Premier League Team of the Week: September 22-23

Two Liverpool defenders and two Manchester City midfielders feature in our Team of the Week.

Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s veteran keeper has received criticism for his recent form, with many commenting on his struggles with passing the ball. However, it was his shot stopping that mattered against Everton as early blocks on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Theo Walcott kept the Gunners level. With Bernd Leno waiting in the wings, Cech still has plenty to offer.

Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham)

West Ham avoided defeat for a second game in succession as they kept out Chelsea at the London Stadium. Zabaleta was tasked with shackling Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard, and left the pitch at full time having made two tackles, three interceptions and eight clearances. It’s tough to ask for much more from a 33-year-old defender.

Joel Matip (Liverpool)

Matip marked his first start of the season with a goal as his powerful header doubled Liverpool’s lead against Southampton. That effort was one of six aerial duels he won during the game (a match high), while his three interceptions ensured that Liverpool kept another clean sheet.

James Tarkowski (Burnley)

Tarkowski made seven clearances and three interceptions as Burnley’s defence earned its second clean sheet of the season. No player in the Premier League has blocked more shots this season than the England centre back (14).

Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

Another dominant display from the Scotland defender. Only Matip had more touches of the ball (122 to 118), while he completed 81 passes throughout the match. He also fulfilled his defensive responsibilities with two interceptions and one tackle. He’s fast becoming a fearsome opponent.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool)

The superb form of Liverpool’s front three meant that Shaqiri’s first start for the Reds was in an unfamiliar midfield role, but that didn’t limit his influence against Southampton. He created the opener when his cross was diverted goalward by Wesley Hoedt, before his free kick bounced off the crossbar to leave Mo Salah with a simple finish for Liverpool’s third. Not a bad input in just 45 minutes.

Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

Gundogan had already given Cardiff a warning with a powerful strike and he didn’t have to wait much longer to find the net as he scored his side’s third with a precise finish. He then teed up Riyad Mahrez with an accurate cross from the wing, his second assist of the season.

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

By half time in Manchester City’s match against Cardiff the Portuguese midfielder had already registered a goal and an assist, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Besides the visitor’s defenders, no player had more touches or played more accurate passes than Silva. He could be an early contender for Player of the Season.

Aaron Lennon (Burnley)

Burnley have their first league win of the season as they put four past Bournemouth at Turf Moor. Lennon scored the Clarets’ second with a composed volley, while his energetic display earned him an assist as he sent Ashley Barnes clear to score late on. His goal was his first in the league since March 2016.

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Mahrez netted his first goals for new club Manchester City to put the gloss on a comfortable win. Africa’s most expensive player had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he swept home Gundogan’s inviting cross, before he curled the ball past Neil Etheridge in the dying minutes to double his tally. The competition for places at City just got a bit tougher…

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

Had it not been for Watford’s wasteful nature in the first half, Fulham would have certainly lost on Saturday. However, instead they took a point at Craven Cottage and they have Mitrovic to thank. The Serbian scored his fifth goal of the season to level the scores and nearly snatched a late winner when his header met the crossbar. What a signing!