Goals, goals and more goals were the theme of the Premier League weekend – Liverpool stuck five past Hull, Manchester United netted four against Leicester City, and Sunderland and Crystal Palace shared five more in a thriller at the Stadium of Light.
Here is our regular team of the week feature after a dramatic round of Premier League fixtures.
GK: Claudio Bravo – Man City
In a weekend that featured goals galore and a notable absence of clean sheets, few keepers covered themselves in glory. But after making a shaky start against Manchester United Bravo deserves credit for delivering an assured display in possession at Swansea, despite the hosts’ eagerness to press him. The Chile international produced some solid saves and could do nothing about Fernando Llorente’s fine strike in a 3-1 victory.
DF: Hector Bellerin – Arsenal
Bellerin showed why he is attracting the attentions of childhood club Barcelona with a display against Chelsea that highlighted both his defensive capabilities and attacking threat. The 21-year-old ghosted into a dangerous position after a flowing move to set up Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s second in their 3-0 victory. The right-back then showed a trademark turn of speed to track back and deny Pedro with a perfectly-timed tackle in the second half. Gunners fans will be desperate to keep him.
DF: Steve Cook – Bournemouth
As goals were flying in across the Premier League, Bournemouth’s fine defensive display in their 1-0 victory against Everton stood out. Centre-back Cook won three aerial duels and was calm and assured in possession as Eddie Howe’s side stifled the dangerous Romelu Lukaku to secure their second home clean sheet on the bounce.
DF: Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
Arsenal teammate Shkodran Mustafi ran him very close for a place, but the centre-back’s dominant display just gave him the edge. The pair relished the physical duel against Diego Costa, denying the Chelsea striker a single attempt on target, and Koscielny’s stats indicate just how solid the 31-year-old was: he won three out of three attempted tackles, managed four interceptions and seven clearances, and succeeded in five aerial duels.
DF: James Milner – Liverpool
The ultimate utility player has been quietly making the left-back slot his own for Liverpool this season, and he excelled in their 5-1 annihilation of Hull at Anfield. Milner got forward throughout, including one memorable mazy dribble, passed the ball well and didn’t give Ryan Snodgrass a sniff defensively. He then stepped up to dispatch Liverpool’s two penalties with great assurance. Not a bad day’s work.
MF: Harry Arter – Bournemouth
The midfielder put in a man-of-the-match performance in Bournemouth’s hard-fought victory over Everton with a tireless display. Arter excelled both defensively, putting in five tackles, and going forward, setting up the game’s only goal and having five attempts himself. The 26-year-old was neat in possession and dominated Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye in the opposing midfield.
MF: Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Finally, against Leicester the £89 million man produced the performance Manchester United fans have been expecting of him. Pogba showed all of the swaggering confidence that makes him so difficult to play against at his best, one moment dinking a delightful ball into Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s path, the next testing Ron-Robert Zieler with a superb effort from long range. He played a key part in Juan Mata’s strike, then netted his first United goal with a towering header in their 4-1 victory.
MF: Alex Iwobi – Arsenal
The 20-year-old proved just what an exciting talent he is with a man-of-the-match performance in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory. His pace and trickery ensured Branislav Ivanovic had a torrid evening for the visitors, and he demonstrated his vision with a superb pass to Bellerin to help lay on the Gunners’ fine second goal.
FW: Son Heung-min – Tottenham
With Harry Kane absent, the onus was on the South Korean to produce the goods against Middlebrough – and wow, did he deliver. His first goal was good, the forward evading two weak tackles and firing in low with his left foot. His second was wonderful, as he patiently weaved his way through the Boro penalty area before arrowing a spectacular strike into the top corner.
FW: Jermain Defoe – Sunderland
Sunderland ended up losing a thriller 3-2 to Crystal Palace, but there is no way the veteran striker deserved to be on the losing side. The Black Cats didn’t create a great deal, but Defoe latched onto two poor pieces of defending from the Eagles to finish with typical aplomb and move joint-ninth on the list of all-time Premier League top scorers.
FW: Sergio Aguero – Man City
The Argentine continued his absurdly prolific start to the season with a brace against Swansea, taking his tally to 11 goals from just six appearances. The striker opened the scoring at the Liberty Stadium in City’s 3-1 win, turning smartly in the penalty area and drilling between Lukasz Fabianski’s legs. He then netted City’s crucial second, wrong-footing the keeper from the penalty spot with a cheeky dinked finish. The striker now has 28 goals in his last 27 Premier League appearances.
Metro.co.uk’s team of the week…