Each week we delve through the Premier League action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.
Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 10:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno – Fulham
Fulham rode their luck on occasion to earn a valuable point at Brighton, with the visitors weathering pressure from the home side in a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium. Simon Adingra, Kaoru Mitoma and Carlos Balbena all tried their luck in search of goal, but Bernd Leno made a superb save from the latter and got down well to deny Simon Adringa with his feet from close range.
Right-back: Max Aarons – Bournemouth
Bournemouth earned their first win of the season as the Andoni Iraola era finally got up and running. The Cherries came from behind to beat fellow strugglers Burnley 2-1, with Max Aarons impressive as the right-back worked in tandem with goalscorer Antoine Semenyo down the flank.
Aarons – who formed part of the England u-21 side that won the European Championship last summer – won 11/12 duels in the contest in his best performance since signing from Norwich.
Centre-back: Ethan Pinnock – Brentford
A big presence in both boxes as Brentford earned a third consecutive away win at Chelsea. The Bees have had the better of their west London neighbours since promotion to the Premier League and claimed another three points at Stamford Bridge.
Pinnock headed home the opener after powering home Bryan Mbeumo’s cross and was a pivotal part of Brentford’s defensive work at the opposite end, making a huge eight clearance and winning 8/11 duels.
🗻 @EthanPinnock5 getting the scoring started pic.twitter.com/W4hBXMRHqN
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 28, 2023
Centre-back: Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton
Branthwaite continues to grow in importance and influence at Everton, with the centre-back a colossal presence as Sean Dyche’s side beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
The England u-21 international led the game for clearances (10), won five duels, and regained possession on seven occasions, with Branthwaite also involved in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s winner against the Hammers. A left-sided centre-back with calm and commanding presence, it would come as no surprise to see Premier League rivals take interest as January approaches.
Jarrad Branthwaite’s game by numbers vs. West Ham:
10 clearances (most)
7 final third entries
7x possession won
5 duels won
3 aerial duels won
2 tackles made
0 x dribbled past
A colossal display. 💪#WHUEVE pic.twitter.com/vOGGpP93yu
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) October 29, 2023
Left-back: Lucas Digne – Everton
A seemingly unwanted asset before a ball had been kicked this season, Alex Moreno’s injury has handed Lucas Digne a route back into favour at Aston Villa. The Frenchman has responded, with five assists in all competitions and a stream of service from the left flank this season.
Digne’s left-wing cross led to Villa’s second goal against Luton this weekend, the highlight of a performance in which the full-back offered constant threat for Unai Emery’s side.
12 wins 🤩💜💙 UTV pic.twitter.com/2ytmAmluQp
— Lucas Digne ⭐️ (@LucasDigne) October 29, 2023
Midfield: Joao Palhinha – Fulham
Joao Palhinha’s stunning strike earned Fulham a point at Brighton, as the midfielder lashed home a spectacular effort to rescue a result for the Cottagers. The Portugal international came close to a move to Bayern Munich in the summer, but the failure of that move means Fulham have retained one of the Premier League’s best midfield anchors.
Palhinha made 10 tackles during the draw at Brighton – a league-leading total in a Premier League fixture this season – and scored a spectacular equaliser for Marco Silva’s side.
💪 Joao Palhinha made 10 tackles in Fulham’s 1-1 draw at Brighton today; No player has made more in a Premier League match this season pic.twitter.com/u5bbbZF1yM
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 29, 2023
Midfield: Dominik Szoboszlai – Liverpool
At the centre of another Liverpool performance, Szoboszlai set up the Reds’ second goal against Nottingham Forest after squaring for Darwin Nunez to convert from close range. The Hungarian added a second assist in the 3-0 win with a searching long ball over the top, one which Forest ‘keeper Matt Turner misjudged to allow Mohamed Salah the simple task of firing home a third goal.
No player created more chances (6) than the 23-year-old, who also led his Liverpool teammates for ball recoveries (13).
Midfield: Bernardo Silva – Manchester City
The best player on the pitch, as he so often has been in the Manchester Derby. Bernardo Silva just loves playing Manchester United, particularly at Old Trafford, and was a class apart as the Citizens cruised to a 3-0 win.
A wonderful footballer, who Manchester United could not get close to. City have fought hard to keep hold of the Portuguese playmaker in recent transfer windows, when others have been allowed to leave at the first sign of wanting out. There’s good reason for that.
Bernardo Silva’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:
90% pass accuracy
5 long balls completed
5 ground duels won
3 key passes
3 big chances created
2 tackles won
2/2 dribbles completed
Maestro. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/IW4gQM8maT
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 29, 2023
Forward: Callum Wilson – Newcastle
Callum Wilson was handed a chance from the start as Newcastle took on Wolves this weekend and responded with two goals in the Magpies’ 2-2 draw at Molineux.
Back in the team due to Alexander Isak’s absence, Wilson’s brace took him to seven league goals in just four Premier League starts. The 31-year-old was reactive to score the opener, before (somewhat fortuitously) maintaining his record from the penalty spot to score a second. Wilson has averaged a Premier League goal every 60 minutes of action this season.
Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City
Two goals and an assist for Manchester City’s main man, who is leading the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot despite suggestions he’s still finding his form this season.
Another match-winning performance in the Manchester Derby is not bad for a player some have said is performing below his usual standard. Only three players having managed more goals and assists (8) in this fixture in the Premier League era, despite Haaland having featured in just three league Manchester derbies.
64 – Erling Haaland scores or assists every 64 minutes on average in the Premier League, the best rate of any player with at least 40 appearances:
64 – Erling Haaland
86 – Thierry Henry
86 – Sergio Agüero
93 – Mohamed Salah
102 – Robin van Persie
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 29, 2023
Forward: Eddie Nketiah – Arsenal
Gabriel Jesus’ hamstring injury – after shining in midweek – will have raised alarm bells at Arsenal, but Eddie Nketiah ensured the Brazilian’s absence was covered, and then some, against Sheffield United.
Nketiah scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed winless Sheffield United at the Emirates, with the 24-year-old alert to take a composed touch and finish for the opener. The forward added an instinctive second to double the lead, before thrashing home his hat-trick from distance to set the Gunners on route to a 5-0 win in north London.
3ddie Nketiah 📞 pic.twitter.com/9uiyR8Gl6V
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 29, 2023
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