Premier League action is halted once again for the dreaded international break much to the dismay of fans. Going into the break, Liverpool are top on the table, but only two points separate Jurgen Klopp’s side from Arsenal in fourth.
Matchday 11 was full of goals but who were the stand-out performers?
Goalkeeper – Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)Embed from Getty Images
Sunderland picked up a vital three points with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth bombarded the Black Cats goal but was met with a Jordan Pickford in exceptional form. He made six stops including fantastic saves from Jack Wilshere and Jordan King to keep the Cherries at bay. His form has earned him a call-up to the England squad, and the 22-year-old remains a crucial part of David Moyes’ plans.
Defender – George Friend (Middlesbrough)Embed from Getty Images
Middlesbrough earned a well-deserved point at Manchester City thanks to a much-improved second-half performance at the Etihad. George Friend continued his impressive form for Boro and helped his side earn a point by delivering an incredible cross to pick out Marten de Roon. As well as his assist, he made seven clearances, three interceptions and won 83% of his aerial duels in a vital point for Aitor Karanka.
Defender – Michael Dawson (Hull)Embed from Getty Images
Another side who picked up a crucial victory were Hull. The Tigers ended a streak of eight matches without a win thanks to some fantastic defending against Southampton. Michael Dawson was pivotal for Mike Phelan’s side and scored the winning goal, heading past Fraser Forster from Robert Snodgrass’ free-kick. The 32-year-old must keep his performances levels high if the Tigers are going to stay up this season.
Defender – David Luiz (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea were sensational in their 5-0 demolition of Everton at Stamford Bridge with Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 approach working yet again. It would have been difficult for David Luiz to return to English football, but the Brazilian has established himself as a vital player for the Blues. He completed 90% of his passes against the Toffees which allowed Chelsea’s attackers to do the business. £32m was a lot of money, but it could be money well spent if Luiz continues to perform.
Defender – Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
Equally as impressive as Luiz was summer signing, Marcos Alonso. The ex-Fiorentina man has slotted in seamlessly into Conte’s system operating as the left wing-back. The Spaniard had the license to attack and was a constant thorn in the Everton defence’s side. He created three chances in the game and doubled his side’s lead in the 20th minute which was his first goal of the season.
Midfielder – Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has arguably been the player of the season so far which has propelled the Reds to the top of the league. The Brazilian was in impressive form yet again in the 6-1 rout of Watford where he scored and assisted. The movement of Roberto Firmino creates acres of space for his national team-mate which he exploits perfectly. His form this season has linked him with a move to Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Midfielder – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
The player of the week award would probably go to Eden Hazard after his sensational performance against Everton. The ex-Lille attacker finally looks back to his best and was just irresistible against Ronald Koeman’s men. He breezed past the Everton defence with ease, allowing him to score two cracking goals and completed 94% of his passes. With Hazard on form, Chelsea looks like title contenders again.
Midfielder – Moussa Dembele (Tottenham)Embed from Getty Images
Although Spurs and Arsenal shared the spoils in the North London derby, both teams remain in the hunt for the title. One of the best players on the mark was Tottenham’s Moussa Dembele. The Belgian was able to nullify the threat of Mesut Ozil and helped Spurs get their equaliser in the second half. Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping the 29-year-old can get a few games under his belt following his return from injury as the Lilywhites look a different side with the ex-Fulham midfielder in the team.
Forward – Sadio Mane (Liverpool)Embed from Getty Images
£34m man, Sadio Mane, continued his excellent start to his Liverpool career with another brace at Anfield. The Senegal international opened the scoring with an expert header from Coutinho’s cross and also got on the end of Firmino’s low cross in the second half. The ex-Southampton winger has added much-needed pace to the Liverpool attack which gives Klopp all the tools to break down stubborn defences.
Forward – Diego Costa (Chelsea)Embed from Getty Images
Diego Costa also continued his fantastic start to the season with another goal against Everton. Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka couldn’t handle the Spaniard who looked like a man on a mission. He made three key passes and completed four out of ten take-ons. His ninth goal of the season takes him top of the Premier League goalscoring charts.
Forward – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, ended a run of 609 minutes without a goal thanks to his two strikes against Swansea. Some fans have started to question whether Ibra can still cut it at 35-years-old, ahead of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. His two goals will be a welcome confidence booster, but a late booking sees him miss the clash with Arsenal through suspension following the international break.
SUBS: Victor Moses, Roberto Firmino, Paul Pogba, Sam Vokes, Victor Anichebe, Adam Lallana, Michael Carrick
Who was YOUR player of the week in matchday 11? Comment below!