Bryan Gunn’s Team of the Week: Manchester City impressive in derby win, Liverpool tear apart the champions, Chelsea rescue a point

Former Norwich goalkeeper Bryan Gunn picks his best XI from another thrilling weekend of Premier League action.

GK – Steve MANDANDA (Crystal Palace)

Marseille’s Steve Mandanda went under the radar as a shrewd signing towards the back end of the window but he showed his quality as Crystal Palace recorded a rare away win against Middlesbrough.

Whilst he could only get a hand to Ayala’s powerful header, he commanded his area well and made several key saves to ensure Palace walked away with a big win.

RB – Kyle WALKER (Tottenham Hotspur)

With Kyle Walker on the verge of a bumper new deal at Tottenham, it was a good time to put in a solid performance at Stoke on Saturday afternoon.

Part of a defence that kept out Stoke with ease, Walker as ever got forward when he could, putting several dangerous crosses into the Stoke box and helping influence his side’s second commanding win at the ground in six months.

CB – Joel MATIP (Liverpool)

The former Schalke man looked every bit the Jurgen Klopp defender as he made his Anfield bow against Leicester City on Saturday.

If it hadn’t been for a moment of madness from centre-back partner Lucas, he would probably have walked away with the clean sheet his commanding performance deserved.

Whilst not every pass out from the back found its target, Matip’s style of play and his confidence on the ball is sure to see him become a favourite in Klopp’s line-up as the season progresses.

CB – Nicolas OTAMENDI (Manchester City)

After an inconsistent first season in Manchester, Otamendi put in one of his best performances at the home of the team who were apparently very keen on him last summer.

Commanding his box in the continued absence of captain Vincent Kompany, the Argentinean was one of City’s key men as Manchester United launched long ball after long ball in the hope of finding a late equaliser in the derby. But alongside John Stones, Otamendi stood tall and City walked away with the spoils.

LB – Aleksandar KOLAROV (Manchester City)

Brought back in as Pep Guardiola tinkered with his full-backs at Old Trafford, Kolarov struggled in City’s final season under Manuel Pellegrini and had even been used in the centre under Guardiola this season.

He comfortably dealt with an off the pace Mkhitaryan in the first half and his long pass up field led to City’s opening goal of the game. Kolarov also stemmed most of United’s attacks down the right and stopped Antonio Valencia from getting into dangerous positions as he has done at other times this season.

CM – Michail ANTONIO (West Ham United)

The newly called up England midfielder has been reborn since Slaven Bilic returned him to his favoured attacking role after a difficult start to the season at right-back against Chelsea.

Antonio got West Ham’s first ever league goal at the London Stadium and added another two headers to his tally on Saturday afternoon. Despite the negative result, Antonio has made himself a key part of West Ham’s side and should be looked upon as a bargain purchase last season given some of the fees being thrown around lately.

CM – Heung-Min SON (Tottenham Hotspur)

A player who came to the Premier League last season with a lot of promise but struggled to use that reputation to a positive effect on the pitch as Tottenham’s remarkable rise meant Son couldn’t secure himself a regular spot in the team.

Called upon against Stoke, the South Korean international didn’t let his boss or his fans down, netting two classy goals against a hapless home team. His first a neat first time finish before a superbly taken goal doubled Tottenham’s lead and set them well on the way to three points.

CM – Kevin DE BRUYNE (Manchester City)

Embed from Getty Images

Perhaps the performance of the weekend came from Kevin De Bruyne at Old Trafford against the manager who let him go from Chelsea several seasons ago.

Already a classy operator last year, De Bruyne has seemingly gone up yet another level under Pep Guardiola. He was the key man behind City’s derby victory, scoring the first with a cool finish past David De Gea before inadvertently setting up the second when his curling effort hit the post and rebounded to Kelechi Iheanacho.

He could have had a second for himself towards the end, only to see his effort somehow hit the post before rolling across the goal line and out.

FW – Sadio MANE (Liverpool)

Not the first time Liverpool’s new signing has made our Team of the Week this season and likely not the last if his current form is anything to go by.

Mane has slotted perfectly into Liverpool’s quick attacking philosophy and was once again influential, both scoring and assisting, as Jurgen Klopp’s men tore into the Premier League champions on Saturday evening.

If he carries on his early season form, he’ll be one of the buys of the season.

FW – Diego COSTA (Chelsea)

After an on-off season as Chelsea struggled last year, Diego Costa has returned to form with a bang in every sense of the word.

Another two goals on Sunday at Swansea ensured Chelsea took home a hard-fought point and remained unbeaten, albeit at one stage they were 1-0 up and looking comfortable in Wales.

Costa’s assured finish and bicycle kick once again went hand in hand with a performance where he could have seen red yet again for going down easily when Lukasz Fabianski rushed out of his box in the second half.

FW – Troy DEENEY (Watford)

Watford captain Troy Deeney said West Ham’s showboating was a key aspect in his team’s comeback at the London Stadium but in reality, it was his superbly taken goal that sparked the amazing turnaround.

After Odion Ighalo had brought the Hornets back into the contest, Deeney capitalised on an error by James Collins but still had a lot to do to curl the ball over Collins, goalkeeper Adrian and second centre-back Winston Reid to bring Watford level.

 

Written by Rich Laverty

Follow Rich @RichJLaverty

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