Gameweek four has come and gone and the Premier League landscape is now beginning to take shape as we enter the first international break.
The weekend kicked off with a meeting on the South Coast as Manchester United dropped points against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s 10-man Southampton, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only able to engineer a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.
As for the 3pm kick-offs on Saturday, Chelsea were made to pay for a last-gasp Kurt Zouma own goal as Sheffield United battled valiantly to snatch a 2-2 draw in west London, while across the M25 West Ham ruthlessly dispatched Norwich City by two goals to nil and Crystal Palace edged Aston Villa 1-0.
Further north of the border Leicester City continued their unbeaten start to the campaign with a confident 3-1 triumph over Bournemouth, whilst champions Man City ran riot against Brighton in a 4-0 victory and Newcastle shared the spoils in a 1-1 stalemate against Watford.
Elsewhere, Liverpool ran amok at Turf Moor, breezing past Burnley 3-0, while Sunday whipped up a feast; first with Everton coming out on top in a five-goal thriller against Wolves, wining 3-2, while Arsenal came from two down to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in another north London Derby for the ages.
Across the board there were some simply sensational individual performances, but also some rather forgetful ones. So, which players have made our Premier League best and worst XIs for Gameweek four?
Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn (Southampton)
Southampton goalkeeper Gunn made our TOTW for gameweek three and he’s once again come out on top, demonstrating his innate dexterity and elite-level reflexes to keep the Red Devils to just one goal, which was an unstoppable strike from Daniel James in fairness to the 23-year-old shot-stopper.
Key stat: No goalkeeper made more saves than Gunn in the Premier League this weekend (7).
Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd)
While there are still one or two questions marks over Wan-Bissaka’s ability to influence the game further up the turf, analysing his performance at the weekend from a strictly defensive standpoint, the 21-year-old is currently tearing up the modern full-back blueprint of just rampaging up the byline and making the art of defending en vogue once again.
Key stat: No player made more tackles (10) – making him the first player to do so this season in a single match – or won more duels (17) than Wan-Bissaka in the Premier League this weekend.
Centre-back: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)
If you’re wondering why Leicester City have started the season so brightly, then look no further than the man promoted to the first team reckoning following Harry Maguire’s departure. The tenacious Turk has thus far proven the perfect tonic in remedying Maguire’s ball-playing void as he once again exhibited his silky yet dogged skills against Bournemouth, with no player making more accurate passes (68) or successful tackles (4) than him at the King Power; the perfect defensive blend.
Key stat: No player registered more touches than Soyuncu in the Premier League match between Leicester and Bournemouth (97).
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Another commanding performance from Liverpool’s insatiable bulwark who meanly locked up the backline to give Jurgen Klopp’s side a first clean sheet of the season, while his aerial prowess stifled Burnley’s towering presence on the field.
Key stat: No player won more aerial duels than Van Dijk in the Premier League this weekend (12).
Left back: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham)
With competition from Aaron Cresswell, Masuaku may have just solidified his position in Manuel Pellegrini’s XI with this performance alone, as he provided the left flank plenty of veal and vest, combining exceptionally well with Felipe Anderson to bully Max Aarons, while his run and cross for Sebastien Haller’s opener was everything you want from a full-back – not to mention keeping a first clean sheet of the season.
Key stat: Masuaku created the second-most chances of any Premier League defender at the weekend (2), and was not dribbled past by an opponent.
Central midfielder: David Silva (Man City)
It was another exemplary performance from Man City’s diminutive skipper, who not only provided two assists but bossed the midfield and continuously looked to instigate attacking moves whenever in possession against Brighton; his first assist was a world-class run, dismissive brush past Davy Propper and composed pass to locate Kevin de Bruyne, while his second was an instinctive first-time lay-off to Sergio Aguero who proceeded to do what Sergio Aguero does best.
Key stat: Silva made the second-most passes ending in the final third of any player in the Premier League this weekend (30).
Central midfielder: Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal)
Mattéo Guendouzi's north London derby by numbers:
30 final-third passes
3 tackles made
2 fouls won
And he was the youngest player on the pitch. 💪 pic.twitter.com/EPkJTZ5h6H
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 1, 2019
From the minute he stepped foot on the Emirates turf on Sunday, Guendouzi looked in the mood for an intense north London scrap, not only showing the requisite passion needed for a derby this frantic, but also illustrating a desire on the pitch with his midfield exploits helping the Gunners dominate the middle of the park – a real coming of age performance from the young Frenchman.
Key stat: Alongside Silva, Guendouzi made the second-most passes ending in the final third of any player in the Premier League this weekend (30).
Central midfielder: Fabian Delph (Everton)
With Idrissa Gueye out of the equation, Jean-Philippe Gbamin injured and Morgan Schneiderlin proving far too inconsistent, Marco Silva turned to summer recruit Delph at the weekend, and the ex-Man City utility man more than vindicated his starting berth. Richarlison may have been the reliable source of goals, but the Everton newcomer was the fulcrum, running the show at Goodison Park.
Key stat: Delph made more passes (62), tackles (4) and interceptions (30) than any player in the Premier League game between Everton and Wolves.
Attacking midfielder: Felipe Anderson (West Ham)
📂 Felipe Anderson nutmegs
└📁 Premier League
└📁 Norwich City (H)
└📁 Todd Cantwell
📁 Ben Godfrey pic.twitter.com/9AOjKz5mnT
— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 1, 2019
Not since Dimitri Payet have West Ham fans had the pleasure of watching an individual performance so jaw-dropping as Anderson’s at the weekend, with the versatile attacker continuously pirouetting, nutmegging and dancing through a rather bemused and seemingly spellbound Norwich side.
Key stat: No player completed more successful dribbles than Anderson in the Premier League over the weekend (7)
Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
It was pretty much the Jamie Vardy show against Eddie Howe’s Cherries, as the lethal marksman bagged a brace and an assist to gift the Foxes three points while simultaneously launching them into third in the Premier League. He’ll be 33 this campaign, but the way he performed on the weekend – and continues to performance – you’d think he’s 23.
Key stat: Vardy was directly involved in more goals than any Premier League player this weekend (3).
Striker: Sergio Aguero (Man City)
Only three players have ever scored six Premier League goals in a single August:
• Chris Sutton (1997)
• Edin Džeko (2011)
• Sergio Aguero (2019)
There's still time for more players to join the party… pic.twitter.com/cV8WgD2qPu
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 31, 2019
Roberto Firmino and Tammy Abraham both deserve a special mention here, but Aguero was simply on another level at the weekend, as he netted two outrageous goals and provided an assist to bruise Brighton. His first was a deft touch, jink and bullet into the roof of the net, while the second was a delectable curling effort from just outside the box. He completed his showing with a lovely weighted pass to tee up Bernardo Silva for the fourth.
Key stat: Alongside Vardy, Aguero was directly involved in more goals than any Premier League player this weekend (3).
Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)
Manager Chris Wilder pretty much summed up Henderson’s first half performance against Chelsea: “I smashed him at half-time because he should have done better, his kicking was all over the place and he needed to raise his standards.” Granted the Man Utd loanee upped the ante after the restart, but it was a nightmare opening 45, in which Abraham capitalised on his early fumble, before the English striker netted a second just before the interval, which Henderson really should have done better for as well.
Key stat: Henderson lost possession the third-most times of any goalkeeper in the Premier League at the weekend (17).
Right-back: Davinson Sanchez (Spurs)
Thrusted into an unnatural position by Mauricio Pochettino and it became evident straight away just how out of sorts he really was on the byline, with the Gunners enjoying their most productive spells when running at the Colombian.
Key stat: Sanchez was dispossessed more times than any Spurs player in the Premier League at the weekend (3).
Centre-back: Conor Coady (Wolves)
A performance to forget from the typically resilient and consistent Wolves defender, who gifted the Toffees a goal with just five minutes on the clock when his overhit back-pass caused goalkeeper Rui Patricio to miskick straight into the path Richarlison.
Key stat: No Wolves player was dribbled past by an opponent more times than Coady at the weekend (2).
Centre-back: Willy Boly (Wolves)
Another Wolves defender who was guilty of sloppiness at Goodison Park as his static stance allowed Richarlison to out-leap him for Everton’s winner, while a last minute red card didn’t exactly redeem himself as referee Anthony Taylor sent him marching.
Key stat: No player committed more fouls than Boly in the Premier League match between Everton and Wolves (4).
Centre-back: Ben Mee (Burnley)
When facing a team as clinical, devastating and outright near-unstoppable as Liverpool, the last thing any side needs is a chance gift wrapped to the Merseysiders, but that’s exactly what Mee did as his miscued pass fell straight into Firmino’s path and well, from there the Reds showed exactly why they are so lethal on the break.
Key stat: Mee won just one aerial duel at the weekend, compared to Van Dijk’s 12, James Tarkowski’s nine and even Joel Matip’s three.
Left-back: Kevin Danso (Southampton)
He may have provided the assist for Jannik Vestergaard’s equaliser, but to then get sent off at such a crucial stage of the match against a team of Man Utd’s calibre is criminal, and had it been the Red Devils of yesteryear, the Saints would have been punished.
Key stat: No player committed more fouls than Danso in the match between Manchester United and Southampton (3).
Central midfielder: Andreas Pereira (Man Utd)
If the Brazil international is trying to do his best to convince Solskjaer that he should be starting in his midfield then he is doing an absolutely woeful job, as this anonymous performance at the weekend made it seems as though the Red Devils were a man down for the majority of the match.
Key stat: Pereira was the only outfield Man Utd starter not to create a single chance at the weekend, while he also registered the least number of touches (34) and was dribbled past (2) and dispossessed (3) the most times.
Central midfielder: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Granit Xhaka committed seven fouls against Tottenham, the most by a player in a Premier League game this season.
One of those seven was particularly costly. 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/6dFZw1PPbz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 1, 2019
A quite ludicrous performance from a player who simply never learns from his mistakes, as his crunching lunge on Son Heung-min gave Spurs the chance to double their advantage, which they did, while his persistent fouling would have seen him sent off had referee Martin Atkinson A) booked him for the penalty – which he somehow avoided – and B) stamped his authority on the match early on.
Key stat: No player conceded more fouls in the entire Premier League weekend than Xhaka (7).
Attacking midfielder: Trezeguet (Aston Villa)
Had Atkinson been officiating at Selhurst Park, Trezeguet would have seen the game through unblemished, unfortunately for the summer signing, he had a referee not afraid to brandish amber whenever an untimely challenge disrupted the flow of play. His reckless red card ultimately cost his side as the Eagles went on to win, albeit rather fortuitously as Kevin Friend somehow ruled out Villa’s equaliser.
Key stat: Trezeguet failed to create a single chance prior to being sent off in the Premier League at the weekend.
Striker: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
An exceptionally subdued performance from the England international, who struggled to get into the game and really leave a mark on the South Coast. Having been handed the No 9 berth this season, he will have to really step up if he is to follow in the footsteps of Man Utd strikers of old.
Key stat: Rashford registered the worst pass percentage of any Manchester United player at the weekend (64 per cent).
Striker: Wesley Moraes (Aston Villa)
In a match where Aston Villa really needed to ruffle up a few feathers and assert an iron grip further up the turf, they proved rather lightweight in the final third, as Roy Hodgson’s side defended valiantly, with Wesley in particular making Gary Cahill look a player still in his pomp.
Key stat: Wesley made just 13 accurate passes for Aston Villa at the weekend.