Two Liverpool forwards and two of West Ham’s summer recruits make this week’s Team.
Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)
Fabianski can hold his head high despite conceding a late equaliser at Leicester. West Ham’s number one made a string of saves to keep the Foxes at bay on Saturday, but was left helpless as Wilfred Ndidi’s shot took a deflection and found the top corner. He has now made 42 saves this season – only Joe Hart (44) and Mat Ryan (43) have recorded more.
Brighton have become the masters of the 1-0 win of late with three consecutive victories by that scoreline. Veteran defender Bruno picked up an assist when he fired the ball toward Glenn Murray, who converted for the game’s only goal. The 38-year-old has played in four league games this season – the Seagulls have kept a clean sheet in three of those.
Fabian Balbuena (West Ham)
Poor Balbuena’s enthusiasm for defending cost his team eventually when the ball ricocheted off his body to finally give Leicester an equaliser. The Paraguayan centre back had given the Irons the lead in the first half and made 15 clearances as the defence held firm. Eventually it wasn’t to be.
Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth kept a clean sheet for the third game in a row as they swept aside Fulham at Craven Cottage. A former Chelsea player, Ake excelled at the back with eight clearances, while nobody on the park completed more passes (66, with 92% accuracy). A key figure for the Cherries.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Chelsea have kept five clean sheets in ten league games this season, and the ever-present Alonso has been a key part of that. Most of the Blues’ good work against Burnley came down the left flank, where Eden Hazard wasn’t missed as Maurizio Sarri’s men ran riot. Alonso managed 100 touches in the game, his highest tally for a match since August.
David Brooks (Bournemouth)
Eddie Howe seems to have a real talent on his hands in young Brooks, who scored his third goal in four matches to give Bournemouth breathing space at Fulham. The Wales midfielder looks to be one of the signings of the summer and, should he continue in this vein, he’ll be at a bigger club before too long.
Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Fernandinho produced a typically robust performance against Tottenham with five tackles and four interceptions. The Brazilian has become renowned to recovering possession in his five years in the Premier League, but he also pushed City forward here, with only Kyle Walker completing more dribbles. Not bad for the oldest player on the field!
Ross Barkley (Chelsea)
After a tough first few months at Stamford Bridge, Barkley is back to his best and was the Blues’ key player in their win at Burnley. His perfectly weighted pass put through Alvaro Morata to open the scoring, before he doubled the lead with a left-footed drive. He then registered another assist for Willian to wrap up a fine day’s work.
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Not content with scoring the game’s opening goal, Salah stamped his mark on Liverpool’s victory over Cardiff with two late assists. He now has five goals and three assists in the Reds’ first ten games, the exact same contribution as he managed by this stage last season!
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
A brace from Wilson means that he has now been directly involved in ten goals this campaign, the same number as he managed in the entirety of the 2017/18 season. No player can boast a better level of influence, with Eden Hazard on seven goals and three assists.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
It’s taken some time, but Mane is back among the goals. The Senegal forward was at the double against Cardiff, and could have broken the netting when his shot fizzed past Bluebirds keeper Neil Etheridge for his first goal. Make no mistake, Liverpool are back to their best.