Here’s my team of the week – have a read and select your own below.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea (Man Utd)
David de Gea: The save from Leicester’s James Maddison with only a few moments gone was superb and the tip over the bar from a Ben Chilwell strike that was dipping viciously under the bar dealt with an effort that had real menace.
De Gea took some ferocious stick towards the end of last season from people who should have known better. The suggestion that the Spain international keeper should have been left out of the Manchester United team line-up was as hysterical as it gets.
Reports that De Gea is close to signing a new contract puts some of those comments in to their proper perspective and it will be the best bit of business United have done for some considerable time.
Did you know? David de Gea has already kept as many Premier League clean sheets at Old Trafford this season (2) as he did in the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign.
Defenders – Serge Aurier (Tottenham), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Serge Aurier: Every time I have seen Aurier play for Tottenham I have been left desperately disappointed and quite often angry. Disappointed because of his lack of performance and angry because of his inability to respect the depth of quality in the Premier League.
This is not France where there are only a couple of decent teams in the league but the toughest and most demanding league in the world. Against Crystal Palace the former Paris St-Germain defender woke up to that fact and finally played like it. And about time.
Did you know? As well as providing an assist, Aurier made more crosses from open play (4) than any other player in Spurs’ win over Crystal Palace.
Fikayo Tomori: What a goal. What’s more he meant it. This performance by this youngster was outstanding and his goal only tells half the story.
Playing in a back three, he was amazing. Tomori’s confidence to take the ball into the danger area and provide the assist for Tammy Abraham suggest this lad is no ordinary defender. This is someone I intend keeping my eye on.
As for Wolves’ Raul Jimenez, it’s hardly surprising their centre-forward looked dead on his feet – he only returned from Mexico City on Thursday morning and expects to bother Chelsea 48 hours later? Wolves can’t handle Europe and international breaks. Ditch Europe.
Did you know? Tomori’s long-range strike against Wolves was only his second English league goal in his professional career, in what was his 81st such appearance (excluding play-offs) for Chelsea, Brighton, Hull and Derby.
Harry Maguire: Some players actually look forward to playing against their former clubs – I don’t know why because I hated it. Maguire not only seemed to enjoy playing against the players he once called his team-mates but hardly gave them a kick.
Why Leicester fans felt the need to boo their former player having given them wonderful service and made them a vast sum of money by agreeing to be sold to Manchester United makes you wonder what was it about the move that actually upset them!
Did you know? Against his former side Leicester, Harry Maguire won six of his 10 duels, four of his six aerial duels, made five clearances and won possession six times to help his side to a clean sheet.
Andrew Robertson: It must have been excruciating for Steve Bruce to watch the player he brought to English football tear his resurgent Newcastle apart.
The Scottish international was outstanding yet again for Liverpool. Robertson was so effective down Liverpool’s left-hand side and almost entirely responsible for Sadio Mane’s brilliant opening goal. My only criticism of Robertson is someone who strikes the ball as cleanly as he does should be having more shots on goal. He has the firepower, now apply the confidence.
Did you know? Robertson has made 17 assists in the Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 season, the most of any defender in this period.
Midfielders – Moussa Djenepo (Southampton), Emiliano Buendia (Norwich), Todd Cantwell (Norwich)
Moussa Djenepo: The goal was just wonderful. If this had been scored by David Ginola, Thierry Henry or Gianfranco Zola we would be showing this goal every week for the next three months.
It was Djenepo who produced a little bit of magic in Southampton’s 2-0 defeat of Brighton recently but this is becoming something of a habit. Have the Saints found another Sadio Mane? I think they might have you know.
Did you know? Against Sheffield United, summer-signing Moussa Djenepo netted his second Premier League goal for Southampton courtesy of just his third shot on target in the competition.
Emiliano Buendia: I have seen Norwich in this mood before when they beat Manchester United some years ago and the Canaries gave United superstars no respect whatsoever on that day either. It was like watching history repeat itself, only this time it was against United’s arch rivals and neighbours.
Manchester City were blitzed by Norwich but this time it wasn’t Anthony Pilkington who stunned the visitors but Emiliano Buendia. The Argentine, a £1.5m signing from Getafe, was magnificent. What a contrast to his fellow countryman, the £28.5m Nicolas Otamendi who had an absolute shocker.
Did you know? In their win over Man City, Buendia won more duels (10), had the joint-most touches (61) and tackles (4), completed the most dribbles (5) and won possession (9) more than any other Norwich player.
Todd Cantwell: Well what do we have here? Another England Under-21 international who looks like a player?
Cantwell wanted to be involved in everything Norwich did and if you’re an attacking midfielder it doesn’t get better than that. There was something about Cantwell’s performance that reminded me of a young Frank Lampard but with a sprinkle of arrogance – and I liked it.
It took far too long for this star-studded Manchester City side to get the jet lag out of their system. It looks like the international break may have already robbed City of another Premier League title.
Did you know? Todd Cantwell has already been directly involved in more Premier League goals in 5 games this season (4 – 2 goals, 2 assists) than he was in 24 Championship appearances last season (3 – 1 goal, 2 assists).
Forwards – Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Son Heung-min: I can’t believe Son has not scored a hat-trick in the Premier League. If anyone deserves to have that statistic firmly emblazoned on his CV it should be the South Korea international.
Son was electric against a Crystal Palace side who are blowing hot and cold these days and, against Spurs, were freezing. I understand manager Mauricio Pochettino spent an hour in a “clear the air” meeting with his players. If that’s the response, would he mind saving those discussions for the really big games?
Did you know? Son Heung-min is Spurs’ top scorer across all competitions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, netting four goals in seven home appearances there.
Tammy Abraham: His first goal against Wolves was alright, his second better and his third outstanding. I said recently said that Frank Lampard had seen something in this kid and we are clearly starting to see the same thing.
If he can remain fit, stay out of the pubs and clubs and look after himself Chelsea may have found a new Peter Osgood. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an English centre forward of Abraham’s size and stature move around the pitch so comfortably and be so competent on the ball.
Osgood was a genius and Abraham has some way to go to get close but all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are there. They just need to be put in the right places.
Did you know? Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has become just the third player in Premier League history to score two or more goals in three consecutive appearances aged 21 or younger, after Cristiano Ronaldo in December 2006 and Dele Alli in January 2017.
Sadio Mane: It was quite fitting that Mane’s two goals against Newcastle placed the Senegal international with other illustrious African names who have scored 70 goals in the Premier League.
It was also nice to see Mohamed Salah congratulating Mane on his goals after their recent spat at Southampton. Salah’s goal was magnificent but even he must realise that he has to concede the spotlight to team-mates on the odd occasion.
Did you know? Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has never lost a Premier League home game in which he’s found the net, winning 33 and drawing two of his previous 35 games in the competition when doing so.
Now it’s your turn
You’ve seen my selections this season. But who would you go for?
Crooks of the matter
Howay the lads! The unseemly spat between two of England’s greatest finishers made me smile at first and then realise that not much changes in football. For two players, especially strikers, to “have words” with each other is like having a row with you wife. It’s going to happen sooner or later.
In Michael Owen’s recently published book; Reboot – My Life, My Time, he seems to have reopened an old wound with England team-mate and now Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer. It’s clear Michael desperately wanted to get something off his chest when he claimed in his book that he never really wanted to go to St James’ Park.
I suspect Shearer could have let that go. However, what Newcastle’s record goalscorer could not let go was the claim by Owen that his beloved Newcastle was “only a big club because they have lots of fans and a big stadium”.
I have no doubt that Alan and Michael will find a way past this public disagreement but Newcastle fans will find forgiveness a little more difficult.