Team of the Week – Game week 8 | Virgin Media
The Weekend's Best XI

Related

The prized dessert of Liverpool against Manchester United may have left fans underwhelmed, but the main course of Premier League football was as fulfilling as ever.

Chelsea kicked off gameweek eight with an impressive 3-0 thrashing of out-of-form champions Leicester City before Arsenal played out a highly-entertaining 3-2 win over Swansea City.

Bournemouth destroyed hapless Hull City to the tune of 6-1, while Manchester City came up against an inspired Everton goalkeeper in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad.

Southampton then continued their impressive run with a 3-1 battering of Burnley before events at Anfield tried their best to take the shine off the weekend on Monday night.

So after a fairly triumphant return from the international break, here is the Premier League team of the week. 

 

Goalkeeper: Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton)

There is only one place to start, and that’s with Everton hero Stekelenburg.

The Dutchman saved two penalties against Manchester City – one from Kevin De Bruyne and one from Sergio Aguero – to spare Phil Jagielka’s blushes and earn his side a point.

Only seven other goalkeepers in Premier League history have managed such a feat in 23 years of action. Everton fans are beginning to warm to their new, reliable goalkeeper.

 

Right-back: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

We shouldn’t be surprised by Valencia’s form for United any more. The Ecuadorian has been consistently impressive on the right flank for Jose Mourinho’s side since pre-season.

In the scrappy affair against Liverpool he was a bright spark, bombing forward when he could to support attacks, while also halting the opposition’s progress.

A last-ditch, perfectly-timed and potentially match-saving slide tackle on Roberto Firmino in the second-half was the best moment of quality in an otherwise forgettable match.

Centre-back: Steve Cook (Bournemouth)

Cook celebrated his 200th appearance for the Cherries with a perfect day on the south coast.

The centre-back was not only a magnet for opposition balls, clearing 17 – more than any other player over the weekend – but he also capped the rout with a goal of his own.

He headed in a set piece to put Eddie Howe’s side 2-1 up against Hull and trigger the floodgates to well and truly open.

 

Centre-back: Winston Reid (West Ham)

Reid is a true leader for the Hammers. The New Zealander was instrumental in picking up West Ham’s first league win since August 21 against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

On a dreadful run and with confidence low, but with a 1-0 lead to protect and just 10 players to do so, Reid stood up to the challenge.

Positioning him directly in the thick of the action he dealt with a sustained aerial bombardment by Palace, who chucked countless crosses in the direction of Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham.

Slaven Bilic had a lot to thank his defensive stalwart for that full time.

 

Left-back: Sam McQueen (Southampton)

A Premier League debut is a big moment in any player’s career, but you wouldn’t have known it watching McQueen against Burnley.

He is yet another left-back from Southampton’s academy and following in the rather large footsteps of Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and more recently Matt Targett; the 21-year-old was full of confidence at St Mary’s.

With Targett off injured early on the converted-winger grew into the game wonderfully, sending over several dangerous crosses as Saints dominated their opponents.

 

Centre-midfield: Ander Herrera (Manchester United)

In a match custom-built for a player of Herrera’s attributes and for a manager of Jose Mourinho’s tactical nous, the Spaniard was the stand-out performer.

He was in perpetual moment all game against Liverpool, winning tackle after tackle and consistently finding himself in the right place at the right time.

Herrera made an astounding 11 interceptions, which is a number no player can better in a single league game so far this season. His place in United’s midfield is surely now secure.

 

Centre-midfield: Joe Allen (Stoke City)

Since his move to Stoke, Allen has been converted from frustrated replacement to match-winner.

The Welsh central midfielder has been by far the Potters’ best player this season and he once again inspired his side to claim points against rock-bottom Sunderland on the weekend.

First he arrived in the six-yard box at the perfect time to head in Marko Arnautovic’s cross before getting his left foot around a half-cleared corner to fire in a low shot for 2-0.

Allen now has four goals in three league matches – the same total he managed in 39 matches across all competitions for Liverpool last season.

Right-wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Walcott is another player whose goal scoring form has taken off this season, who already has as many this campaign as in the entirety of last season.

Against Swansea the predatory instincts that have at times throughout his career been missing were there for all to see.

His intelligent near-post run saw him benefit from Jordi Amat’s mistake, before he swivelled on a loose ball from a corner to make it 2-0.

He may have missed out on a hat-trick, striking the post and bar late on, but he was still Arsenal’s match-winner.

Attacking-midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)

City may not have beaten Everton, but it wasn’t for want of trying.

Silva was leading the charge, fashioning seven for his team mates, which is more than any player managed over the weekend.

It was pass from which Nolito scored the equaliser and the little magician was unfortunate not to end the match with more precious assists.  

Left-wing: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth)

The undisputed player of the weekend was Stanislas, who simply ran riot against the poor Hull defence.

The winger had scored one goal and created one chance in four previous league appearances this season, but improved those ratios drastically by scoring twice and assisting another versus the Tigers.

Stanislas was unlucky not to complete a hat-trick too, having struck the bar five minutes into the match.

 

Striker: Charlie Austin (Southampton)

Completing the line-up is Saints goalscoring hero Austin, who bagged two in a comprehensive win over Burnley on Sunday.

Having been guilty of spurning a few opportunities in a frustrating first-half, he came out after the break a man possessed, turning in from close range for 1-0 and converting a penalty for 3-0.

Austin now has seven goals in his last six appearances in all competitions and may just be on Gareth Southgate’s radar for an England call-up.

Written by Felix Keith for Squawka.com