Bryan Gunn breaks down the Team of the Week after matchday 5.
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
A match made in the lonely hearts section of your local paper: Young, inexperienced keeper, seeks defensively woeful team. Likes: Shot stopping and long walks on the beach. Dislikes: A solid and stable back four.
The young Englishman will need to continue the form he showed today if Sunderland are to muster any early season form, although a tough run of fixtures has left us holding back judgement… for now. Pickford looks set to be a busy boy this season!
Right-back: Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
He’s in the team again and it was another impressive performance. Against a Sunderland side not posing much of a threat, the Sheffield man had plenty of opportunities to perfect his trademark forward runs.
Nevertheless, another Spurs clean sheet also reflects well on Walker, in a Tottenham side slowly gaining momentum after a positive last year.
Centre-back: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace)
The Palace defender cannot seem to stop scoring! In a dominant Crystal Palace display, Dann was solid. He and his side were only denied a clean sheet with almost the last kick of the game.
Centre-back: Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City)
The story of our team of the week article this year is ‘makeshift centre-backs.’ First came Livermore and now is the turn of Kolarov – although his performance this weekend at the heart of the City defence was anything but the showing of a traditional centre-half.
Kolarov’s wand of a left foot controlled the game. We could not count a single pass that failed to meet its target. Perhaps Vincent Company will have a tougher task getting back into this City team than we thought.
Left-back: Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)
Another man with a beautiful left foot, usually reserved for long balls over the top to Jamie Vardy. Today, it found a new target.
Alongside his assist, a clean sheet and relatively easy afternoon’s work will please Fuchs, a fan-favourite at the King Power Stadium and across the country, regardless of who you support.
Right midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola described De Bruyne as Manchester City’s Messi and another performance of the highest quality keeps that statement from seeming too absurd. The Belgian was involved in absolutely everything good during City’s 4-0 win over a miserable Bournemouth. A clever free-kick placed underneath the leaping Cherries’ wall was the highlight in a performance full of moments of class.
Centre-midfield: Gareth Barry (Everton)
In his landmark 600th Premier League appearance, Gareth Barry put in an excellent display, in an ever-improving Everton side. His performance was capped off by a well-placed finish in the 24th minute to draw his side level.
The resulting win has moved Everton up to second in the Premier League, proving that the 35-year-old from Hastings is still a valuable asset at the top level of English football.
Left-midfield: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Arguably the player of the season, in by far the most impressive team, Sterling finds his way into our team again and it’s a thoroughly deserved place. The 21-year-old put in another exciting performance at the Etihad, full of trademark pacey runs and an almost psychic connection with Kelechi Iheanacho, leading to two of the four goals.
Striker: Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion)
The 0-0 Tony Pulis West Brom finally discovered how to score goals. Claiming two of the four goals, deadline day signing Nacer Chadli deserves a special mention. A man of the match performance which also included a fantastic assist for Saloman Rondon, Chadli was superb throughout.
Nacer Chadli will need to slow down though, he’s currently at risk of making West Brom watchable.
Striker: Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
Leicester’s record signing has arrived at the King Power Stadium in style. Mahrez’s mate managed two headed goals on his home debut, immediately endearing himself to the Leicester faithful.
After a fruitful time in the Portuguese top flight, many doubted if the Algerian would be able to return to goal-scoring ways in the Premier League. He has silenced the naysayers for now and the front three of Mahrez, Vardy and Slimani look to give Leicester a chance of another successful season.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Two goals and a typically tenacious performance earns Alexis Sanchez a place in our team of the week. Alex Iwobi will be slightly disappointed with Sanchez’s first, but a clever (or lucky) flick got Arsenal off to a solid start.
A second in the 83rd minute sealed the victory. A free-flowing Arsenal side with an in-form Alexis Sanchez will have defences up and down the land checking the fixture list and getting in some extra sprint training.
Written by Jack Everitt
Follow Jack at @jackE93