Manchester City returned to form in style with Sergio Aguero starring in a six-goal hammering of Newcastle – a result that returns them to the top of the Premier League.
Arsenal scored three times in the first 19 minutes to beat Manchester United, reigning champions Chelsea’s campaign continued to unravel courtesy of a deserved defeat at the hands of an excellent Southampton, while Brendan Rodgers’s tenure as Liverpool boss was brought to an abrupt end following a 1-1 Merseyside derby draw at Everton.
Leicester’s superb start to the campaign continued with victory at Norwich, Crystal Palace moved into the top four by beating West Brom and Sunderland threw away a 2-0 home lead to draw with West Ham, after which Dick Advocaat resigned as Black Cats boss.
Two goals from Christian Eriksen rescued a point for Tottenham at Swansea, promoted sides Bournemouth and Watford cancelled each other out, while Aston Villa were plunged further into trouble via a home loss to Stoke.
Do you agree with my selections?
GOALKEEPER – Heurelho Gomes (Watford)
I remember Gomes when he played for Spurs and he proved how useful he was then. Sadly, he suffered at White Hart Lane from too many unforced errors. His contribution to Watford’s Premier League campaign so far this season has been nothing short of excellent.
His penalty save from Bournemouth’s Glenn Murray was superb – and shows what the Brazilian can do. However, if Watford are to survive in the big league they will have to refrain from giving away clumsy penalties late in the game. They can’t expect Gomes to bail them out all the time.
DEFENDER – Gabriel (Arsenal)
I saw Gabriel stand up to Chelsea’s Diego Costa recently at Stamford Bridge and he refused to be intimidated by the striker. Sadly for Arsenal, he paid a heavy price for his boldness and was sent off.
His performance, while less demanding against Manchester United, was extremely professional and he looked like a very composed defender with the ball at his feet. He reduced Anthony Martial to the minimum of chances and was instrumental in achieving Arsenal’s clean sheet of the season.
DEFENDER – Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists officials are not being honest with his side. Perhaps he should try a little honesty himself. Southampton should have had two penalties, the first for an infringement on Van Djik by Branislav Ivanovic and then on Sadio Mane by Ramirez.
Van Dijk had every right to complain to the officials about Ivanovic wrestling him to the ground, but the central defender did not allow the injustice to effect his outstanding performance for Saints.
The centre-back was absolutely superb against Chelsea and resolute throughout this game. He is proving to be another impressive acquisition by manager Ronald Koeman.
DEFENDER – Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City)
Norwich had plenty of warnings in the first half that Schlupp was on the prowl. It took an excellent block to deny the full-back early in the game but Norwich simply failed to heed the warnings.
He could have put Leicester ahead moments later but could not get the final touch to a punishing cross. The Ghana international was a constant menace to the Canaries and his goal was nothing less than he deserved.
MIDFIELDER – Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
When Arnautovic is on his game he is a class act and this was one of those games. The Austrian was subjected to a travesty when the referee’s assistant ruled his goal offside when the player appeared to be level. Undeterred, he went on to take Aston Villa to the cleaners.
Earlier in the season I said Arnautovic and his team-mates owed it to their brilliant goalkeeper Jack Butland to start performing and justify the investment made in some of their big name signings. Well, Stoke have now gone four games unbeaten – it looks like they have got the message.
MIDFIELDER – Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Two assists and one glorious finish but no mentions on the Match of the Day analysis? If that wasn’t dismissive enough, De Bruyne’s magnificent finish was regarded as a bit of a fluke.
Anyone who had observed De Bruyne’s time at Wolfsburg would have known that he was the club’s top scorer and the Bundesliga’s king of assists. Let’s be under no illusions: this player does not do ‘flukes’; he knows precisely what he’s doing.
MIDFIELDER – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Sanchez was outstanding last week against Leicester and even better this week against Manchester United. His first goal was exquisite, while his second was the most wonderful strike.
Wenger is very lucky to have a player like Sanchez, who could have easily gone through the motions complaining of fatigue since his return from his Copa America success with Chile.
Since his return to the Gunners, he has scored six goals in three appearance and looked as fresh as a daisy. Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says his players might be tired. What? In October?
MIDFIELDER – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
When Eriksen is scoring goals it suggests the player is back to his best. He has suffered from injuries this season but appears to be getting over them and proved it with an exceptional performance for Spurs against Swansea.
However, with such an open unpredictable Premier League this season, Spurs will never have a better chance to win a Champions League spot. Anything short of fourth place will simply not do.
FORWARD – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
What a display of first-class finishing from the Argentine against a Newcastle side who were blown away in the second half. The only problem I see with Manchester City is that if anything happens to Aguero, City might struggle.
Manchester Manuel Pellegrini has not given Wilfried Bony anything like sufficient game time to find the form and edge required step into the breach if required. The way things are going, that could be Arsenal and Manchester United’s saving grace.
FORWARD – Graziano Pelle (Southampton)
I have never appreciated Graziano Pelle’s hold-up play for Southampton as much I did at Stamford Bridge. The player was brilliant and never allowed Chelsea centre-backs Gary Cahill and John Terry a moments rest.
It was Pelle’s knock-down which provided Steven Davis with his opening for Southampton’s first goal. It was his through ball which enabled Mane to spin John Terry so effectively on the edge of the penalty area and put the ball beyond Asmir Begovic. He totally finished Chelsea off with a superb goal all of his own. A tremendous display of centre-forward play away from home.
FORWARD – Sadio Mane (Southampton)
With the weight of Europa League football off their backs Southampton look like a completely different outfit, particularly up front. Mane was absolutely sensational and paralysed Chelsea.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho can bellyache all he wants about the officials but they are not the reason for Chelsea’s appalling start to the season or their total collapse against the Saints – that was entirely down to the brilliance of Mane.
Southampton were the better side, created more chances, scored more goals, and totally deserved the victory. What a pity Mourinho never mentioned any of that in his post-match rant.