The Premier League is back, and the opening weekend of the 2021/22 season delivered some fantastic drama as packed crowds returned to England stadiums for the first time in 18 months. Newly promoted Brentford stunned Arsenal on the opening night, Manchester United put five past Leeds United while Tottenham produced a dogged back-to-the-wall performance to beat the reigning champions Manchester City.
34 goals were scored across the ten high-octane matches, and here is our Man’s Life Premier League Team of the Week.
GK: Alisson (Liverpool)
Although Liverpool comfortably sealed a 3-0 away victory against Norwich City, Alisson had another blinder in goal, making four outstanding saves to ensure that the Reds left Carrow Road with a clean sheet.
RB: Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham)
Japhet Tanganga was named as man of the match in Tottenham’s spirited 1-0 victory over Manchester City, and the Englishman did an outstanding job while playing out of position as a right back to restrict the threat of Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling from City’s left-hand side.
CB: Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)
After a superb performance in the UEFA Super Cup against Villareal in mid-week, the 22-year-old Chelsea academy product enjoyed the perfect start to his Premier League career. The Blues were comfortable 3-0 victors over Crystal Palace on the opening day, and Chalobah capped off his debut performance with a stunning strike for the 3rd goal from outside the box.
CB: Ethan Pinnock (Brentford)
Brentford enjoyed the dream start to life in the Premier League, and Ethan Pinnock had an outstanding game for the Bees, registering the assist for the opening goal from Sergi Canos and dealing with the threat of Balogun, Pepe and Martinelli with relative ease.
LB: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Marcos Alonso was preferred to Ben Chilwell at left wing-back, and the Spaniard opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 2021/22 Premier League season with a delightful free-kick from outside the box into the top corner.
CM: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Paul Pogba followed up his excellent campaign for France at the European Championships with an excellent performance against Leeds United that saw him become only the 7th player in Premier League history to register four assists in one game.
CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton)
Abdoulaye Doucoure had an excellent all-round display in central midfield for Everton in their 3-1 victory over Southampton, making 10 recoveries and winning 11 duels before scoring the winning goal with an excellent shot into the top corner.
CAM: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Bruno Fernandes picked up the 2021/22 season right where he left off in the last campaign and scored a brilliant hat-trick on the opening day against Leeds as Manchester United ran riot to win 5-1 against their local rivals.
RW: Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)
Mohammed Salah was the best player on the pitch in Liverpool’s routine 3-0 victory over Norwich, and the Egyptian had a hand in all three goals for the Reds, setting up the first two for Jota and Firmino before getting on the scoresheet with a rocket of a strike.
ST: Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Despite missing a crucial penalty for West Ham, Michail Antonio led the line brilliantly against Newcastle, setting up the equalising goal before becoming West Ham’s leading goal-scorer in the Premier League with a clinical finish to seal the victory.
LW: Said Benrahma (West Ham)
After a tricky first season in the Premier League, Said Benrahma sprung to life for West Ham in their 4-2 win over Newcastle and bagged a goal and an assist to help the Hammers earn a thrilling victory on the opening day of the season at St. James Park.
Manager of the week: Thomas Frank (Brentford)
Thomas Frank’s Brentford produced the most inspiring performance of the weekend with their opening day victory over Arsenal. Frank’s game plan worked to a tee against the Gunners, with the Bees pressing Arsenal high to create opportunities as they deservedly won their first-ever game in the Premier League.