In the opening weekend of Barclays Premier League action, who were the top performers for their clubs? There were plenty of fantastic displays, but who makes it into the TBR Team of the Week?
Goalkeeper- Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea). 8/10
Not too many contenders for this one but I’m going with the Chelsea man because of the astute impact he made on his Premier League debut. Petr Cech is certainly a difficult act to follow but the Belgian got off to an impressive start as Chelsea defeated Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Monday night. Courtois always looked assured of himself, almost oozing of confidence, but you couldn’t blame him if Mourinho gave him the nod over one of the best goalkeepers ever to play the game in Cech. Courtois imposed himself and didn’t let the occasion get to him in the slightest. Very commanding.
Left-Back- Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City). 9/10
The Serbian found himself back in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI for City’s opener against Newcastle at St James Park as City won 2-0. Helping his defence to a clean sheet, he was very composed and comfortable on the ball. Kolarov looked very assured and got the balance between when to attack and defend absolutely spot on. I expect this man to play a big part in City’s attempt to retain their Premier League title. He’s also deadly from dead ball situations and that’s worth a few points on its own.
Centre-Back- James Chester (Hull City) 8/10
On the back of a very impressive Premier League debut season, Chester was very prominent in Hull City’s 1-0 away to Harry Redknapp’s new boys Queens Park Rangers. Chester raised above the experienced Rio Ferdinand to bag his first goal of the season. Hull’s defence looked solid throughout and Chester played a more than significant part in the process. Very encouraging performance from the Wales international.
Centre-Back- Calum Chambers (Arsenal). 8/10
Although he had the luxury of making his Arsenal debut against a managerless Crystal Palace side, there’s no doubt that the ex Southampton starlet impressed as he made himself comfortable at the Emirates. Chambers was brave without being too rash as a young player. He looked very solid and mature beyond his tender years. One for the future, no questions asked!
Right-Back- Angel Rangel (Swansea). 9/10
Not many gave Swansea a chance of getting a draw, let alone nicking a 2-1 win against Manchester United as the Swans spoilt Louis van Gaal’s first Premier League game in charge at Old Trafford. The Spaniard gets my vote ahead of Branislav Ivanovic and Phil Bardsley because of his remarkable concentration levels as Swansea’s defence was constantly under siege at the hands of a multi-million strike force. Application and decision-making, excellent
Midfield- Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea). 10/10
A midfield master class on his Premier League debut for Chelsea at Turf Moor as the Spanish magician provided two crucial assists, one out of this world (Schurrle assist) as he guided Chelsea to a 3-1 after the blues came from behind early on in the game. Barclays Man of the Match and certainly player of the week.
Midfield- David Silva (Manchester City). 8/10
After signing a new five-year deal at Man City last week, Silva started the new season with a bang as he grabbed City’s opener in a 2-0 victory over the Magpies at St James’ Park. Arguably the best player in the league, Silva showed why the sky blues were so keen to tie him down on a long-term contract, He kept Man City ticking over in this one, making the right pass, the right runs and rarely putting a foot wrong. A very silky performance.
Midfield- Raheem Sterling (Liverpool). 9/10
One of English football’s most prized young assists, Southampton struggled to get to grips with Sterling as his ferocious pace set alight the first Super Sunday encounter of the season. The England international opened the scoring at Anfield against the Saints and most of Liverpool’s promising play came through the youngster.
Midfield- Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal). 8/10
Perhaps not his most electrifying performance in a Gunner’s shirt, yet the Welshman was key in dragging his side back to life following the concession of a shock first half goal from Crystal Palace at the Emirates. Ramsey kept the ball rolling, linking up with Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshire and Alexis Sanchez in and around the final third with some silky touches and moves. However it was goal right at the depth that secured all three points for Arsene Wenger’s men. Although it was a tap-in, he made sure he was composed enough to keep himself onside to poke in the decisive goal of the game.
Striker- Saido Berahanio (WBA ). 9/10
Perhaps one of the surprise packages of last season, Berahino netted a brace as West Brom drew 2-2 with Sunderland in a great game at the Hawthorns. The England U21 star rescued his side from an early 1-0 deficit and almost secured all three points for the Baggies in Alan Irvine’s first game in charge. Very instinctive, clever and efficient when close to goal. A real prospect.
Striker- Diego Costa (Chelsea). 8/10
A close one between Costa and Edin Dzeko, I’m going to give it to the Brazilian on the basis of his ability to deliver with the up-most of pressure on his shoulders. Following Scott Arfield’s opener for Burnley, Costa poached an equalizer inside the twelve yard box to bring Chelsea back from the dead. He showed very well and his link up play with Fabregas looked very promising indeed. Fantastic work ethic for a striker and will to succeed. Impressive debut and ‘there’s plenty more from where that came from’ as they say.
Do you agree with our selection or have we left someone out from your club who really impressed in their side’s first match of the Premier League season? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .