There were shocks aplenty as the Premier League returned for another action-packed week. Graham Potter endured a nightmare return to Brighton, with his Chelsea side hammered 4-1 at the AMEX, while Liverpool’s unbeaten run at Anfield came to a dramatic end as Leeds United found a 90th minute winner to stun Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Tottenham managed to snatch victory after finding themselves 2-0 down against Bournemouth, while Manchester United also claimed a hard-fought three points over West Ham to move to within a point of the top 4.
On the other end of the spectrum, Arsenal and Newcastle shared 9 goals as they both won comfortably against Nottingham Forest and managerless Aston Villa respectively.
So, who stood out over the weekend?
GK: Illan Meslier
Liverpool’s slump continued as they lost a second consecutive Premier League game to a side in the relegation zone, falling to a 2-1 defeat to Leeds United in front of a stunned Anfield crowd.
It could have been so different, however, if not for the heroics of Leeds shot-stopper Illan Meslier, who made a mammoth nine saves to keep his side on level terms before Cyrensio Summerville managed to win the game for the visitors, and send the Leeds faithful into ecstasy.
RB: Kieran Trippier
Currently England’s no.1 choice right back due to injuries, Trippier continues to underline his credentials to Gareth Southgate, this time grabbing an assist and keeping a clean sheet as Eddie Howe’s side continued their stint in the top 4. The defender has become a key cornerstone of the Magpies’ renaissance, and is already a cult hero on Tyneside.
CB: Lisandro Martinez
Though he also owes a great deal to David De Gea’s heroics in goal, Lisandro Martinez continues to show that there is more to defending than sheer size. Mocked by the media for his stature after a shaky start to the season, the Argentine has hardly put a foot wrong since at the heart of Ten Hag’s backline, and produced another brilliant performance to edge out West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday.
CB: Ben Mee
The former Burnley defender is enjoying his football with Brentford this season, and came up with another key goal for the Bees in some style as his side held Wolves to a 1-1 draw.
He could do nothing about the equaliser, mind, with Ruben Neves firing in a trademark strike, and his defending was top notch for much of the game.
LB: Tyrick Mitchell
It has been something of a lean patch for Mitchell since his England debut in March, but there were signs that he is returning to something like his best form against Southampton, with a strong defensive showing along with laying the ball on a plate for Odsonne Edouard to score what proved to be the only goal of the game.
CM: Thomas Partey
This was a north London toss-up, with Rodrigo Bentancur coming whiskers away from making the side. However, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey once again proved that, when he plays well, the Gunners win, and topped off a brilliant performance with a curling strike from 25 yards out as his side romped to a 5-0 win over a sorry Nottingham Forest.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne
Is there a better midfielder in World Football at the moment? It’s hard to think of one, and without Erling Haaland in the squad it was a moment of magic from Kevin de Bruyne that ultimately proved decisive in an otherwise tight affair.
Continuously finding ways to beggar belief with the ball at his feet, the Belgian remains just as deadly without his no.9 and his fitness is key to Manchester City’s title charge.
CM: Miguel Almiron
What on earth is in the water at St James Park? First Joelinton last season, and now Miguel Almiron has become a world beater on Tyneside this campaign, with the Paraguayan netting another brilliant strike as the Magpies destroyed a sorry Aston Villa side.
It takes him to 7 goals for the season, the joint fifth most in the top flight, and has helped Newcastle make an early push for the top four this season.
RW: Reiss Nelson
There was a collective sharp intake of breath around the Emirates as Bukayo Saka went down clutching his ankle after just 15 minutes of his side’s clash with Nottingham Forest. The Englishman was considered irreplaceable in the Arsenal side and, looking to the bench, options were not encouraging.
Handed the nod over fellow wide players Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos, however, Reiss Nelson seized his opportunity with both hands, grabbing two goals and an assist in a strong showing from the Hale End graduate. While Gunners fans will be relieved to hear Saka’s injury is just a knock, should Nelson be able to continue to turn in that type of performance, it may give them renewed hope in what is becoming a two-horse title race between them and Manchester City.
ST: Callum Wilson
Another Newcastle player that is really pushing a claim for a World Cup spot, Callum Wilson underlined his credentials with a brace against Aston Villa in front of an onlooking Gareth Southgate.
It is Wilson’s fitness, rather than his ability, that has been called into question previously. If he can prove his fitness, however, his form could see him earn a late call up ahead of next month’s tournament.
LW: Leandro Trossard
Graham Potter’s return to Brighton with his new Chelsea side did not go the way he would have wanted it to, as the Blues were blown away by his former side in a 4-1 demolition.
Central to the victory for the Seagulls was one of Potter’s former favourites in Leandro Trossard, with the Belgian continuing his fine form this season with a goal after just five minutes in a brilliant all-round performance by the 27-year-old.