Isn’t it such a joy to see fans back in stadiums? It’s true that the return of fans was limited both in terms of numbers within stadiums and the number of games that still had to go ahead without spectators, but this still felt like a huge step forward for English football nonetheless.
The postponement of the Newcastle – Aston Villa game on Friday night due to a virus outbreak amongst Newcastle players reminded us that we still have a long way to go, but 9 other action packed matches got us off to a brilliantly entertaining start in this month of hectic fixtures, with several individual stars standing out above the rest.
Stars in Premier League – Gameweek 11
Goalkeeper: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool)
Injury hit Liverpool have been forced to play a mix of new players and senior figures out of position so far this campaign, but in certain games, this has been something of a blessing in disguise for the Reds. This was the case once again in the emphatic victory over Wolves, with debutant goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher enjoying an excellent all-round performance. The young Irishman looked solid and assured, as Liverpool unearthed another gem to help their ailing squad depth.
Defender: Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton)
The Saints returned to winning ways on Monday night, with a narrow and somewhat controversial victory over fellow South Coast side, Brighton and Hove Albion. Their return to form was largely down to an excellent performance from Jannik Vestergaard, who, along with the rest of the team, has bounced back superbly from a second half horror show against Manchester United last week. The big Danish centre back was the best player on the pitch here and scored yet another header to set the Saints on their way.
Midfielder: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur)
Moving into midfield now and it is another Dane who makes it into our weekly 5 – Spurs star Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, making his second appearance here in the space of just three Matchweeks. Given the excellent form of the centre midfielder, this is no surprise; Hojbjerg was deservedly awarded man of the match against Arsenal, running the midfield from start to finish as Spurs brushed aside their bitter rivals and closed out another clean sheet to go with it. Picking him up over the summer now looks like a genius piece of business from Tottenham.
Forward: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
When Christian Benteke made his first start of the season on Sunday, even the most optimistic of Palace fans wouldn’t have expected the performance that they were about to see. Apart from taking out their recent frustrations by brushing aside a woeful West Brom 5-1, Palace had the added joy of seeing the often maligned Benteke scored two very well taken goals, and put in a great all round performance in a front two alongside Wilfried Zaha. After more than three years of inconsistency and injuries, could this finally be the moment that re-ignites Benteke’s Premier League career?
Manager: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
After setting some near impossibly high standards last season, it seems that Liverpool’s good recent form has gone under the radar a bit slightly, following a bit of an early-season wobble. Jurgen Klopp yet again deserves immense credit for steering the Reds through a mounting injury crisis and saw his depleted side dismantle a usually solid Wolves team 4-0. We’ve spoken a bit already about his brave use of personnel in that game which paid off superbly, and his side put in one of their best performances of the season to go with it. A triumphant weekend all round for the Liverpool manager.