Garth Crooks’ team of the week: Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Grealish, Eriksen, Vardy

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From Garth Crooks
Football analyst
Arsenal and Spurs played out a thrilling 2-2 draw to complete an exciting weekend of soccer.
Liverpool kept their 100% start with a 3-0 triumph at Burnley, while title rivals Manchester City thrashed Brighton 4-0.
Together with Manchester United drawing 1-1 at Southampton Sheffield United held chelsea 2-2.
Leicester impressed again with a triumph over Bournemouth, West Ham beat Norwich 2-0, Crystal Palace saw Aston Villa 1-0 off and Newcastle drew. In Sunday’s other game Everton beat Wolves.
Here’s my team of this week – have a browse and select your own below.
I think it’s perfectly okay for a goalkeeper to rely upon his device as far as his defenders can depend on him. The association between the Liverpool back four and keeper Adrian has had its bad and good moments.
Adrian’s functionality against Burnley was about as good as it gets. The Spanish man made a superb save from Chris Wood in a critical time in the first half, although his device made certain Adrian was not required to come to their rescue afterwards. For the first time because Adrian took over from the injured Alisson Liverpool looked comfortable. The future is starting to look Red.
Did you know? Adrian includes a 73 percent save percentage in the Premier League this year. Of course goalkeepers with three or more starts in 2019-20, only three have a greater percent (Vicente Guaita 80%, Ederson 77% and Hugo Lloris 76%).
Fabian Schar: This was a very different evaluation to the one confronting Newcastle last week against Spurs. I posed the question’could the Magpies assault with the identical certainty since they defended White Hart Lane?’ The operation wasn’t quite as convincing but great enough to include a Watford side desperate for things.
Schar played a important role by Newcastle in this controlled performance. They didn’t panic if they went 1-0 down and that he took his goal. Bad for a centre-back.
Did you know? Since the beginning of all 2019, five Premier League goals have been scored by Schar, more. Four of them have come at St James’ Park.
Virgil van Dijk: It was just a matter of time before Virgil van Dijk resumed his place in my team of the week. This week that the Dutchman has been indulging himself in award ceremonies with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I guess if you are going to be among the top players on the planet these events have to be appreciated.
Yet it was fine to see him exchange his tuxedo for the familiar away colors of Liverpool Football Club against Burnley and turn in a top notch performance. For Van Dijkthis match was a stroll in the park. Great to have you back in my group of the week, Virgil.
Did you know? Liverpool have won 73% of their Premier League matches when Virgil van Dijk has showcased, together with the Reds suffering just four defeats from those 56 matches (W41 D11 L4).
Jannik Vestergaard: When Jannik Vestergaard out-jumped Victor Lindelof to nod home a brilliant headed equaliser from Manchester United, my instant thought was that he wouldn’t have done that to Chris Smalling.
The former United centre-back, on loan in Roma, finds himself surplus to requirements – together with Romelu Lukaku along with Alexis Sanchez – just for United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to then have the guts to say his group is looking a bit thin. The Red Devils are looking anything other than devilish at the moment. In fact they looked insipid and unconvincing against a 10-man Southampton side that should have been put away.
Did you know? Vestergaard scored his first Premier League goal for Southampton in his 27th league appearance for the club, becoming the third Danish player to score to the Saints from the Premier League, following Ronnie Ekelund and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Kevin de Bruyne: He scored the first goal and set up the moment class. The Belgium international has contributed five assists in four games and at this speed could find himself from the late teenagers and even attaining 20 in an all-time period. This would spell disaster for Liverpool of course. Only a thought!
Did you know? De Bruyne was involved in nine goals in his past seven Premier League begins (two goals, seven assists).
Jack Grealish: I don’t normally select players on the losing side but on this occasion I must make an exception. Jack Grealish not merely gave a captain’s performance against Crystal Palace but had been robbed of this part he played in providing Villa with what could have been a remarkable and warranted equaliser.
Kevin Friend’s shocking decision to disallow Henri Lansbury’s 96th-minute target after Grealish’s brilliant run positions among the worst decisions I have seen in years. What Friend did not view (and I did) was Grealish get bumped by Wilfried Zaha since he entered the box, and that propelled Grealish to the ground. You view Zaha, with hand appeal to the Army to say no penalty. This was an outrageous decision.
Did you know? Grealish has generated the most possibilities of almost any Aston Villa participant in the Premier League this season (eight), with all but among those coming from open play.
Roberto Firmino: I have mentioned it before and I will state it again, when Roberto Firmino is on song so are Liverpool. The Brazilian orchestrated a masterclass from the Merseysiders from a Burnley side who, but for a brief event, never appeared at the match.
Perhaps Firmino can cure the obvious rift between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane because it would seem boss Jurgen Klopp is having difficulty. For Mane to explode so publicly, as he did at being substituted after Salah had so clearly ignored him on 2 occasions once in scoring positions, was fully warranted. Salah can’t play with this match – .
Did you know? Firmino became the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals. He’s the only real player to get to the landmark for Liverpool – no other club has ever had more (flat with Manchester United).
Christian Eriksen: When I saw Eriksen was starting this north London derby I immediately thought, Spurs can not lose this match. I was correct, they did not lose the game – but they ought to have won it. Eriksen is really a class action and if he’s on his game there are few better.
It had been the Dane who bust a gut to get up using the drama and tap house the loose rebound from the Erik Lamela shot. Spurs look like they might hang on to Eriksen for a little while longer, which will be just as well since they have no-one who will take care of the ball better. As for Arsenal, it is a good job they’ve Matteo Guendouzi. He’s a Granit Xhaka with brains.
Did you know? Eriksen has scored 50 Premier League targets – the first Danish player to achieve this landmark. He’s the first player to register both 50+ goals and aids for Spurs from the competition.
Jordan Ayew: This match wasn’t a classic by any means but it didn’t create talking points. Jordan Ayew was really unlucky not to make my team of the week after his performance against Manchester United. However there’s little doubt about his choice this week after forcing his way beyond Tyrone Mings to score in the 73rd minute and provide the Eagles with all three points for the second consecutive week.
Mings, on the other hand, might have been contained from the current England squad but that does not make him an England player.
Did you know? Once he had been an Aston Villa player, ayew has scored in Premier League games for the first time since December 2015.
Sergio Aguero: The Artful Dodger was at it . Sergio Aguero was on the prowl against a Brighton side that had the audacity to go toe to toe with Manchester City. Aguero’s two superbly taken goals not so much picked on pockets.
I can not work out whether it was hubris from Graham Potter to believe if he wished to continue with his theme of his group playing attractive football, or he can beat Manchester City in their own game. I have to state Brighton and attractive football are playing – I will give to him.
Did you know? Aguero has scored 99 Premier League goals at the Etihad – just Thierry Henry at Highbury (114) and Wayne Rooney in Old Trafford (101) have scored more at one place in Premier League history.
Jamie Vardy: Very apart from his exploits under Brendan Rogers there is not any doubt concerning it,” Jamie Vardy is back to his best. His goal was an end of the highest order and his next was a heist. When he had been in charge what Claude Puel did to the form of the lad must call into question his ability.
As Bournemouth, they need to have been playing with a Leicester for. The tackle with Youri Tielemans on Callum Wilson was a shocker. I really don’t care if the player was not looking or, the tackle was mistimed, it had been reckless and he ought to have gone.
Did you know? Vardy has been directly engaged in 14 goals in 14 Premier League matches beneath Brendan Rodgers (12 goals, two assists).
You’ve seen my choices. However, that would you opt for?
Select your XI from our listing and share with your friends.
Is it me or has the quality of refereeing in the Premier League dropped? When I’ve observed so many decisions produced by the man in the middle early in this 24, I can’t recall. There’s absolutely not any doubt in my mind that VAR has produced a huge difference to this dynamic of this game, but that I sense it’s generated uncertainty.
It needs to be the referee’s decision that’s final. Maybe not VAR.
It cannot be useful if each single time you decided you’re wondering what VAR has seen. Referees deserve our protection. The Premier League must follow Uefa’s approach and give the referee a chance to view replays in the technical area in the event of a contentious issue or a clear mistake, and let him determine whether his decision was wrong or right.
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