Andre Onana (Manchester United)
Andre Onana, who has faced criticism since joining Manchester United, showcased his best form in the match against Everton. The Cameroonian goalkeeper made numerous outstanding saves, securing a well-deserved clean sheet for United in what can be considered their most comfortable victory of a somewhat inconsistent season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool stands out as one of the most precise ball strikers in the Premier League, second only to Kevin de Bruyne. In terms of clean, accurate shots, Alexander-Arnold’s prowess is unrivaled, even surpassing the likes of Erling Haaland. The Liverpool defender harkens back to an era when players like Chris Lawler and Alec Lindsey not only relished venturing into the attacking third to score but also possessed a striking finesse reminiscent of his own.
Despite a commendable showing by Liverpool against Manchester City, Darwin Nunez attempted to disrupt it. Nunez, however, might benefit more from focusing on improving his goal-scoring record rather than engaging in conflicts and expressing frustrations with the opposing manager when substituted.
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)
Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle delivered an outstanding performance, scoring one of the four goals that led to Chelsea’s surprising defeat. The match was marked by Reece James receiving two avoidable bookings, resulting in his dismissal, and Thiago Silva appearing somewhat distracted. Lascelles, who patiently waited for his return to the Newcastle side, has now become a key contributor.
In the game against Bournemouth just before the international break, some Newcastle fans expressed concerns about the team’s commitment amidst a series of injuries. The recent victory surely raises questions about the team’s resilience and dedication, leaving fans to ponder how their sentiments may have shifted this week.
Nathan Ake (Man City)
Nathan Ake, now with Manchester City, caught the attention when he played for Chelsea as an 18-year-old talent. Back then, he showed promise but needed substantial improvement to become a top-tier defender, potentially representing his country or playing for one of Europe’s elite teams. Chelsea’s decision to let him go likely reflected these considerations.
Ake’s current achievements, including being a part of the best team in Europe, demonstrate the remarkable effort he has put into his development. His recent play, notably his skillful maneuver to bypass two opponents and provide a perfect assist for Erling Haaland’s goal against Liverpool, exemplifies his brilliance on the field. It also highlights the effectiveness of Manchester City’s recruitment strategy, discovering a valuable player without a hefty price tag.
Declan Rice (Arsenal)
Declan Rice of Arsenal played a pivotal role in their recent victory against Brentford. Despite Mikel Arteta emphasizing the clean sheet and the professionalism displayed by his team, the win seemed somewhat fortuitous for Arsenal. Rice’s brilliant observation of Aaron Ramsdale’s difficulty, his quick positioning behind the goalkeeper, and the subsequent perfect clearance off the line displayed pure genius.
Comparable in influence to Martin Odegaard’s impact on the Gunners last season, Rice’s contributions are becoming increasingly vital. With this win, Arsenal now sits atop the league table, facing a favorable run of games before challenging fixtures against Villa, Liverpool, and Brighton. While these upcoming matches won’t be easy, maintaining their position at the top until the new year could open up numerous possibilities for Arsenal.
Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace suffered an unexpected defeat against Luton, and the early losses of Cheick Doucoure and Eberechi Eze likely played a role. Despite the setback, Michael Olise emerged as a standout player, poised to become as integral to Crystal Palace as Wilfried Zaha once was, hopefully without the accompanying attitude.
His sensational 74th-minute equalizer showcased his potential importance, although it fell short of securing the Eagles a point. Roy Hodgson’s post-match interview stood out for its conciseness, dignity, and measured tone, making him a managerial doyen. Despite his pointed critique of officials, Hodgson skillfully navigated the rules. It might be time to consider knighting him for his significant contributions to the game.
Mohammed Kudus (West Ham)
David Moyes likely faced frustration learning that key players Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen returned from international duty with injuries. However, the return of Mohammed Kudus, who had been away playing for Ghana in a World Cup qualifier against Comoros, provided a silver lining.
Despite Ghana’s loss in that match, Kudus showcased outstanding form upon his return to West Ham against Burnley. In a standout performance, Kudus contributed two moments of magic that led to goals for the Hammers. Meanwhile, Burnley finds themselves at the bottom of the table, with confidence seemingly diminishing with each defeat.
Anthony Gordon (Newcastle)
Anthony Gordon continues to flourish at Newcastle under Eddie Howe’s guidance. His delivery for Jamaal Lascelles to score with a header was exceptional, and his finish to extend Newcastle’s lead to 4-1 demonstrated brilliant skill. The former Everton player appears seamlessly integrated into the Geordie squad, adapting to his new environment effortlessly.
Despite Gordon’s positive impact, Newcastle faces an arduous upcoming schedule. They are set to play against Paris St-Germain on Tuesday, followed by a home fixture against Manchester United on Saturday. Subsequently, they’ll be on the road to face Everton and Tottenham, host Milan, and confront Chelsea again in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. The challenging lineup underscores the demands that come with aspiring to be a top-tier club.
Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United)
Witnessing Alejandro Garnacho’s overhead bicycle kick for Manchester United against Everton was almost unbelievable. The sheer brilliance in the timing and execution of the technique was truly remarkable, standing out as one of the best goals seen so far. The goal, undoubtedly a contender for goal of the season, had an immediate impact, settling Manchester United down and providing them with a comfortable first half.
The fact that Garnacho may not have been heavily involved in other aspects of the match highlights the singular brilliance of that particular goal. In football, it’s the goals that matter, and this one was an absolute belter.
Joao Pedro (Brighton)
The clash between Brighton and Nottingham Forest turned out to be an exciting game, and the Seagulls had every reason to celebrate their away win with the fans. Joao Pedro, who came on for Ansu Fati after just 21 minutes, played a pivotal role in turning the tide for Brighton. The Brazilian’s impressive header and calmly converted penalty secured crucial points for the visitors.
Despite the triumph, there was a moment of contention as Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi forgot to offer a handshake to Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper after the game, possibly caught up in the euphoria. While likely unintentional, extending an apology to Mr. Cooper on Monday morning would be a considerate gesture.
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland’s prowess as a top-class striker was on full display, as he capitalized on the opportunity provided by Liverpool’s defensive lapses in the box. With three touches in the penalty area, Haaland made no mistake, finding the back of the net and serving as a reminder to defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip about the consequences of allowing a striker of his caliber space and time.
Haaland’s goal celebrations mirror his evident determination to score, showcasing the Norwegian’s hunger for finding the back of the net. Notably, he achieved the milestone of scoring 50 goals in the Premier League at a record pace, faster than any other striker in the competition’s history.