Liverpool belatedly got their season somewhat back on track with a 1-0 win over Manchester City, that handed Arsenal (themselves fortunate to scrape a 1-0 win away against Leeds) a four point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
It was a low scoring weekend on the whole, with just 15 goals across ten games, but among that were vital wins for Wolves and Tottenham over Nottingham Forest and Everton respectively, while Chelsea also picked up another three points under new boss Graham Potter.
We took a look at who stood out in the latest round of games.
What a redemption arc it is turning into for Chelsea’s one-time record signing, who had been subject to talk of leaving on loan in the summer. Now with a new manager at the helm, the Spaniard looks far more confident and produced some outrageous saves in their 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
RB: Kieran Trippier
If Joelinton had aimed his headers slightly better, Trippier could have been walking away from Newcastle’s clash with Manchester United with two assists. His quality is evident and crucial to Eddie Howe’s side, even if he was lucky not to concede a penalty heading the other way.
Fortunate to (correctly) see his red card overturned by VAR in the dying moments, Gabriel was something of a calm persona surrounded by madness in the second half for the Gunners, covering well for William Saliba, who had his worst performance in an Arsenal shirt.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk
Questioned aplenty this season, Virgil van Dijk vs Erling Haaland was a battle that everyone pinpointed ahead of the game, and the Dutchman looked back towards his imperious best as he helped keep the Norweigian striker quiet for the full 90 minutes.
LB: Andy Robertson
In a game where Liverpool’s right side came under scrutiny, it was easy to forget that Andy Robertson was also making his first start in over a month after a knee injury. The Scot put in a top performance, however, along with the rest of his backline to keep Manchester City quiet, and his experience was vital even if his shooting may still need some work.
CM: Ruben Neves
Neves netted the penalty that ultimately separated Wolves from Nottingham Forest, but as usual offered plenty beyond goal threat, with the Wolves captain continuing to show why he is consistently linked with a move to European giants with a great all-round performance.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Long shoehorned into a more defensive role, Hojbjerg has become reinvigorated as a box-to-box player under Antonio Conte, and once more underlined this with a well-taken goal against Everton. Now up to three goals this season, the Dane is fast showing himself to be one of the Premier League’s top midfielders.
CM: Mason Mount
With Reece James sidelined, inspiration for Chelsea had to come from elsewhere. Step forward, Mason Mount. The midfielder has looked far happier under Graham Potter than he did under Tuchel, and while his first goal was fortunate his second was brilliant.
RW: Mo Salah
Fresh off the back of a six-minute hat-trick in midweek, Salah looked back to something like his frightening best against a high Manchester City defensive line. He forced a fantastic save from Ederson when one on one, but the Brazilian could do nothing about the second as Salah’s deft touch handed his side all three points at Anfield.
ST: Ivan Toney
Whether Ivan Toney should be in the World Cup squad for England continues to be debated, but he is certainly helping his cause with a brace to help his side beat Brighton, including a fabulous flick to open the scoring. Should he keep his form up, he could be looking at a much bigger move next summer.
LW: Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka was quiet for much of Arsenal’s clash with Leeds United, but came up with the all-important goal as he fired home from a tight angle in the first half. Should Arsenal’s title charge continue, they will need him at his best as they look a different side with him in it.