SportPesa Premier League Team of the Week
Not a lot to do in goal for the Brazilian stopper but when he was called into action in the second half of Manchester City’s 5-0 destruction of West Ham United, Ederson responded brilliantly with a fantastic double save that ensured the champions got off to a perfect start.
Defender: Aaron Wan Bissaka
In an era where England are spoilt rotten in the right back area, Aaron Wan Bissaka is right up there along with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold. His composure on the ball was fantastic and the way he seems to have mastered the balance between defence and attack means that United may have at last found their new Gary Neville.
Defender: Virgil Van Dijk
Liverpool were out of sight by half-time against a spirited Norwich City at Anfield and it was the contribution of Virgil Van Dijk who helped that scenario with a bullet header from a Liverpool corner. This wasn’t one of those games where Van Dijk was regularly tested but his calming presence was required on some occasions and the classy dutchman didn’t disappoint.
Defender: Harry Maguire
Far too much was made of the £80m price tag that Manchester United paid Leicester City this summer for Harry Maguire, but the England international went some way to justifying it with his Premier League debut for United. Assured on the ball and dominant in the air, Maguire had to oversee some tough moments against Chelsea but he did so with such authority and started to convince many doubters that he could plug United’s recent defensive problems.
Defender: Kyle Walker
His explosive burst of pace for Manchester City’s opener against West Ham United was one of the moments of the weekend, but Kyle Walker showed much more than that in his side’s emphatic win. His use of the ball throughout was outstanding and when West Ham were on top in the game’s early going, Walker was up for the challenge as his team battled to get on the front foot.
Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne
If Kevin de Bruyne continues the season in the form he showed against West Ham United on Saturday then Manchester City supporters are in for a treat this season. The Belgian midfielder toyed with the Hammers as his team started the season with a commanding 5-0 win and his eagerness to impose more misery on West Ham demonstrated a ruthless side to his beautiful play.
Midfield: Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba has been the subject of intense speculation this summer but the French midfielder offered a timely reminder of his worth to Manchester United with an impressive performance in his team’s midfield. Chelsea started off well at Old Trafford, but once United took control, everything good went through Paul Pogba. On this form, he really does justify the hype that has surrounded him for the bulk of his young career.
Midfield: Raheem Sterling
Undoubtedly the performance of the weekend as Raheem Sterling tormented the West Ham defence on his way to completing a brilliant hatrick. On this form, Sterling is one of the Premier League’s finest players and after missing out on the PFA players award last year, Sterling started this campaign in dazzling form
Forward: Roberto Firmino
No goal for the Brazilian striker as Liverpool routed Norwich City but everything good from the European champions had Firmino right at the very centre. His relentless workrate combined with exquisite vision ensure that he’s a dream to play alongside and his consistent unselfishness is a big reason why Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane constantly find themselves amongst the goals.
Forward: Harry Kane
When Spurs need rescuing then it’s often Harry Kane that saves the day. Against Aston Villa on Saturday, the Champions League finalists trailed for the majority of the game but two late goals from Kane ensured that they got their new season off to the perfect start after Tungay Ndombele had equalized.
Forward: Marcus Rashford
For a long time now, Manchester United supporters have recognised the natural talent of Marcus Rashford even though the young forward has perhaps never consistently delivered. With Romelu Lukaku now at Inter Milan, more expectation has been placed on Rashford’s shoulders and he responded brilliantly by scoring twice for United in their 4-0 win over Chelsea.