3 Up 3 Down: Featuring West Ham and Tottenham stars
There’s a title challenge brewing. Tottenham’s victory over Manchester City closed the gap at the top of the early season table to just one point, with Liverpool and Arsenal – both victorious late on – a further point behind.
Manchester United’s stuttering form continued with a draw at home to Stoke City, but Chelsea got back on track with a win over Hull. Elsewhere at the top, the in form Everton and Crystal Palace shared the spoils in the latest instalment of Friday Night Football.
Elsewhere, Watford and Bournemouth played out an entertaining draw, whilst West Brom & Sunderland, West Ham & Middlesbrough and Leicester & Southampton also shared the spoils in their games.
So who impressed and who struggled this week?
Up: Dimitri Payet
The real Dimitri Payet may have finally landed at the London Stadium. West Ham looked much better in their game against Middlesbrough, but still fell behind to a header from Cristhian Stuani.
But when the Irons needed someone, Payet stood up and showed the reason why he was so revered last season. Payet picked the ball up on the wing, dribbled past five different Boro players, leaving three on the deck, before coolly slotting in to level the scores.
It was one of the goals of the season so far, and it probably won’t be the last from the Frenchman this campaign.
Up: Victor Wanyama
Virtually any one of Tottenham’s players could have been included in the up category this weekend, but Victor Wanyama was particularly influential in Spurs’ vital 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Deployed at the base of Spurs’ high energy midfield, Wanyama swept up everything, making crucial tackles and setting up wave after wave of attacks. Without Eric Dier or Moussa Dembélé alongside him, he essentially had to do the work of two players, and he did it with aplomb.
At £11 million, Wanyama is proving to be some bargain.
Up: Christian Benteke
Even when struggling at Liverpool, it was generally accepted that Benteke was still a dangerous Premier League striker, just playing in the wrong system. Now at Crystal Palace, he is showing that was certainly the case.
Benteke’s towering header was not only mighty impressive in itself, but was also his third goal in four games, a run where Palace have picked up ten points. With the Belgian in the team and scoring goals, it is a run that could continue all season long.