The drama and excitement continued in the second week of the 2022/23 Premier League season. While Manchester City and Arsenal extended their winning starts to the season, Manchester United’s troubles under Erik Ten Hag worsened after the Red Devils’ humiliating 4-0 defeat against Brentford in West London. Liverpool also suffered their second consecutive draw to begin the new campaign, while Tottenham and Chelsea engaged in a fractious, high-octane London derby at Stamford Bridge in the marquee showdown of the weekend.
There were plenty of fantastic individual performances across the weekend.
GK: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest)
While the pressure began to mount on David de Gea for Manchester United, Dean Henderson starred for Nottingham Forest on his second loan appearance for the club. The Englishman brilliantly saved Declan Rice’s penalty in the second half and made four saves and four high claims to help Forest win their first since their return to the Premier League topflight.
RB: Reece James (Chelsea)
Reece James displayed his tactical versatility and incredible attacking potential in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham at home. The Englishman switched between a wing-back and centre-back in and out of possession in the feisty derby at the Bridge and produced a couple of extraordinary moments in the attacking third, delivering a brilliant cross for Kai Havertz before scoring Chelsea’s second with a monster strike.
CB: Ben Mee (Brentford)
Ben Mee enjoyed the perfect start to his life at Brentford as the English centre-half outmuscled Lisandro Martinez at the far post to score his maiden goal for the club in the Bees’ rampant 4-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea)
Kalidou Koulibaly marked his home debut for Chelsea with a thunderous goal to open the scoring, volleying home Marc Cucurella’s cross from the edge of the area. Additionally, the Senegalese defender was superb in possession, replacing Antonio Rudiger’s on-ball quality at LCB, while also helping the Chelsea backline neutralize the Tottenham front three of Kane, Son, and Kulusevski.
LB: Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace)
Although he didn’t offer much in possession, Tyrick Mitchell did an excellent defensive job down the left-hand side for Crystal Palace, with the wing-back able to keep Mohamed Salah quiet and restrict his impact on the game at Anfield.
CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin de Bruyne got off the mark in the Premier League in their regulation 4-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Etihad. The Belgian oozed class with his opening goal, guiding the ball into the far post with the outside of his boot before expertly threading through Phil Foden to register his first assist this season.
CM: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Granit Xhaka has begun to thrive in his advanced left-eight role for Arsenal, and the Swiss midfielder showed plenty of attacking adventure against Leicester City, grabbing a goal and an assist in the Gunners’ 4-2 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
CM: Mathias Jensen (Brentford)
Mathias Jensen’s infectious pressing and work-rate played a big part in Brentford’s dominance over Manchester United. The Danish midfielder scored his maiden Premier League goal for the club after dispossessing his former team-mate Christian Eriksen at the edge of the area and the number 8 also played a hand in two other Brentford goals with his industry.
LW: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
Luis Diaz scored the goal of the weekend for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday night. Following Darwin Nunez’s red card, Diaz rallied the Reds with an other-worldly equaliser, beating three Palace defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
RW: Rodrigo (Leeds United)
Rodrigo continued his fine form for Leeds United to start the season as the Spaniard scored two poacher’s goals in the second half to give Jesse Marsch’s side a 2-0 lead against Southampton at St. Mary’s.
ST: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
After an underwhelming debut at Crystal Palace, Gabriel Jesus rocked the Emirates crowd in their 4-2 home win over Leicester, with the Brazilian involved in all four Arsenal goals. Jesus displayed prodigious finishing, movement, and link-up play against the Foxes, bagging two goals and two assists to give the Gunners their second win of the Premier League season.
Manager: Patrick Vieira (Crystal Palace)
Patrick Vieira produced the perfect game plan to help Crystal Palace come away with a draw against Liverpool in one of the toughest away grounds in the country, Anfield. The Frenchman set up the Eagles in a 5-4-1 designed to block space and deny Liverpool room in behind, while also ensuring they use the pace of Wilfried Zaha on the counterattack against Nat Phillips.