Harry Kane, Manchester City, Philippe Coutinho lead Team of the Weekend
After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers along with a manager.
Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter using the hashtag #ESPNFCTOTW.
Goalkeeper: Manchester City seem a much more assured proposition this season than last time around, and much of that is down to the influence of Ederson, who showed both sides of his game at Chelsea on Saturday. There were saves, of course -- among them a fine reaction stop from Cesar Azpilicueta's strike -- but there was also the quick distribution that sparked rapier counterattacks. Steve Nicol hails his "impressive display of composure," while Paul Mariner notes that he doesn't let City down when called into upon.
Right-back: Spurs fans may ask "who needs Kyle Walker?" after an excellent performance from Kieran Trippier in their sunny stroll to victory at Huddersfield. Tripper balanced the attacking and defensive areas of his job to perfection, putting Harry Kane through for his first goal, creating the opening for his second and giving the home side no time at all when they tried to make progress out wide. "Marauded down the flank and took the sting out of Huddersfield's press," says Gab Marcotti, with Mariner saying Trippier "caused the Terriers problems with his forward runs."
Centre-back: As usually happens when a team (especially an expensively assembled one) is struggling, much will be made of Everton's shortcomings in their home defeat to Burnley. But much should also be made of Sean Dyche's unyielding defenders, who restricted Evertonian openings to a minimum. Their magnificent discipline and consistency were epitomised by the diligent work of former Brentford player James Tarkowski, who has taken to the top division with ease since the departure of Michael Keane to... Everton. "He's underrated," is Nicol's verdict.
Centre-back: Sometimes the tone of an important win is set early in a match and Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi did just that when, from Chelsea's first dangerous cross, he produced a brave diving header to clear. It turned out to be the prelude to an individual performance of the highest order, with a succession of important challenges being won. "A powerful display... strong in the tackle and positionally excellent," says Mariner, while Nicol adds that Otamendi played a huge part in the certainty of City's defensive showing.
Left-back: Meanwhile, over on the other side of the defence, Spurs fans may also be asking "Who needs Danny Rose?" Ben Davies is a unanimous choice from our three wise men this week, all of whom enjoyed his contribution to a Tottenham side purring away from home but still spluttering in the confines of Wembley. Davies guarded his flank splendidly, but when Spurs sprang forward so did he, scoring their second and augmenting their attacking right up to the end when he made the injury-time fourth for Moussa Sissoko.
Defensive midfielder: Man City's controlled performance owed much to Fernandinho, who was calm, composed and consistently efficient in his distribution, snuffing out Chelsea moves and shutting down spaces here, there and everywhere. His performance was one of bases on which City built a near-perfect away display and he found time to meander forward too, almost opening the scoring with a thumping header. "Had a massive job protecting the central defenders and did it to perfection -- and his passing was impeccable," says Mariner, while Nicol says Fernandinho provided "a shield of steel."
Defensive midfielder: Jose Mourinho made a point of hailing the "character" shown by Marouane Fellaini in winning over Manchester United fans who had doubted him -- and how United are reaping the rewards. Fellaini was fantastic as Crystal Palace were swatted aside at Old Trafford, grabbing two goals and not putting a foot wrong in a tremendous all-round display. Mariner says he "dominated the midfield," while Marcotti notes that "Fellaini may be an acquired taste, but he's one Mourinho and Old Trafford have acquired. And now they love it."
Right midfield: Kevin De Bruyne "can do absolutely everything," Pep Guardiola said after the game at Stamford Bridge. The Belgium international was outstanding in this big battle, scoring the 67th-minute winner, producing his customary array of clever passes and contributing some unsung nitty-gritty defensive work at times as well. "It's not just the goal -- it's his intelligent running and positioning, and you expect that doing it at the Bridge, where he was turfed out, meant that much more to him," says Marcotti. Nicol calls him "the best passer in the Prem" and Mariner salutes "the difference-maker."
Attacking midfield: Last week, our panel noted that it was as though Philippe Coutinho had never been away after his return to the Liverpool lineup. Goals against Leicester and Spartak Moscow were followed by a cracker at Newcastle as Coutinho, a live-wire throughout, cut in from the left to curl a devastating strike beyond Rob Elliot. "A reminder that individual skill is still an absolute difference-maker at the highest level," says Marcotti, while Nicol is lost in admiration for "a strike that was worth £150 million" and Mariner says just one word: "Magnificent."
Left midfield: Marcus Rashford is one of many Manchester United players in rich form and relished his afternoon against a Palace side who had no answers to his speed, skill and direct running. Rashford was at the heart of so much of his side's attacking, with a searing early burst and neat cutback setting up the opening goal for Juan Mata and a whipped free kick enabling Fellaini to power in a header. "Showing consistency at a high level," says the impressed Mariner, while Marcotti adds: "Two assists and an array of tricks show just how confident he is right now."
Striker: Have we reached the stage where we just book a permanent TOTW spot for Harry Kane? Kane continued his out-of-this-world form with a display that had Huddersfield's fans joining the applause when he was substituted late on. He scored the first of his double with effortless confidence before turning his defender and curling in a wonderful finish for his second. "Running out of superlatives. Made it all look easy and could have scored more," notes Marcotti, with Mariner saying the England man "did his usual, leading the line superbly." Nicol, meanwhile, reckons we should just start calling Kane "Mr. Spurs."
Manager: In a week featuring five unanimous choices in our team, the manager also has approval across the board. Pep Guardiola and Man City faced their biggest test so far at the home of the champions and sailed through it with a display that mixed attacking adventure and defensive nous. This was a statement win, with Mariner hailing Guardiola's hat trick of "game plan, in-game tactics and the team's level of play," Marcotti saying City showed "a ton of maturity" and Nicol enjoying the fact that they're also "great to watch."