Another weekend of Premier League drama has reached its end and it is fair to say there were a few surprise results to encapsulate it all.
Chelsea’s 3-0 dismantling of champions Leicester City was followed by Bournemouth’s staggering 6-1 demolition of Mike Phelan’s Hull City. Pep Guardiola saw his side drop points again as former teammate Ronald Koeman oversaw his Everton side earn a precious point at the Etihad, courtesy of a majestic performance by goalkeeper Maarten Steklenberg.
With Watford and Southampton winning Sunday afternoon’s games against Middlesbrough and Burnley respectively, all eyes turned to Monday night’s blockbuster clash between Liverpool and Manchester United. It proved to be a rather dull affair, though, with Jose Mourinho deploying familiar tactics during his time at Chelsea to take a point from Anfield and leave Jürgen Klopp frustrated and begging for more.
All that said and done, here are the eleven players whose heroics earned them a place in the team of the week:
1. Maarten Steklenberg (Everton):
The Dutch shot-stopper produced two crucial saves from the penalty spot in either half from Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero to keep Guardiola and his men at arm’s length. He made two more stops during the course of the game to earn his side a point. A truly marvellous day between the sticks.
2. David Luiz (Chelsea):
Since his return to London from Paris Saint-Germain, Luiz had endured some tough evenings in the office for Chelsea. He put those displays behind him and looked rock-solid at the back against champions Leicester City, seldom allowing Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa to run at him. A much needed outing for the Brazilian.
3. Ashley Williams (Everton):
Unlike partner Phil Jagielka, Williams looked calm and composed against Manchester City and demonstrated his leadership qualities to full effect. He made countless blocks and interceptions in his own box, largely reminiscent of his days at Swansea City. How the Welsh side could do with his endeavours right now.
4. Adam Smith (Bournemouth):
The Englishman has rendered himself an important cog to Eddie Howe’s structure at Bournemouth and was lively in both boxes against newly-promoted Hull City. He set up his side’s fourth of the evening and marshalled his backline with zeal and rigour.
5. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth):
Smith’s teammate Daniels made the cut for his outstanding performance going forward. Having scored and assisted one, it has become increasingly clear he loves venturing forward while showing plenty of poise in defence. Much is expected of him throughout the remainder of the season.
6. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea):
Against his old club and former colleagues, Kante produced a midfield masterclass, painfully reminding Claudio Ranieri of the element his side lacks- tenacity. Having made five interceptions over the course of the game, the Frenchman completely shut out the likes of Daniel Amartey, Danny Drinkwater and Ahmed Musa. With a performance like that, some might wonder how Leicester let him leave for just £32 million in the summer.
7. Joe Allen (Stoke City):
Arguably one of the signings of the summer, Allen has adapted to life at Stoke instantly, scoring his third and fourth goals against David Moyes’ Sunderland. He has now equalled his best tally in that department for an entire season. Goals and attacking endeavours aside, the Welshman kept Sunderland at bay with a fine display in midfield.
8. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth):
Two goals and two assists rendered Bournemouth’s mercurial winger Stanislas the player of the week. Hull simply couldn’t live with his movement both on and off the ball and his ability to get into the right positions at the right time proved fatal for Phelan and his crestfallen side.
9. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal):
Amidst rumours of a contract issue at Arsenal, Ozil produced a magnificent display against Bob Bradley’s Swansea City. His corner led to Walcott’s second goal of the day while a sublime finish of his own in the second half proved to be the winner for the Gunners.
10. Theo Walcott (Arsenal):
The 27-year-old appears to have found his bearings once again and took his domestic goal tally to five with a brace against Swansea at the Emirates. Both strikes exemplified the instinct that often deserts him and he could have had a hattrick or even four, given his two efforts off the woodwork. Nevertheless, it was a fine performance by the winger and that will please the Arsenal faithful immensely.
11. Charlie Austin (Southampton):
The former Burnley striker was at hand to haunt his former employers at Saint Mary’s on Sunday afternoon with a match-winning brace. Moreover, he linked up well with Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and Shane Long to invigorate the home support ahead of their monumental Europa League clash against Inter Milan.