back – only Jorginho made more than his 68 passes on the day. A very promising display.
Emilio Buendia (Norwich City)
The 22-year-old Argentine produced a wonderful individual display within the team framework laid out by boss Daniel Farke as Norwich produced the shock result of the season so far.
Throughout Buendia was at the heart of the action, operating from the right of midfield but often tucking inside to help out in blocking up central areas – he attempted more tackles (9) than anyone else on the field, in an energetic display.
But his most important offerings came in the goals, Buendia proving key in all three. It was his corner that found the head of Kenny McLean for the opener, before starting the move for the second with a smart evasion of Rodri and through pass for Teemu Pukki.
Finally, he mugged Nicolas Otamendi on the edge of his own box, teeing up Pukki for the winner.
Oriol Romeu (Southampton)
On a tough afternoon at Sheffield United, Romeu was excellent in his defensive midfield role as Southampton ran out 1-0 winners.
No player on the field made more passes than his 67, nor could anyone who made over 22 passes in the entire match better his 88 per cent accuracy.
But crucially for the away side, it was his ability to protect his backline and break up opposing attacks which helped the south coast side to three victory
Moussa Djenepo (Southampton)
Southampton’s big-money summer signing started the win at Sheffield United in a left wing-back role to which he is simply not accustomed.
But when Ralph Hasenhuttl freed up the 21 year-old Mali international and pushed him further forward, Djenepo took over the game at Bramall Lane and, ultimately, took the acclaim with his tremendous match winner.
He’s been billed on the south coast as the new Sadio Mane, and he showed why with a fine individual effort, navigating his way through the Blades’ defence and coolly converting. We look forward to seeing more.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Gets in because of his assist for Mo Salah’s goal.
Nevermind how his mere presence after coming on for the injured Divock Origi made Liverpool infinitely better and a performance that Andy Robertson neatly surmised: "When he came on he showed his class and could probably have had three or four assists. He had a big impact and that's what we needed. Luckily we had enough for the three points."
No, we’re not bothered about any of that. He’s merely here for that gloriously ridiculous assist alone.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
The South Korean forward was at his very best in Tottenham ’s 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.
The Eagles couldn’t cope with Son’s movement, as he was handed a free role to drop off Harry Kane and find pockets of space between the lines; throughout, neither Mamadou Sakho or Gary Cahill knew what to do with him.
His goals were also expertly taken, both with his supposed weaker left foot.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
After scoring back-to-back braces, the Chelsea striker helped himself to a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-2 thrashing of Wolves.
Without both Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett it was a Wanderers back three playing together for the first time, and Abraham took full advantage.
Throughout he intelligently played on Conor Coady, knowing he was quicker, stronger and aerially dominant when compared to the Wolves skipper; for his second, he beat Coady in the air, and for his third he held him off, stood him up, and breezed past before firing into the far corner.
Really growing into his role as Frank Lampard’s No.9.
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