Garth Crooks selects his best XI of the week, featuring a Manchester United player, two Chelsea players and a Liverpool player.
Chelsea extended their Premier League undefeated streak to five games with a 3-0 victory against Tottenham.
Brentford won their first away game 2-0 against Wolves, while Arsenal won their first away game 1-0 against Burnley.
Aston Villa interrupted Everton’s undefeated run with a 3-0 victory over the Toffees, Brighton kept up their excellent start to the season with a 2-1 win over Leicester, and Watford beat Norwich 3-1 to win the battle of the promoted teams.
Check out my team of the week before making your own choices at the bottom of the page.
David de Gea is the goalkeeper (Manchester United)
Well, until David de Gea made the penalty save that won Manchester United the game, it was Watford’s Ben Foster who made my pick.
It’s hard to believe David Moyes lets replacement Mark Noble on the field and the first thing he’s instructed to do is take a penalty. It’s tough enough to take penalties without adding to the strain and turning the ball over to the goalie.
De Gea put his left hand to the ball just as it seemed the keeper’s upper body had past the ball, making the save all the more remarkable. Players are often chastised for making errors. Managers may be much too smart for their own benefit at times.
What if I told you that De Gea has saved his first penalty for Manchester United in the Premier League since October 2014 (v Everton), and this is his 22nd penalty save overall.
Aston Villa’s Matty Cash, Brentford’s Kristoffer Ajer, Arsenal’s Gabriel, and Thiago Silva’s Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
If you’re going to score your first goal for your club, do it in front of your home fans, make it memorable, and be on the winning side. Matty Cash was able to accomplish all three.
This kid is a good defender, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen him drive into the opposition’s penalty area with goals in mind. This is a right-back who finished with his left foot wonderfully. Villa put up a fantastic performance, and it came at the perfect moment. Until now, they’ve been very average.
What if I told you that In his 33rd Premier League appearance, Cash scored his first Premier League goal for Aston Villa. The full-back had three shots in the game, more than any other player.
Kristoffer Ajer: Kristoffer Ajer’s tackle on Hwang Hee-chan was incredible. Brentford’s clean sheet was not only preserved, but three important points were also gained. The Bees were down to ten men at the moment and were on the verge of collapsing if Ajer hadn’t made the vital intervention.
Wolves, on the other hand, seem to have lost their way since Nuno Espirito Santos’ departure. Will they make it? That’s an other issue altogether. They aren’t the same squad they were two years ago. There was only one winner in this game after 65 minutes, and it wasn’t Wolves.
What if I told you that Ajer had the most clearances (six) and interceptions (three) against Wolves of any Brentford player.
Gabriel: Arsenal really needs Gabriel in their lineup. The embrace between Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel at the conclusion of the game demonstrated how important a second clean sheet in a row was to Arsenal’s defensive unit. Ben White also contributed to a successful set-up against Burnley.
The issue with the Gunners is that they seem to be miles away from where they should be right now, and the manager appears to be the main reason. Mikel Arteta seems to be in over his head. He has quality players at his disposal, as he demonstrated against Burnley on many occasions. It was, though, a set-piece that got him out of a bind.
What if I told you that Gabriel made more clearances (10) and tackles (three) than any other Arsenal player against Burnley.
Thiago Silva: I was half expecting Spurs to make Thiago Silva vulnerable. He is, after all, 36 years old. Silva, on the other hand, had exposed Spurs after 49 minutes. The Brazilian defender is known for attacking set-pieces in the opponent’s box, but Tottenham couldn’t have seen the Chelsea video!
Anyone who has seen Chelsea play knows that on set plays, there are a few threats in the box, and Silva is one of them. In the end, it was boys against men. This Chelsea team has the ability to do anything this season.
What if I told you that Thiago Silva became the second-oldest Chelsea player to score in the Premier League at the age of 36 years and 362 days, behind only Didier Drogba, who scored against Leicester City at the age of 37 years and 49 days in April 2015.
James Milner (Liverpool), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), and Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) (Manchester United)
James Milner: I recall thinking he was a grafter when he was playing for Newcastle United. By the time he arrived at Aston Villa, he had established himself as a driving force, but what he accomplished at Manchester City astounded me.
James Milner, on the other hand, was a behemoth as a Liverpool player. Not only was he crucial in Jurgen Klopp’s successful transfer to Liverpool Football Club as captain, but Klopp is also rewarding him for his devotion and loyalty to him and the club by keeping him on when they didn’t have to. We all witnessed why against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
What if I told you that Milner had more tackles (four) and interceptions (three) against Crystal Palace than any other Liverpool player.
Mateo Kovacic has been a standout performer for Chelsea this season. Getting on with things quietly and letting the show’s stars to take the spotlight. Make no mistake: Mateo Kovacic is the driving force behind Chelsea’s current success.
How deep does Harry Kane want to play for Spurs? The striker was ineffective at times throughout this encounter because he was too deep. There is no escaping the fact that playing up front, particularly against the best teams, is frequently physically demanding and unpleasant. It’s for one of two reasons why attackers move deep for the ball. Either they don’t want to play up front because it’s too tough, or they aren’t receiving enough of the ball. I’m hoping for the latter.
What if I told you that Against Spurs, Kovacic completed 88 percent of his passes and made more tackles than any other Chelsea player (six).
Jesse Lingard: Can anybody explain me why he’s still at Manchester United? A player with the potential to score goals and have an impact on the game should not be coming in as a replacement, filling in as needed, or playing second fiddle to anybody.
At London Stadium, a bitter irony occurred when the former loanee scored the winning goal for Manchester United against the team that had helped him resurrect his career after United had put him on the scrap heap previous season. I’m sure the answer to my previous question is that United are more likely to win trophies, but winning trophies on the bench is no joy.
What if I told you that Lingard became the 47th player in Premier League history to score for and against West Ham. West Ham has had more players score for and against them than any other team in the tournament, excluding own goals.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Ivan Toney (Brentford), and Ismaila Sarr (Brentford) (Watford)
Sadio Mane: Crystal Palace must be sick of seeing Sadio Mane on the pitch. He not only scored his 100th Liverpool goal on Saturday, but he has now scored against the south Londoners in nine consecutive appearances. The Senegalese hitman’s most recent blow was a signature finish. Vicente Guaita parried a Mohamed Salah header, but Mane was there to seize the rebound like the rapier he is in such situations.
Mane hasn’t been at his best for Liverpool this season, but he keeps trying to score goals. It takes a lot of effort to score 100 goals for a team. It’s extra amazing to accomplish it for Liverpool.
What if I told you that Mane became the 18th different player in Liverpool history to reach 100 goals in all competitions, with the Senegalese scoring more against Crystal Palace than any other team (10).
Ivan Toney: This was a great away victory for Brentford, and well earned on this showing. Wolves were fortunate not to have conceded a penalty early in the game. Brentford earned the penalty for the manner Fernando Marcal (who had been cautioned) mistreated Ivan Toney. Marcal would have been arrested if the incident had occurred on a public roadway.
For the Bees, Toney is proving to be the genuine thing. He seems calm under pressure and collected in front of the net. I’m becoming fond of him.
What if I told you that Toney has converted 15 of his 16 penalty kicks in English league football, including all ten for his current team Brentford (excluding play-offs).
Ismaila Sarr: His movement and anticipation on both goals were incredible. Ismaila Sarr, who is 23 years old, has a similar game to Senegal teammate Sadio Mane. Sarr’s performance came against a Norwich team that, even after their first game of the season against Liverpool, I said would be doomed, and who have showed no signs of improving.
Norwich have lost their first five games under Daniel Farke, as well as a further ten in the Premier League. What makes Farke so unique is that no one has ever lost 15 Premier League games under the same management. He was demoted but brought them back, and now he has 0 points on the board but still works? Is it because he isn’t the one in charge?
What if I told you that Sarr has scored 21 league goals for Watford since his debut in August 2019, more than any other player in the club’s history.
Choose your XI from our list and tell your friends about it.
Choose a formation. Team members should be confirmed.
The crooks in charge of the situation
The game between Spurs and Chelsea was a fitting homage to one of the finest strikers our country has ever produced. Jimmy Greaves’ death was felt throughout the city, if not the globe, as football fans mourned the game’s loss of a goalscoring genius. Greaves played for both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, but it was during his time at Tottenham that he scored the most goals, and every striker who has gone there afterwards has followed in his footsteps.
In 1983, I met him at Villa Park. I had gone to watch a star-studded Juventus squad play the European Champions, and I was seated close to the legendary guy. We spent the whole of the game praising Paolo Rossi, who was on fire that night. Perhaps since we had both donned the renowned Lilywhite jersey of the north London club, there was also a weird but instant mutual connection.
What struck me about him was his ordinariness, which I found fascinating since his finishing was everything from ordinary. I found him to be engaging, kind, and courteous, but most importantly, incredibly humorous. So much so that I purchased his book, This One’s On Me. I couldn’t put it down because it was so entertaining.
Many people remember Greaves for being left out of the 1966 World Cup final by Sir Alf Ramsey due to an injury he had earlier in the competition. While Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick in the World Cup final has immortalized him, only Jimmy Greaves will ever be named to England’s all-time best squad chosen by the public.