The Weekend's Best XI - 13 September | Virgin Media
The Weekend's Best XI

The Weekend's Best XI

14/09/2016Sport

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The Premier League stepped up a gear over the weekend as teams returned from international duty to try and gather momentum. 

Manchester took centre stage on Saturday as United and City, and Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, renewed hostilities, with the Sky Blues fans sent home happy.

Arsenal were bailed out by an injury-time penalty, while Liverpool steamrollered Leicester City and Chelsea lost their 100% record with a 2-2 draw at Swansea.

Those were the stand-out team results, but which players caught the eye? Here is Squawka’s ultimate XI from the weekend’s fixtures.  

Goalkeeper: Lukas Fabianski (Swansea) 

Chelsea dropped their first points this season in south Wales, and The Swans’ stopper, Fabianski, had a great deal to do with it.

The Poland international made five saves during an often frenetic Sunday afternoon kick-off, limiting an in-the-mood Diego Costa to two goals and preserving a vital point for his side. 

Right-back: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

Playing in front of an expanded home crowd following the extending of the Main Stand, Liverpool were red-hot against last season’s Premier League champions.

They ran out 4-1, and although it was largely the attacking players taking the plaudits, the tireless Clyne excelled on the right flank, laying on three chances – more chances than any other defender over the weekend.

The England international’s stamina and pace mean he always offers an overlap – one which was constantly exploited against Leicester. 

Centre-back: Curtis Davies (Hull City)

The Hull skipper has been one of the most impressive players from any team over the four games played so far.

Playing at the heart of the Hull defence, he has led exceptionally well, with clear communication and decision-making. Davies has made more clearances than any other player in the league, and when you watch him it is not surprising.

Despite being drastically short on players, Hull have picked up seven points from four games, and their 1-1 draw with Burnley, which came from a late equaliser, showed their spirit in abundance. Davies embodies this fight. 

Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) 

Koscielny could hardly be any more popular with the Arsenal fans, but his display in the 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday challenged that assumption.

The Frenchman was supreme at the back, winning every ball that came his way and misplacing just one pass. But it was his play at the other end of the pitch which more than stood out.

His acrobatic overhead kick from a loose ball was more befitting of a seasoned centre-forward and got the Gunners underway on a tricky afternoon.

Wes Morgan (Leicester)

Wes Morgan (Leicester)

Left-back: Ben Davies (Tottenham)

Danny Rose has become a difficult player to replace at Spurs, but that is exactly what Davies had to do against Stoke. He did so very convincingly, putting in an industrious and assured performance on the left side of defence.

Marko Arnautovic – Stoke’s biggest threat – got little out of him as Spurs ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. 

Centre-midfield: Steven Defour (Burnley) 

Defour signed for the Clarets in a £8 million deal this summer, becoming the club’s record signing, before £10.5 million Jeff Hendrick arrived days later.

If he was overshadowed in the transfer market, he wasn’t on the pitch, giving an excellent debut against Hull. Not only did he rifle in an unstoppable long-range shot after a neat piece of skill, he also displayed all the quality expected of a Belgium international.

Centre-midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 

Eriksen celebrated finally signing a contract extension, after a year of negotiations, with a performance Spurs fans have grown accustomed to other the years.

The Danish midfielder registered two assists in the demolition of Stoke, combining expertly with Son Heung-min and threating from set pieces too. 

Attacking midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

City flew out of the blocks like a seasoned sprinter in the derby on Saturday, and it was De Bruyne leading the charge for Guardiola’s side.

The Belgian drifted into space over and over again, making use of it with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford. First he ran in behind United’s defence to finish coolly past David de Gea before striking the post with a low shot that Kelechi Iheanacho then turned in.

De Bruyne was the single biggest factor in a crushing win, which put City clear at the top of the Premier League table. 

David Silva (Manchester City)

Forward: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) 

Firmino was Liverpool’s top goal scorer in the league last season, and the Brazilian has transferred that form into the current season.

Flanked by Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane, he was in a ruthless mood against Leicester, starting and finishing the scoring in a 4-1 win. Firstly he gathered a precise pass from James Milner and slotted an early finish into the near post. With Leicester pushing forward he then finished off a swift counter, keeping his composure to duck inside Christian Fuchs to score.  

Forward: Diego Costa (Chelsea) 

As previously mentioned, Costa was very much in the mood in south Wales, putting Antonio Conte’s side ahead following poor defending.

But it was his second goal, which rescued a point for the Blues after a quick-fire double from Swansea, that really earns his place in this side. Costa’s predatory instincts were on show as he acrobatically thumped in an equaliser.

His feisty personality may get him into trouble, but he is critically important to Chelsea in front of goal. 

Forward: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)

Finally comes the only player to score a hat-trick over the weekend. Lukaku hadn’t scored for Everton in 11 league games, but that run came to an end in dramatic fashion as he found the net three times in 11 minutes against the hapless Sunderland defence.

The Belgian striker headed in two crosses to put the Toffees in control before streaking clear to bury a third. With the drought ended and with likes of Gerard Delofeu and Yannick Bolasie supplying the crosses, Lukaku could prove deadly this season. 

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)