Aguero, Sanchez, Fabregas and Tadic star in team of the week
Goals galore in this week's Premier League selection, as three Everton defenders make the team
Chelsea's serene progress towards the Premier League title continued as the leaders beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, but the Blues' win went almost unnoticed on a weekend of drama elsewhere in the division.
Southampton pulled of the result of the season so far as they utterly humiliated Sunderland, winning 8-0 at St Mary's to maintain both third place and their brilliant start to the season. The Saints' exploits even overshadowed those of Sergio Aguero, who scored all four goals for second-placed Man City as they beat whipping boys Spurs 4-1.
There were some obvious contenders for team of the week, but who made the final XI? Here's our pick of the weekend's picks.
Goalkeeper:Joe Hart (Man City)The England number one is a near unanimous choice this week thanks to a dominant performance against Spurs, in which he saved a penalty and made other key stops at crucial times. It was, says the Daily Star, "a superb display".
Defence:Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines (all Everton), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)Everton defenders account for an unprecedented three of the back four this week. The Toffees kept a clean sheet as they beat Aston Villa 3-0 and two of the goals came from defenders. Jagielka "led a strong line against a returning Christian Benteke, helped Antolin Alcaraz through a potentially tough game and scored the opener to break the deadlock", applauds Bleacher Report. Coleman scored Everton's third and, like his two team mates, finds himself among this week's top scorers in fantasy football.
Both Jagielka and Coleman had Baines to thank for setting up their goals. "It looks like Leighton Baines is on top of his game again after a quiet World Cup with England and an even quieter start to the Premier League season," says Garth Crooks of the BBC. The final place goes to Southampton full back Clyne. "It's hard to play badly in a game where your team win 8-0, but Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne really stood out from the crowd," says website Caughtoffisde.
Midfield:Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Mohamed Diame (Hull City)Fabregas scored his first league goal for the Blues against Palace. He has"been at the heart of Chelsea's renaissance", says Crooks, and is an early contender for player of the season. Serbian midfielder Tadic was a shoo-in this week. Why? Because he was in "absolutely ridiculous form on Saturday", according to Bleacher report. He picked up four assists and even scored one himself as the Saints ran riot.
The performance of Sanchez for Arsenal was a small positive for the Gunners after they dropped two points at home against Hull. He scored a brilliant goal to put the Gunners in front and then set up Danny Welbeck's injury time equaliser. He is "starting to look like the real deal", according to Garth Crooks. The final place in midfield goes to Diame, who has "has hit the ground running" since joining Hull, says ESPN. His goal was controversial but he is the sort of midfield "powerhouse" that Arsenal lack.
Attack:Sergio Aguero (Man City), Graziano Pelle (Southampton)No surprise to see Aguero in the team after his four goals on Saturday. He missed a penalty, notes ESPN. "But in just about everything else he did, the Argentine was flawless. Not only did his four-goal haul see him become Manchester City's all-time leading goal-scorer in the Premier League, he also took his goals-per-minute rate in the top flight to 108 – the best in the competition's history." ESPN also picks Pelle who scored twice against Sunderland. After six goals in eight games he "must think this Premier League lark is easy".