Premier League Team of the Week – Gameweek 4

Watford, Chelsea and Liverpool maintained their 100% starts beating Spurs, Bournemouth and Leicester respectively. Both Manchester clubs earned much-needed wins while Arsenal squeezed past Brighton. Elsewhere, Southampton and Wolves picked up their first wins of the season whilst four teams were held to draws. But who were the top performers of the weekend’s jam-packed action?

GK: Rui Patrício (WOL) 

An extremely underrated purchase in the summer, Patricio turned in another impressive performance this week. The experienced goalkeeper was ready when his name was called upon, denying the Hammers from scoring and keeping a clean sheet. Perhaps surprisingly, Patricio only made three saves throughout the afternoon, but all of them were of supreme importance and difficulty. Michail Antonio’s first-half header looked destined for the top corner before the skipper managed to claw the ball away. On the other side of half-time, the Portuguese goalkeeper was once again tested, this time by Arnautovic, but stood his ground as he came out on top. An imposing showing by the Wolves keeper. (1-0 Victory)

THE DEFENCE

LB and RB: José Holebas and Daryl Janmaat (both WAT) 

Just snagging the left-back spot over Robertson, Holebas helped Watford maintain their winning start to the season. He did a solid job in preventing goalscoring opportunities from wide positions, but it was going forward where his quality shone. Both Janmaat and Holebas combined to complete five crosses, two of which (both from Holebas) turned out to be assists for Deeney and Cathcart. Janmaat was unlucky not to add another when Deeney’s flick narrowly missed the frame shortly after the first goal. Mauricio Pochettino’s game plan of playing with two high-flying wing backs was fully exploited by these two who caused headaches all afternoon by getting in behind. (2-1 Victory)

CB: Joe Gomez (LIV) 

The choice to pair Gomez with Van Dijk over the likes of Matip raised a few eyebrows when the season started. Jurgen Klopp’s supposed risk has since paid off, however, as the young centre-back has put in a series of strong performances. Perhaps none were as strong as this week which saw the English native solidify Liverpool’s backline when it needed it the most. Gomez helped deny Demarai Gray, in the 23rd minute, as well as providing a crucial block in the second half that aided his team in scraping a win at the King Power Stadium. The future is bright for the 21-year-old after receiving his first England call-up by Gareth Southgate. (2-1 Victory)

 

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Joe Gomez has impressed since assuming the starting centre-back role alongside Van Dijk

 

CB: Craig Cathcart (WAT)

He doesn’t score many but when he does, they’re usually at Vicarage Road and they’re usually from set-pieces. Cathcart re-established his dominance in the air, creating havoc for a Spurs side that had just come off a resounding win at Old Trafford. The Northern Ireland international controlled the game by means of his aerial aptitude in both boxes. Not only did he score the goal that would go on to win the game, but also anchored the back line which did so well in preventing Tottenham any clear-cut chances. Four wins in four for the Hornets. (2-1 Victory)

THE MIDFIELD

LM: Marcos Alonso (CHE)

If you’re waiting for this guy to cool off, you might be waiting a while. Alonso has scored or assisted in all four games this season and continues to find himself in attacking positions. Alonso registered the most shots on target on Saturday and ended up unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet. Though he fills in the Chelsea squad as a left back, he pushes up, often to the point at which he is the furthest player forward, which validates his positioning as a midfielder. Alonso tested the Bournemouth keeper either side of half-time before cleverly setting up Eden Hazard to finish off the Cherries. (2-0 Victory)

CM: Ruben Neves (WOL)

Once on the radars of both Manchester City and Liverpool, it seems inexplicable that the young Portuguese talent ended up with Wolves. The 21-year-old followed his impressive performance last week against the Citizens with another once on Saturday, as he controlled the middle of the park. Though West Ham had plenty of chances to score, it was Moutinho and Neves who controlled the tempo from the get-go. Neves gradually grew into the game offensively and it was only fitting that Adama’s 93rd-minute goal stemmed from an interception completed by the youngster. It’s no coincidence that his early season performances have garnered interest from the top clubs. (1-0 Victory)

 

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The Portuguese youngster has garnered a large portion of interest since Wolves’ promotion

 

RM: Eden Hazard (CHE)

After getting off to a quietly efficient start to the season, Eden Hazard was presented his first start as part of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign. Previously on the bench due to his lack of training time in the preseason, the Belgian did not disappoint as he turned in Chelsea’s second from an acute angle. Jorginho and Hazard pulled the strings in the middle of the park that kept stretching a dogged Bournemouth side. It took seventy-two minutes for the Blues to break the deadlock but break it they did as Hazard and Giroud helped set up substitute Pedro for a strike just outside the box. The winger caused problems all match, as typified in the box score which showed that he created more chance than any other player this week. (2-0 Victory)

THE STRIKERS

ST: Glenn Murray (BHA)

Trailing only two Premier League players in 2018 home goals, the soon-to-be 35-year-old continues to perform. Murray’s knack for being in the right place at the right time once again proved dividend as he pulled Brighton back to rescue a draw after his team fell two goals behind earlier on in the game. The Englishman’s performance was consistent throughout the match; winning a penalty in the 24th minute before finishing a one-man comeback which included a goal from open play and a conversion from another spot-kick in the final stages of the game. Murray repeatedly bullied the Fulham defenders and helped Brighton earn a hard-fought draw against the newly-promoted Fulham. (2-2 Draw)

CF: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

With looming speculation regarding the future of Mourinho at the club and back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Tottenham, the pressure on United going into the weekend was clear. The players’ performances were also being threatened and Lukaku had gone through a barren stretch in front of goal. He quickly turned that around. The powerful striker used his mixture of finesse and sheer force to wreak havoc at Turf Moor all afternoon, finding spaces and gaps to run into with and without the ball. The opener came from a perfectly-timed header delivered from Alexis Sanchez’s cross followed by a rebound finish, right before half-time. Lukaku looked like he was returning to peak form and was unlucky not to score a third before the game ended. (2-0 Victory)

CF: Troy Deeney (WAT)

Four Watford players round off the starting XI after their impressive 2-1 win against Spurs. Deeney’s performance might have been the most pivotal. After a dull first half, Watford found themselves behind after Doucouré inadvertently turned the ball into his own net. The team was invigorated by their striker’s play as he consistently proved himself to be a problem for the Tottenham centre-halves before eventually converting a thumping header from José Holebas’ free-kick to even the score. The Hornets went on to win the match thanks to defender Cathcart’s header but it was Troy Deeney who stole the show on a monumental afternoon for the Hertfordshire-based club. (2-1 Victory)

 

 

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Craig Cathcart (left) and Troy Deeney (right) were instrumental in Watford’s comeback win against Spurs

 

 

Notable exclusions: Sadio Mané, Alexandre Lacazette, Raheem Sterling, James Maddison, Marouane Fellaini, Kyle Walker, Andrew Robertson, Joe Hart