Premier League weekend awards: Garnacho’s wonder goal steals the show

TThe Premier League is a confusing place at the moment. As if by accident, Arsenal went top this weekend, defying claims that Mikel Arteta’s side were struggling to reach the highs of last season. Liverpool, meanwhile, highlighted their title credentials with a point away to Manchester City, despite the Reds extending their run to just three wins from their last seven league games.

Only a month ago, Ange Postecoglou’s tough Tottenham Hotspur was top. Now they are fifth with the same number of points as last season at this stage under Antonio Conte. However, nothing is more confusing than the form of Manchester United, who are now the best in the Premier League. Has there ever been another crisis club with a six-game winning streak?

Burnley – the team that broke championship records last season and spent more in the summer than any other promoted team – are still at rock bottom. Luton Town, who have made it through the play-offs, spent just £15 on new players and play their home games mainly in the back gardens of a row of terraced houses, are in the bottom three and are building momentum.

Peak Barclays, as they say. Unfortunately for Arsenal, there are no trophies awarded at this stage of the season, but there were plenty of winners and losers from Matchweek 13.

The Dark Knight Rises award for not being as good as we hoped

If the hope is that this season will complete a trilogy of great City-Liverpool title races, Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium was the Premier League equivalent of The Dark Knight Rises – messy, lacking structure and with some confusing performances by people who are capable of doing better. The only thing it reminded us was how exciting the series was in the past.

The Premier League hyperbole machine tried to hype up the match between City and Liverpool. “The whole world,” said Jamie Carragher, watched Saturday’s match. It was apparently a meeting between the two best teams in the league. Yet it didn’t feel that way.

Maybe it was the early kick-off. Perhaps international duty sapped the energy of players who had returned to their clubs from around the world just two or three days earlier. Whatever it was, this match didn’t have the same ferocity or quality as previous City-Liverpool matches. However, a draw could mean that this season’s rivalry will intensify and the ultimate showdown may not take place until later in the season. This may have been a precursor. A Deathly Hallows: Part One instead of a Dark Knight Rises perhaps.

Goal of the week

Alejandro Garnacho will always remember his first Premier League goal of the season and not just because it was his first Premier League goal of the season – because it was one of the best bicycle kicks in the history of the competition. Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Peter Crouch all scored great overhead kicks, but Garnacho might have dominated.

Sixteen yards out and at a high pace going backwards, Garnacho somehow managed to contort his body to meet Diogo Dalot’s cross two yards in the air and find the top corner of the net with an arrow from one stroke back over the goal. Everton have had problems with overheads recently, but there was nothing they could do to stop this. It was so good that we’ll forgive Garnacho – a former Atlético Madrid player and current teammate of Lionel Messi for Argentina – for celebrating like Ronaldo.

Headgear of the week

Many Arsenal fans wanted to get Kai Havertz into trouble this season. The German has struggled to make a major positive impact at his new club since joining from Chelsea in the summer, but Mikel Arteta’s hold on Havertz after his late winner against Brentford was a sign of affection. He wanted Havertz to take the plaudits from the Arsenal fans after sending the Gunners top of the table with a 1-0 win. A few weeks ago they would have thrown rotten fruit at him using Arteta’s forearm as a stick.

Player of the week

Anthony Gordon almost signed for Chelsea so it was inevitable he would put in a Player of the Match performance against them on Saturday. That’s just the way football works. The 22-year-old was indeed the best player on the pitch for Newcastle United as they returned to victory and recorded an impressive 4-1 win, with Gordon scoring once and assisting another.

Gordon has been Newcastle’s most reliable player this season. He has scored five goals and three assists in 12 Premier League appearances and looks increasingly suited to the Magpies’ fast and furious attacking style. Eddie Howe is directing more and more attacking play through the former Everton winger, who is clearly becoming more and more confident. Gordon is certainly grateful that the impending transfer to Chelsea fell through.

Jérémy Doku completed the most successful dribbles (11) in a Premier League match against Liverpool this season. Photo: Javier García/Shutterstock

Statistic of the week

Jérémy Doku vs. Trent Alexander-Arnold was always going to be a statistical outlier. While one is the best dribbler in the Premier League, the latter has a habit of throwing his hands in the air whenever an opposing striker comes close to him with the ball. This was evident from the full-time figures between City and Liverpool.

Alexander-Arnold has been dribbled past more times (seven) than any player in a Premier League match this season. Meanwhile, Doku completed 11 dribbles – the most of any player in a Premier League match since Adama Traoré recorded 11 in September 2021. And Doku did it without lathering his arms. baby oil.

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Debut of the week

If Premier League debuts are measured by the number of compilation videos made for sped-up techno, Kobbie Mainoo’s was about as good as they come. Manchester United’s social media was full of highlights of the 18-year-old’s every touch against Everton with Mainoo, the kind of all-in-one midfielder Erik ten Hag has been desperately missing this season.

The figures illustrate what Mainoo had to offer. On the defensive side, he won 100% of his tackles and made three recoveries – more than any other United player. On the possession side, he also completed more take-ons than any of his teammates and also had the highest completion percentage (83%) of all starting players. It was a successful introduction for a player with a bright future.

The Phil Neville award for not knowing your limitations

In the documentary Class of ’92, Phil Neville tells a story about making a switch in a match that had his Manchester United teammates bursting out laughing. Thiago Silva made the same mistake against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Silva is better than Marcel ever was – and he’s Brazilian – but his pirouette straight out of play for a Newcastle corner was perhaps the most embarrassing thing a Chelsea player has done this season, and that’s saying something. The humiliation was made worse by Gordon pointing at Silva on the ground and laughing, as did Nelson Muntz.

Sergiño Dest red card of the week

Lewis Dunk clearly saw Sergiño Dest’s collapse in the USMNT Concacaf Nations League defeat to Trinidad and Tobago last week and thought, ‘Wait a minute. Tuaca.’ The Brighton defender was shown a yellow card for the first time as he challenged the award of a penalty to Nottingham Forest in the team’s 3-2 win. Dunk was shown a straight red card seconds later for using what the league describes as “foul and offensive language” towards referee Anthony Taylor, something cameras captured as rhyming with scald brick. Considering what Roberto De Zerbi recently said about Premier League referees and how he doesn’t like “80%” of them, he probably agrees.

Most charitable goalkeeper

Modern goalkeepers are expected to do more, although Arsenal and Liverpool probably wished their respective No. 1s had done less this weekend. Aaron Ramsdale and Alisson Becker both did their best to cough up a goal for the opposition with their distribution from the back and the latter actually succeeded.

Alisson’s cut high into the Eastlands sky led to Manchester City’s opener against Liverpool on Saturday, although Alexander-Arnold could have done more to prevent star Nathan Aké from driving Diego Maradona through the center of the pitch before teeing up Erling Haaland fed before the finish. Another mishit pass from Alisson led to Phil Foden’s shot from Liverpool’s penalty area.

Back in the Arsenal line-up due to David Raya’s loan deal, Ramsdale also struggled with his concentration against Brentford, almost gifting the Bees a goal after hesitating with the ball in his own six-yard area. This was not entirely strange for a goalkeeper recently said Ian Wright how he struggles to concentrate for ninety minutes. If he had picked a fight with a Brentford fan the mistake might not have happened.