Pukki Mania: Matchday 2 Team of the Week

Oh Pukki, you score so fine; You score so fine you blow my mind; Teemu Pukki; Teemu Pukki.

Oh Pukki, you score so fine; You score so fine you blow my mind; Teemu Pukki; Teemu Pukki.

You leave defenders behind all night and that’s okay with me; you score all the goals, and we’re going to end the song right here.

Like a Teemu Pukki track-back-tackle, matchday 2 has crept up behind us and turned over the table that held our preconceived preseason expectations for clubs outside the top 6.

Established Premier League clubs like Newcastle and Crystal Palace have tumbled against newly promoted sides. Brighton can’t stop scoring. Ashley Barnes is third in the Golden Boot race. Chicharito is poaching goals β€” wait, we knew that was coming. And Everton has a shot to be top of the table come Friday night.

It was also a ball-busting weekend for the Top 6 due to our mid-table heroines Leicester City and Wolverhampton. Let’s dive into the 3 stars that dominated the pitch this weekend.

Three Outside the 6 Stars of the Week

3. John Lundstram, Midfielder β€” Sheffield United

Sheffield United started 10 players from their Championship squad last season in their convincing 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday. It was the Eagles that looked like they didn’t belong in the English top flight as they didn’t have an answer for the overlapping center-back attack from the Blades.

Evidently, it was one of the overlaps that led to the decisive goal. This wasn’t a surprised, but what did have fans checking their programs was the goal scorer, John Lundstram. After logging just 409 minutes in the Championship last season, the English midfielder has looked up for it in the Blades first two matches of the season.

Opportunistic goal? Maybe, but he was in the right place at the right time to slot the ball home. For a player who looked shaky in the first half after earning a quick yellow, he felt his way back and earned a spot among the Top 3 stars of the weekend.

The stats don’t so much stick out past the goal for Lundstram. What did was his play in the defensive half. The Blades kept their shape tight for the whole 90, denying Palace of any real threat. The Eagles mustered just 6 shots on the day, good enough for 0.24 xG. Worrying times for the Palace faithful.

2. Bernard, Winger β€” Everton

Is there a better left-sided duo than Lucas Digne and Bernard outside the Top 6? The two connected in the 10th minute against Watford this weekend, but that wasn’t the end of the day for Bernard.

The 26-year-old Brazilian spent all afternoon bombing down the left side giving Hornet defenders Kiko FemenΓ­a and Craig Dawson all they could handle. By the end of the match, Bernard had tallied 5 successful take ons and registered 3 more scoring chances as the Toffees cruised to their first win of the season.

While Moise Kean and Richarlison garner the hype. Ole reliable on the left wing still may be the best solo creator on the blue side of Merseyside.

1. Teemu Pukki, Striker β€” Norwich City

Pukki-mania has struck the Premier League and the only people who saw it coming are wearing green and yellow. Norwich City are out to an exciting start to the season when you consider they took a 4-1 loss on the chin to Liverpool. But even that was exhilarating. Their follow-up performance? A match for the ages for many on the Canaries, especially for striker Teemu Pukki.

Ah yes, early days, but let’s take a little peek underneath the hood and see what’s making the Fin Finisher so deadly.

Pukki has blasted 10 shots this season. He’s put the ball on goal in 7 of those attempts and good things have happened from there. These haven’t been tap ins either. The talisman has an xG of 1.46 and is making the most of his shot opportunities.

Last season, Pukki peppered 144 shots toward Championship goalkeepers while scoring 29 goals and leading his team to first place. 57 of those shots, about 40 percent, were on target. Good things happen when you put the ball on net and Pukki has shown enough composure on the Premier League stage to already mark his name in the history books of this young season.

Will the 70% shot accuracy rate continue for our Pukki? Probably not. So let’s celebrate until the goals dry up and the beer is gone.

Outside the 6 Team of the Week: Matchday 2

Goalkeeper

Aaron Ramsdale β€” Bournemouth

  • 6 saves
  • 3 clearances
  • 2 big chance saves

Center Backs

Yerry Mina β€” Everton

  • Clean sheet
  • 8 successful clearances
  • 5 defensive aerial wins in 7 chances
  • 2 tackles and an interception

Jack O’Connell β€” Sheffield United

  • Clean sheet
  • 11 successful clearances
  • 5 defensive aerial wins in 9 chances

Left Back

Lucas Digne β€” Everton

  • Clean sheet
  • 1 assist on 2 chances created
  • 6 successful clearances
  • 3 tackles and an interception

Right Back

Ricardo Pereira β€” Leicester City

  • 11 successful attacking third passes
  • 5 successful dribbles
  • 8 tackles and 11 ball recoveries
  • 5 clearances and 3 interceptions

Midfielders

Todd Cantwell β€” Norwich City

  • 2 assists on 4 chances created
  • 85% pass success rate and 5 key passes
  • 23/28 in attacking third passes

John Lundstram β€” Sheffield United

  • 1 goal
  • 16/18 in attacking third passes
  • 88% pass success rate with 1 key pass
  • 4 tackles, 4 clearances and 2 interceptions

Manuel Lanzini β€” West Ham

  • 1 assist on 3 chances created
  • 88% pass success rate and 4 key passes
  • 13/19 in attacking third passes
  • 5 successful dribbles and 12 ball recoveries
  • 3 interceptions and a tackle

JoΓ£o Moutinho β€” Wolverhampton

  • 1 assist on 3 chances created
  • 79% pass success rate and 3 key passes
  • 15/18 in attacking third passes
  • 3 tackles and an interception

Forwards

Bernard β€” Everton

  • 1 goal on 2 shots
  • 5 successful dribbles
  • 3 key passes and 2 scoring chances created
  • 4 tackles and an interception

Teemu Pukki β€” Norwich City

  • 3 goals on 7 shots; 6 on target
  • 5/5 in attacking third passes; 100% overall pass success rate
  • 2 dribbles and 1 great hustle-tackle

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