• Kieran Horn

PREM TOTW: THIS WEEKENDS BEST 11


Goalkeeper


Edouard Mendy


Although Chelsea’s new shot-stopper did try to liven up the monotone first half at Old Trafford by almost passing the ball into his own net, he showed his class after that with two crucial saves.


Marcus Rashford would’ve been sick of the sight of Mendy, who denied the Englishman either side of half time.


Firstly, outstretching his right leg to prevent Rashford from opening the scoring when he raced through on goal, and secondly in the final moments of the game with a diving fingertip save, ensuring the Blues left Manchester with at least a point.


Frank Lampard will be thrilled with the signing of Mendy as his confident displays have earned him his third clean sheet from four games.


Defenders


Joe Gomez


With Fabinho now firmly establishing himself as the replacement for Virgil Van Dijk, with a dominant performance against Ajax, the onus was now on Joe Gomez to step up his game, something he certainly did against Sheffield United.


Despite it seeming like Gomez would struggle physically against the likes of Ollie McBurnie and David McGoldrick, the 23-year-old thrived in the experience.


According to WhoScored, Gomez made nine clearances, three more than any other player at Anfield, and won an impressive six aerial duels as the Reds defender stamped his mark on the game superbly.


Jurgen Klopp will be thrilled with the leadership shown by Gomez, especially regarding the lengthy absence of Virgil Van Dijk.


Jannik Vestergaard


It’s been a very positive eight days for Jannik Vestergaard, scoring the last-minute equaliser against Chelsea last weekend and following that up with a dominant display against the Premier League’s joint top scorer.


Limiting Dominic Calvert-Lewin to just 18 touches, the lowest of any Everton player, the Dane was immense in the Southampton backline, alongside Jan Bednarek.


Vestergaard, according to WhoScored, made six clearances at St Mary’s and completed 95.3% of his passes, also winning three aerial duels.


A clean sheet on top of his performance on Sunday afternoon helped the Saints move up to 6th, stretching their unbeaten run to four games.


Thiago Silva


The Brazilian veteran hasn’t had the best start to life in England’s top division, most notably making an error leading to a goal against West Brom, but at Old Trafford the seven-time Ligue 1 winner showed his class.


Sitting in the middle of a back five with Kurt Zouma to his left and Cesar Azpilicueta to his right, Silva was integral in keeping Manchester United off the scoresheet with some composed defending.


The introduction of former teammate Edinson Cavani posed a big threat to the Chelsea goal but Silva didn’t back down from the challenge.


The Uruguayan reacted quickly to a cross from the right but Silva was on his wavelength and produced a last-ditch block to deny an almost certain goal.


Lampard will be happy with the clean sheet after already conceding nine goals so far this season, and the performance of Silva will be a huge positive for the Blues manager.


Joao Cancelo


Despite fielding attacking threats like Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero, City’s starting left-back against West Ham Joao Cancelo looked as though he was their best chance of a goal, in particular in the first half.


The 26-year-old struggled defensively in the early stages with Jarrod Bowen’s driving runs in behind but once West Ham took the lead, Cancelo had much more license to roam forward.


Phil Foden’s introduction at half-time was instrumental in keeping Cancelo’s attacking prowess prominent, with the latter setting up the substitute for City’s equaliser.


Although he didn’t have too much to do in the second half, the Spaniard was a bright spark for City on a slight off day for the attackers.


Midfielders


Declan Rice


It’s easy to see why West Ham slapped a £60 million price tag on Declan Rice, as the English midfielder delivered a masterclass of a performance against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.


Amazingly Rice did not misplace one pass at the Olympic stadium against City and bossed the midfield, protecting the back five deployed by David Moyes.


Alongside this, the 21-year-old was wonderful at cutting off the passing lines, with four interceptions, forcing City to go out wide and Aguero to come deeper just to get on the ball.


The defensive midfielder would probably get into every Premier League teams starting XI bar City & Liverpool, and at just 21 it’ll be a miracle if he is still in Claret next season with the talent he has.


James Ward-Prowse


The tantalising midfield trio of Everton’s summer signings, Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Rodriguez & Allan have torn teams to pieces so far this season, but on Sunday afternoon all three looked a shadow of themselves, instead being bossed by Oriel Romeu and most impressively James Ward-Prowse.


The 25-year-old was everywhere at St Mary’s, helping Romeu win the ball one minute and then playing a defence-splitting pass the next minute.


For the Saints opener, Ward-Prowse popped up on the right receiving a throw-in and then made a driving run forward, via a one-two with Danny Ings, before smashing the ball across Jordan Pickford.


Not only was Ward-Prowse prominent in the Toffees half but also in his own, making a total of three tackles.


Ralph Hassenhuttl seems to now be getting the best out of Ward-Prowse, who is also a mainstay in the England squad, combining his attacking talent with his aggression and intensity to great effect.


Phil Foden


It wasn’t the best day for Manchester City’s world-class attackers against West Ham but one player did have an impact on the game and he was only on the pitch for 45 minutes.


Replacing Sergio Aguero at half time, Foden immediately found the gaps in the West Ham defensive block and soon did exactly what Guardiola would’ve wanted from him.


The 20-year-old smashed home from Joao Cancelo’s cross to put City level, and although they couldn’t turn the game around, Foden’s impact was pivotal to at least give Guardiola a point.


Attackers


Patrick Bamford


Leeds promotion back to the Premier League was long overdue, but instead of congratulating them pundits turned to asking the question of whether Patrick Bamford was good enough for England’s top division, six games into the new season and the 27-year-old has totally silenced his critics.


A simple tap in was followed by two delightful strikes from Bamford as Leeds hammered early season high-flyers Aston Villa by three goals to nil.


His second was a joy to watch, hitting across the ball from the edge of the box leaving Emiliano Martinez rooted to the spot.


Seven minutes later, Bamford completed his hat-trick with some close control and a delicious curling effort into the top left corner.


The Yorkshire club’s talisman doubled his tally for the season at Villa Park and will now be gunning to overtake Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Son Heung-Min as the Premier League’s leading goal scorer.


Wilfred Zaha


Amazingly, Wilfred Zaha still plays his football at Selhurst Park, despite his unreal quality Zaha has stayed loyal to Crystal Palace and he is now reaping the rewards with his goalscoring contributions.


The Ivorian set up Jairo Riedewald for his fist senior Premier League goal after initially being denied by Alphonse Areola.


In the second half, Zaha was the one on the scoresheet tapping home from a Michy Batshuayi cross to seal the points for Palace.


No one could deny the talent in the feet of Zaha, the concerns came in regards to channelling that with goal contributions but now that the 27-year-old is playing down the middle, he can’t stop scoring.


Danny Ings


A Southampton win and a Danny Ings goal normally go hand in hand but against Everton, the lethal talisman was the one setting up his teammates.


He started by playing a sharp one-two with Ward-Prowse who gave the Saints the lead and then followed that up with a delightful deep cross to strike partner, Che Adams, whom he’s formed a lethal partnership with, to double Ralph Hassenhuttl’s sides lead.


With the former Liverpool man now showcasing his talent in the build-up to goals, Southampton have to ensure that they keep him fit if they want to challenge for a European place.


Manager


Ralph Hassenhuttl


Having watched Carlo Ancelotti skyrocket his Everton side to the top of the Premier League, it looked as though managers were struggling to match him tactically, but then along came Ralph Hassenhuttl.


With Ben Godfrey deputising at right-back from the start, after making his debut against Liverpool in place of Seamus Coleman, the Saints ensured they targeted the right-hand side of the Toffees.


Ryan Bertrand and Nathan Redmond attacked with impotence in the first half, attempting to take advantage of the unfamiliar full-back territory for Godfrey.


As well as this Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse gave the Everton midfield no time on the ball at all, while Che Adams and Danny Ings focusing their attacks on the sometimes inconsistent Yerry Mina.


It was a bad day at the office for Carlo Ancelotti but the Southampton manager got his tactics bang on at St Mary’s, handing the Italian his first defeat of the season.

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