In Depth

Sanchez leads Oscar, Ings and Markovic in team of the week

Arsenal man stars again as Gunners, Southampton and Chelsea offer two players each

Chelsea re-established themselves as Premier League leaders this weekend, with victory over Newcastle opening up a two-point gap over Man City who could only draw at Everton.

But the big result of the weekend was Southampton's win at Old Trafford, which puts them third in the table and on course for Champions League football next season. United, on the other hand, are now under intense scrutiny with the same number of points they had at this stage last season under David Moyes.

Arsenal reclaimed fifth spot as they overwhelmed Stoke and local rivals Spurs fell to Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace, who are hoping a managerial change will save them from the drop for the second season running.

So who were the stand-out performers this weekend? Here's our pick of the experts' picks:

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Chelsea)

In the absence of Thibaurt Courtois, Cech reminded everyone why he was Chelsea's number one for so long. He made several key saves to keep Newcastle at bay before the league leaders exerted their superiority. He "staked his claim for a longer run of action with a commanding display", says Caughtoffside.

Defence: Paul Konchesky (Leicester), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Carl Jenkinson (West Ham)

Foxes defender Konchesky was a near unanimous choice after scoring a fine winner against Aston Villa, but as Goal.com notes it wasn't just his attacking that earns him a spot in the team, he also "marked Gabriel Agbonlahor out of the game". Another goal-happy defender was Koscielny, who got Arsenal on the scoresheet against Stoke. He also made a huge difference alongside Per Mertesacker in the Gunners defence. "Arsenal are a different team when Laurent Koscielny is in it," says Gab Marcotti of ESPN.

Garth Crooks of the BBC lavishes praise on Saints defender Fonte describing him as a "very intelligent" player who helped Southampton earn three points at Old Trafford. "Against Manchester United he was the coolest man on the pitch and totally unfazed by Robin van Persie and Angel Di Maria." The final berth goes to Carl Jenkinson, on loan at West Ham from Arsenal this season. He was the "best player on the pitch" against Swansea says website Caughtoffside.

Midfield: Oscar (Chelsea), Lazar Markovic (Liverpool), Fernandinho (Man City), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton)

Oscar got the ball rolling for Chelsea against Newcastle after a tough first half. He gets his place in the Daily Express team by dint of breaking the "deadlock" at Stamford Bridge, but he also set up Diego Costa for the Blues' second goal. Liverpool winger Markovic also got on the  scoresheet, scoring the winner against Sunderland. The wide man was a "constant threat", says Sports Mole. "For perhaps the first time in the Premier League, Markovic started to justify his hefty summer price tag."

Also on target was Man City midfielder Fernandinho, but it wasn't just his goalscoring that impressed Goal.com. He was "neat and tidy on the ball and swept up any danger that came near him in an imperious midfield display", it says. Alongside him at the base of midfield is Saints enforcer Schneiderlin, who who also "imperious" against Man United according to Caughtoffside, "easily dominating his more illustrious opponents".

Attack: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Danny Ings (Burnley)

What can you say about the Arsenal star, who scored two more goals and teed up the Gunners opener? It was another tour de force which earns him a striking berth in this week's team. He was also the top fantasy football scorer this week with an impressive 19 points. "Has Alexis Sanchez been measured for his statue yet?" wonders ESPN. "If he hasn't, it won't be long if he carries on like this. With each passing week, Sanchez's performance level seems to climb another notch."

Alongside Sanchez is Burnley man Ings, who scored the winner against QPR to leave the Londoners pointless away from home yet again. "This young man is starting to cause acute embarrassment to some Premier League defenders," says Garth Crooks.

Recommended

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend
Erling Haaland scored both goals on his Premier League debut for Manchester City
View from the terraces

Premier League: what we learned from the opening weekend

Online abuse in football: ‘the dark side to the beautiful game’
Man Utd’s Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo are two players regularly targeted
Talking point

Online abuse in football: ‘the dark side to the beautiful game’

Premier League predictions: title winners and relegation
The Premier League trophy
View from the terraces

Premier League predictions: title winners and relegation

Raheem Sterling: Chelsea move ‘makes sense for all’
Raheem Sterling has captained England under Gareth Southgate
Profile

Raheem Sterling: Chelsea move ‘makes sense for all’

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner