Don’t you just love the Premier League? With by far the highest number of goals scored in a Matchweek this season, three hat-tricks and a result that will echo down the ages, Matchweek number nine of this fledgling season truly was one to remember.
Most reflections on this week’s games will inevitably start at the end, where in the final match of the weekend Manchester United were annihilated by Liverpool in English football’s biggest fixture. Beyond the blockbuster at Old Trafford though, there were a couple of other results that deserve recognition in their own right, from Chelsea’s 7-0 battering of Norwich in a top-vs-bottom clash to Watford’s chaotic 5-2 win over Everton.
With plenty to unpick, as always, here are our five Stars of the Week.
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Stars of the Week in Matchweek 9
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United)
A blistering weekend of action saw a grand total of 39 goals in the Premier League, so unsurprisingly there were few clean sheets and even fewer standout goalkeeping performances.
However, among some of the close-run results that we saw this weekend, the display of West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianksi was an important factor in the team’s impressive 1-0 victory over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
In the first half, the veteran goalkeeper stood firm to gather a shot from Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min, before showing brilliant reactions to tip a Harry Kane header over the crossbar.
Fabianski had very little to do after half time as Tottenham’s threat diminished, but he had played his part in another clean sheet and victory. That’s back to back 1-0 wins for the East London side now, as their strong start to the campaign continues.
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
It goes without saying that Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of their nemesis Manchester United, the team’s biggest ever win at Old Trafford, sent shockwaves through the footballing world.
But while the praise rightly fell on Mohamed Salah and the pressure grew on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the influence of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold was strongly felt down the right flank once again.
A constant threat on the wing, the right back created consistent overloads for Liverpool which paid dividends very early on. The ball came to him in the box, and his inch perfect first time cross was squeezed home by Diogo Jota to put the Reds 2-0 up and in total control.
It was one of three big chances created by Alexander-Arnold, as the England international also made two successful tackles and interceptions each to help reduce United’s already limited threat.
An assist, a clean sheet, and a hammering of your arch rivals, what more could you ask for from a defender?
Midfielder: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Prior to Saturday’s fixture against Norwich, Chelsea’s Mason Mount hadn’t scored in 25 matches for club and country, and was beginning to draw criticism in some quarters for his recent lack of output.
A home clash against the Canaries offered Mount a great chance to address that issue, and the midfielder did so in style with an incredible performance as his season finally burst into life.
After firing home a pinpoint opening goal, Mount then slipped in Reece James with an incisive through ball, with the wingback chipping a deft finish over Tim Krul to make it 3-0. Mount wasn’t done there, though, as he later scored a retaken penalty and swept home a simple finish in stoppage time to claim his first ever Premier League hat-trick.
With the likes of Lukaku and Werner out injured for the hosts, this really was the perfect time for Mount to remind his manager of his potent goalscoring qualities.
Forward: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Who else was it ever going to be?
Premier League fans around the world were keen to see how Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah would fare against Manchester United’s creaking defence in English football’s most iconic fixture, and they got their answer when Salah effortlessly tore the Red Devils to shreds.
After finding himself in acres of space just minutes into the game, Salah got the ball rolling with a simple pass to Naby Keita who opened the scoring. That was just the start, though, as the Egyptian king soon got on the scoresheet himself with a simple tap-in from Keita’s ball across and then fired in a near post drive with his left foot on the stroke of half-time.
Still not done tormenting United, Salah got onto the end of another through ball early in the second half and dinked a finish over David De Gea, sealing the first ever Premier League hat-trick scored by a visiting player at Old Trafford and wrapping up a legendary result for Liverpool.
If there was any doubt as to the identity of the best current footballer in the world, it has now surely evaporated.
Manager: Claudio Ranieri (Watford)
Having achieved one of the great results in Premier League history, Jurgen Klopp would be the overwhelmingly obvious candidate for our manager of the week award. However, back on Merseyside there was arguably an even more deserving candidate this weekend; Watford’s Claudio Ranieri.
Having suffered a 5-0 rout at the hands of Liverpool in his opening match as Watford boss, Ranieri now faced a similarly daunting task away at Everton, a side who have developed a mean back four and given away very little defensively so far this season.
Despite twice falling behind in the match, the Italian masterminded a stunning victory for Watford, with strikers Joshua King and Emmanuel Dennis running riot for the Hornets in the latter stages as the newly-promoted outfit swept Everton aside 5-2.
One of Watford’s greatest ever Premier League results, if this is a sign of things to come under Ranieri then the Vicarage Road faithful will have much to look forward to.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.