West Ham Is on the Board But Brighton’s Comeback Steals the Weekend: Matchday 5 Team of the Week

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After a painstakingly long and premature international break, the Premier League returned to our lives with a cracking weekend filled with wonder goals and tremendous individual efforts. It was so good, there were almost fewer draws in the Prem this weekend than in the NFL. Until this happened. Thanks, Glenn.

Watford were humbled by José Mourinho’s Manchester United while Bournemouth continued their hot start with a four-goal showing against Leicester. Newcastle can’t seem to avoid playing Top 6 sides and lost by a goal. Again. The table was scrambled with Everton’s let down at the hands of an out-of-nowhere performance from West Ham.

But enough with the fixtures. You know the results. Let’s jump into the Team of the Week.

Three Stars

3. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Midfield — Southampton

He’s back. After a rocky start to the season, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has been a rock for Southampton in back-to-back matches. Just before the international break, the midfielder found the back of the net for the first time in a Southampton kit. It took him 35 minutes against Brighton to bury again. It was a rocket, fizzed inches above the ground and into the lower left corner. It’s the longest goal of the season (34.9 yards) so far in the Premier League. The Danish international has officially found his groove and could be the man to take Southampton back to the top half of the table.

2. Ryan Fraser, Midfield — Bournemouth

Huh? I didn’t really understand a word the Scotland international just said, but you don’t have to say anything after dropping the mic with two goals in the first 37 minutes against Leicester. Ryan Fraser, who just recently returned from injury, was buzzing like a gnat around the Foxes trapped in the Vitality Stadium wilderness. Kudos to the striking duo of Joshua King and Callum Wilson for setting up the winger/midfielder for both goals. Bournemouth have been overshadowed by Watford’s bright start, even though the Cherries are just behind them with 10 points — it took them 11 matches to get to that clip last year.

1. Shane Duffy, Center Back — Brighton & Hove Albion

Shane effin’ Duffy. Who ya got? Duffy or Harry Maguire as the best center back Outside the 6 so far this season? It’s closer than you might think. Both have been the best player on their respective team. Both have scored with their big ole craniums. Both have averaged more than 6 clearances a game and cracked their way into my dream Outside the 6 center back pairing.

Brighton have been a stingy club to score on this season through the first five matches. Glenn Murray’s resurrection has taken headlines, but this team isn’t sitting comfortably in the middle of the table without their defense, especially Duffy. The Seagulls haven’t leaked more than two goals in a single game and held one of the most potent attacks, Liverpool, to one goal. Two matches against the Top 6 are on deck for Brighton with Tottenham and Manchester City. We’re going to learn more about the guts this team has once October is here.

Matchday 5 Team of the Week

Forward

Joshua King — Bournemouth

  • One goal (penalty) on two shots
  • One assist on 11 total passes
  • Three dribbles and was fouled twice

Marko Arnautovic — West Ham United

  • One goal on one shot
  • One assist on 15 total passes with an 82 pass percentage

Raúl Jiménez — Wolverhampton

  • One goal on six shots
  • Two key passes on 24 total passes with an 83 pass percentage
  • Four aerials won

Midfield

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg — Southampton

  • One goal on one shot
  • 101 total touches and possessed the ball for 8.5 percent of the game
  • 66 total passes with an 83 pass percentage
  • Six interceptions and a tackle

Ryan Fraser — Bournemouth

  • Two goals on two shots
  • One assist with two key passes on 22 total passes

Andriy Yarmolenko — West Ham United

  • Two goals on two shots
  • 27 total passes with an 82 pass percentage

Defense

Shane Duffy — Brighton & Hove Albion

  • One goal on one shot
  • Eight clearances and eight aerials won

James Tarkowski — Burnley

  • Four total tackles and an interception
  • Three clearances and five aerials won
  • 34 total passes with an 81 pass percentage

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — Crystal Palace

  • 100% tackle percentage on five total tackles
  • Three clearances and three interceptions
  • Two dribbles and 73 pass percentage

Lucas Digne — Everton

  • Four total shots
  • Four key passes on 34 total passes
  • 100% tackle percentage on five total tackles and three interceptions

Goalkeeper

Asmir Begović — Bournemouth

  • Five total saves

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