Team of the Week: Rags to Ritchie for Bournemouth, West Ham stars dominate City and Manchester United’s unstoppable new boy
This week West Ham, Manchester United and Chelsea players features as they collect all 3 points against City, Southampton and Arsenal as well as Bournemouth stars, one of them with an early goal of the season contender.
Goalkeeper: Adrian (West Ham United)
West Ham’s 2-1 win against a Manchester City side that had not dropped points or even conceded a goal before the two met on Saturday was certainly the shock of the weekend and goalkeeper Adrian’s sensational performance was key to West Ham’s win.
Spanish stopper Adrian made eight saves, including a triple save at one point to deny Sergio Aguero from close range multiple times as Manuel Pellegrini’s men were somehow kept out for the majority of the game.
West Ham have this season won all three of their away matches, no mean feat when they have been at Arsenal (2-0), Liverpool (3-0) and now Manchester City (2-1). The last team to beat those three away in a single season were Chelsea in 2004-05. They won the league that year.
Right-back: Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United)
Yet again Newcastle put in an abject display, this time at home against newly-promoted Watford as the Magpies slipped to a 2-1 defeat, Janmaat was somewhat of a bright spark.
It speaks volumes of Newcastle’s current plight that their right-back is their biggest attacking threat. He had their best chance in Monday night’s defeat to West Ham and scored this time out when he slotted the ball past Heurelho Gomes after he started the move himself.
He could have scored again in the second half, but this time Gomes denied him brilliantly. If Massimo Haidara was not as useless on the other side of defence, Newcastle may have got something from St. James’ Park.
Centre back: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)
John Terry being dropped to the bench raised a few eyebrows pre kick off to Chelsea’s highly anticipated clash with Arsenal this weekend but Terry’s long term replacement, 20-year-old Kurt Zouma, put in a performance well worthy of the Chelsea captain.
Terry has a penchant from scoring headers via set pieces, and so too does Zouma as he proved when he nodded Chelsea in front eight minutes into the second half.
Zouma’s middle name is Happy, and following Chelsea’s much improved display against one of the best teams in the league, he certainly will be.
Centre back: Winston Reid (West Ham United)
Adrian did well to make eight saves to prevent Manchester City from getting something against West Ham, but Winston Reid was arguably even more impressive.
The New Zealand international made block after block with a last-ditch clearance or two thrown in for good measure as the east Londoners held on for a memorable victory.
It is such performances that remind people why Reid was attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal not too long ago.
Left-back: Charlie Daniels (AFC Bournemouth)
Charlie Daniels was released by Tottenham back in 2009, and since dropping down to League One and working his way back up again, he is proving he is Premier League quality.
Bournemouth finally won their first match ever in the top flight with a 2-0 win over struggling Sunderland and Daniels played his part – his deflected cross led to Matt Ritchie’s goal of the season contender.
Defensively he put in a good shift, after starting his career as a left winger, and Bournemouth got their first clean sheet of the season.
Right midfielder: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
All of the credit for Leicester’s dramatic 3-2 win over midlands rivals Aston Villa after being 2-0 down last week went to Algerian Riyad Mahrez for his superb showing and he impressed again this time out.
For the second weekend running Leicester had to come from two goals down to get a result, this time a point away at Stoke, and once again Mahrez was instrumental.
He tucked away a penalty to get the Foxes a foothold into the match at 2-1 and then he knocked on a long ball with his head which Jamie Vardy rushed onto to bring Leicester level.
Centre midfielder: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
It is fair to say that champions Chelsea have been abject this season, with Cesc Fabregas being no exception.
Old club Arsenal gave him perfect motivation to improve though, and he did so dramatically. He was back to bossing the midfield and his passing was crisp, a long ball to Pedro almost led to the deadlock being broken and eventually Chelsea did take the lead – thanks to Fabregas.
A pinpoint delivery into the box from a free-kick was met well by Zouma who powered a header past ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s near post.
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Left midfielder: Matt Ritchie (AFC Bournemouth)
Have we seen the goal of the season in September? Too early to say perhaps, but Matt Ritchie has certainly got people speculating at the very least.
His impeccable chest and volley from a Bournemouth corner soared into the top corner and left Costel Pantilimon no chance in the Sunderland goal, even though he is six foot eight.
Ritchie showed signs of scoring a brilliant goal in the 1-0 defeat at Anfield earlier on in the season, and he finally found the back of the net this weekend – this stunning goal was his first of the campaign.
Striker: Odion Ighalo (Watford)
Odion Ighalo signed a five-year extension to his Watford contract during the week and he celebrated it in some style by scoring a brace against Newcastle.
The Nigerian who signed on a free transfer from Udinese in 2014 scored twice inside the first half an hour to secure back-to-back wins for the Hornets.
His first was a cultured finish past Tim Krul into the bottom corner after a neat passing move from Watford and goal number two came soon after he ran round Krul to slot in with some thanks to captain Troy Deeney’s through ball.
Watford have scored five goals this season, four of them have been by Ighalo and he also has 20 goals in 24 games in 2015.
Striker: Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Anthony Martial made shockwaves on his Manchester United debut, scoring with his first shot for his new club against rivals Liverpool in last Sunday’s 3-1. One week later and he was at it again.
United came out victorious against Southampton at St.Mary’s with a 3-2 score line as Martial netted twice for the visitors.
His first came 11 minutes before the break with a close range finish after a clever turn and he completed the turnaround (United went 1-0 down) when he capitalised on a poor Maya Yoshida back pass and slotted the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg.
Striker: Graziano Pelle (Southampton)
Martial stole Graziano Pelle’s thunder a bit on Sunday afternoon, but the Italian did his best to give Southampton a fighting chance.
Pelle scored two goals himself – a well-timed rebound when David de Gea saved an initial shot from Sadio Mane and a late header got Southampton back to within one goal at 3-2 and kept injury time interesting.
Southampton have only won once this season as they have so far failed to build on last season’s heroics, but considering it’s only been six games into the season, the Saints will go marching on.
Read more from Benjamin Wills here.
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