• By admin
  • August 29, 2016

Premier League team of the week

Premier League team of the week

All of the pre-season Premier League favourites made it a perfect three out of three this weekend.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United emerged victorious to extend their lead at the top of the early season standings.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea continued their fine start to the season with a 3-0 humbling of newly-promoted Burnley, while United won 1-0 at previously unbeaten Hull. City claimed another home win, this time beating West Ham.

Arsenal ensured that they stayed in relative contact with the top three as theysecured their first win of the season at Watford, and Everton beat Stoke 1-0 to maintain their unbeaten start to life under Ronald Koeman.

Their city rivals Liverpool went ahead at Tottenham but could only claim a 1-1 draw, which was also the same score at Crystal Palace-Bournemouth and Southampton-Sunderland.

Leicester secured victory over Swansea with Jamie Vardy netting his first of the new campaign, while Sunday prved less than super at The Hawthorns, as West Brom and Middlesbrough played out a bore-draw.

But who were the players who impressed during the third round of fixtures?

Lining up in a rock-solid 5-3-2 formation, here’s our best XI from the weekend…

Michel Vorm (Tottenham)

The Dutchman was an excellent performer for Swansea then made the bizarre career decision of joining Spurs as back-up to Hugo Lloris.

This was a performance that showed just how good a keeper Vorm can be, when sharp and getting regular action.

As the Spurs defence were pulled apart and opened up time and again during the first half, Vorm was excellent, making two tremendous stops to deny Phillippe Coutinho, and sweeping up to deny Sadio Mane in particular.

Only a penalty from James Milner got past the as the 32-year-old earned Spurs a share of the spoils, on a day where they could easily have been 3-0 down at half-time.


Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

Antonio Valencia and Juan Mata in action with Andrew Robertson

Has anyone been a bigger beneficiary of Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford than the Ecuadorian?

The winger-cum-fullback looks positively reborn at right-back this term, and is pounding the right touchline with diligence defensively and no shortage of menace when on the attack.

Has been consistently excellent in the opening weeks of the season, and was perhaps the pick of any starter on display at the KCOM Stadium.

Lamine Kone (Sunderland)

It’s easy to see why Ronald Koeman is willing to part with £18million for the giant defender.

Back at the heart of the Black Cats defence, Kone was a colossus. He dominated aerially, kept his rivals at bay when he was pulled wide and the 27-year-old quite simply looked too good to be playing for this Sunderland side.

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Which is why David Moyes must do all he can to keep him.

Ashley Williams (Everton)

Everton's Ashley Williams and Stoke City's Jonathan Walters battle for the ball

As far as priorities for a new centre-back on debut, a clean sheet is pretty much at the top of the list.

And as Ronald Koeman looks to make Everton a far more downright mean outfit than the flimsy, take-what-you-want team of Roberto Martinez’s final Goodison Park days, he’s put his faith in Ashley Williams, taking the 32-year-old from Swansea. On his first start, Williams was excellent.

He blocked, he tackled, he fought Peter Crouch aerially, didn’t buy Marko Arnautovic’s tricks and was pretty much outstanding. Already he looks at home on Merseyside.

Curtis Davies (Hull City)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan clashes with Curtis Davies

So his team lost 1-0, but Curtis Davies put in perhaps the best performance of his career in Hull’s clash with United.

Once a £10million signing by Aston Villa, this was a display that showed why he was once rated among the country’s most promising defenders.

Up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, Davies thrived among the physical battle, putting his body on the line. His positioning was largely excellent and he led by example, constantly cajoling his colleagues. An outstanding effort from the Tigers skipper.


Danny Drinkwater (Leicester)

Outstanding for the most part last season, the opening two games of the new season suggested the England international may be missing his running mate, N’Golo Kante, after his defection to Chelsea.

Yet Drinkwater looked more like his 2015-16 vintage during Leicester’s 2-1 win over Swansea, with an industrious display at the heart of midfield.

Throw in his excellent clipped pass which sent Jamie Vardy through on goal for the Foxes opener, and Saturday was a very good day for the ex-Manchester United youngster.

Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring the third goal

It’s no coincidence that Arsenal’s attack began to click into gear with the return of Mesut Ozil.

Germany’s best player at Euro 2016, Ozil had sat out the Gunners opening fixture against Liverpool and was just a substitute against Leicester. Here, Arsene Wenger put him back in the mix, and was repaid with a typically classy performance.

Operating at the heart of the 4-2-3-1, Ozil continually drifted between the lines, evading a number of Watford markers and finding space. He received possession on the half turn, then played the right pass to get his side on the attack, seemingly every time he got the ball. His goal was just reward for an excellent display.

David Silva (Manchester City)

David Silva in action with Enner Valencia

The Spanish playmaker was at the heart of everything as Manchester City dominated the early runnings against West Ham.

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City’s master lock picker is enjoying life under compatriot Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, and it showed again early on as he asked questions of a West Ham defence that they simply couldn’t answer.

His passing was crisp, accurate and occasionally devastating in the opening 20 minutes as City took charge of the game and throughout he always looked a yard quicker (mentally) than anyone else on the pitch.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

I mean only an idiot wouldn’t include the Belgian after the game he had this weekend, wouldn’t they?

Hazard really does look back to his best this season and appears renewed under the guidance of Antonio Conte. The 2014/15 PFA Player of the Year ran the show against Burnley on Saturday and was the best player on the pitch throughout.

Blessed with a wonderful blend of balance, pace and poise Hazard is nigh on unplayable on song as the Clarets found out to their cost at the Bridge. Outstanding.


Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Nordin Amrabat in action with Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean was again given the nod to lead the line by Arsene Wenger, and the Frenchman was rewarded with a devastating performance from the Gunners talisman.

Interpreting his role as the focal point of the Gunners attack by drifting into wide and deep pockets of space, Watford’s defence had no answer for the former Barcelona forward.

He won the penalty from which Arsenal opened the scoring, scored deftly from an acute angle to double the lead and crossed for Mesut Ozil to make it 3-0 before half-time.

It was an all action display that suggested he’s getting back to something like his best.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

He didn’t start for Manchester United, but in his 20 minute cameo on Saturday evening, Marcus Rashford showed that Jose Mourinho can trust the 18-year-old.

Trust him to make things happen. Trust him to go at opponents and terrorise them with his pace and ability. Trust him to create chances. His goal was a tap in, but showcased his quick body and mind, as he dashed to the near post ahead of his marker. Before then, he had forced the Hull keeper into an outstanding low stop, and worked Curtis Davies and Jake Livermore like they hadn’t been in the preceding 70 minutes.

At full-time, Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated with the youngster, a beaming smile on the face of the giant Swede. Game recognises game.

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