PREM TOTW: WEEKEND STARS
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Emiliano Martinez – GK
The injury to Bernd Leno last season was horrific in every way possible but it did present an opportunity for long servant of Arsenal Emiliano Martinez to step out of the shadows.
Following his eight-year career at the Emirates, mixed with a few loan moves, Martinez finally earnt the chance to get some first team football elsewhere.
Since his move to Aston Villa, Dean Smith’s side have kept three clean sheets and only conceded two goals but his vital saves against Leicester City on Sunday capped off his best display in a Villa shirt.
An early block from Timothy Castagne’s low driven shot and a top class save from Youri Tielemans long-range effort kept Leicester off the scoresheet and Villa marching all the way to the top of the Premier League.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – DEF
It’s safe to say we can all agree that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is much better defensively than offensively, but on Saturday evening, he channelled his inner Roberto Carlos.
The former Crystal Palace man found himself far up the pitch when United were in search of a third to really kill the game off and when he was played in by Bruno Fernandes most people were probably expecting a scuffed shot to end up in the stands, but they got something very different.
Instead Wan-bissaka smashed the ball into the roof of the net giving Karl Darlow absolutely no chance for his first senior goal for United.
Alongside his attacking contributions he kept the usually lively Allan Saint-Maximin quiet for the majority of the ninety, which as Burnley found out two weeks ago is not an easy thing to do.
Harry Maguire – DEF
Football fans worldwide have been mocking Harry Maguire for his recent poor performances for both club and country, but the United captain certainly proved some people wrong with his dominating performance against Newcastle.
One of Maguire’s best traits at Leicester was his aerial dominance something United fans were yet to see, until now. His powerful header from a corner got the Red Devils back on terms and the most expensive defender in football won seven aerial duels at St James Park, nearly double that of any player.
He’s still far off being at his best and proving his critics wrong, but this was certainly a step in the right direction for Maguire.
Max Kilman – DEF
Connor Coady may be the Wolves defender in the headlines at the moment, making his debut for England and then following that up with some impressive displays, but on Monday night at Elland Road, Max Kilman will be the defender getting the plaudits.
The 23-year-old, in only his fifth senior Premier League appearance, delivered a solid defensive performance making five clearances, the most of any player on the pitch.
He also played the long ball forward which led to the only goal of the game, courtesy of the left foot of Raul Jiménez.
Lucas Digne – DEF
Keeping Mohammed Salah quiet for 90 minutes it’s not an easy job, yet in the most competitive Merseyside Derby in recent memory, Lucas Digne did that and more.
Yes, the Egyptian scored Liverpool’s second but Digne couldn’t do anything about Yerry Mina’s poor clearance which fell straight to Salah, but for the most part the French left-back did his job.
Digne yet again got to showcase his delightful crossing ability, placing a ball perfectly onto the head of the red-hot Dominic Calvert-Lewin to notch up his second assist of the season.
Bruno Fernandes – MID
You can call him a penalty merchant as much you want but there’s no denying Bruno Fernandes is world class, and in this game, he even showed he doesn’t need to get his goal contributions from 12 yards.
The Portuguese playmaker was at the heart of everything good for Manchester United at St James Park, scoring the decisive second for United and laying on a pass for Marcus Rashford to wrap up the points late on.
Even with a missed penalty, after scoring ten since his January move, that didn’t stop Fernandes from having a huge impact on the game and continuing to get United out of dire situations.
Ademola Lookman – MID
Fulham haven’t showed much of a fight since their promotion into the Premier League but Ademola Lookman has looked a bright spark and he finally gave the Cottagers some much-needed quality in the final third.
The Englishman jinked past two Sheffield United players and then unleashed a rocket into the roof of the net with his left foot.
If Lookman can continue to find spaces like he did at Brammall Lane, Scott Parker may have his creative spark.
Ross Barkley – MID
The loan move of Ross Barkley to Aston Villa took everyone by surprise near the end of the transfer window, but the 26-year-old has been on fire since his move to the Midlands.
Late on in Villa’s fixture at the King Power stadium, Barkley picked up the ball mid-way through the Leicester half and drove forward before releasing a cannon from his right foot into the bottom corner.
Jack Grealish has been superb since Barkley’s move, now that Dean Smith has two creative players who can bounce off each other in these decisive moments and on Sunday it was Barkley’s turn.
Harry Kane – ATT
England’s captain could’ve been selected in any position this week, Kane went from creator to scorer to defender all in the opening 45.
His afternoon started with a wonderful 30-yard pass to Heung Min Son for the opener, the sixth time he’s assisted the South Korean this season.
The Spurs striker then got on the scoresheet twice, firstly with a powerful drive from the edge of the box after a cheeky nutmeg on Declan Rice and then heading home from a delightful Sergio Reguillon cross.
And just when he couldn’t be more complete, he made a decisive block late in the half throwing himself in the way of a Vladimir Coufal shot.
It was breath-taking performance from Kane and it would’ve been talked about even more had Spurs not thrown away a three-nil lead against West Ham with ten minutes to go.
Timo Werner – ATT
Chelsea fans were a tad worried when Werner didn’t quite hit the ground running in the Premier League but that definitely changed on Saturday.
The German forward scored his first Premier League goal, with his trademark finish. Cutting in from the left with precise dribbling before sliding the ball past Alex McCarthy.
Jorginho then provided the former RB Leipzig man with a delicious lobbed pass and Werner raced onto it dinking the ball over the head of McCarthy before heading into an empty net.
Werner definitely showed in this game just how lethal he can be and Frank Lampard will hope there’s more where that came from.
Marcus Rashford – ATT
With Anthony Martial suspended, it brought the opportunity for Marcus Rashford to revert back to his days playing as a number nine and as he showed against Newcastle, it’s a position he still thrives in.
The United academy graduate played in Bruno Fernandes with a cheeky reverse pass to grab United’s all important second goal and then teed up Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the third.
Even with seconds to spare, Rashford was able to make the result more convincing with a clinical finish past Darlow, United fans will be hoping Rashford can now kick on from this game and deliver more goals.
Manager – David Moyes
Following his positive COVID-19 result, David Moyes had been managing his West Ham side from home during their shock wins over both Leicester and Wolves and after the abysmal first half against Spurs he probably wished he was back there.
But rather than trying to avoid embarrassment from their London neighbours, Moyes set up his West Ham side to control the game in the second half and that’s exactly what they did.
Two goals in three minutes and suddenly the Hammers were back in the game and then came the introduction of Manuel Lanzini who, with his only major contribution after coming on, scored a wonder goal in the final seconds of the game to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat.
Whatever Moyes said at half time clearly worked and the timely introduction of Manuel Lanzini earnt a famous point for West Ham United.