Garth Crooks' team of the week: De Bruyne, Van Dijk, Kane, Vardy, Mahrez

Garth Crooks Team of the Week graphic

Liverpool maintained their 100% winning start to the Premier League season by edging to a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Champions Manchester City remained five points behind after a 3-1 win at Everton, while Leicester climbed up to third with a 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle.

Elsewhere, Chelsea,Crystal Palace and Wolves all won by a 2-0 scoreline.

Here's my team of the week - have a read and select your own below.

Garth Crooks' team of the week

Goalkeeper - Ederson (Manchester City)


Ederson: I thought Ederson's performance against Everton was nothing short of world class. The first save from Yerry Mina was impressive while the second effort by the same player forced Ederson to dive full stretch and push the ball wide of his post.

The Brazilian's saves changed the course of the game for Manchester City and has kept Liverpool looking over their shoulder.

Last week I criticised some of Everton's big earners for not producing big performances when it mattered.

City's Ederson, on the other hand, deserves every penny he gets with performances like that.

Did you know? Among goalkeepers to have made 50 or more appearances in the Premier League, Ederson has the best win rate of anyone in the competition's history (83% - 67/81).

Defenders - Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joel Matip (Liverpool)

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joel Matip (Liverpool)

Pereira: For the second consecutive week the Leicester City full-back finds himself in my team of the week for sheer adventurism. Pereira's opening goal for the Foxes against Newcastle was wonderful.

To run with the ball 40 metres into the opposition half and beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the box takes some doing - and he is a defender. Exceptional.

Did you know? Pereira has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time, netting as many goals in his last two appearances as he had in his first 40 games in the competition (2).

Tomori: This lad caught my eye against Liverpool when Mohamed Salah tried to outrun him and Tomori handled the chase comfortably and with gears to spare. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Against Brighton, it was a very different proposition, but Tomori looked composed and comfortable like a player who is going places. I hear the Nigerians have their eye on this talent and the Super Eagles' pulling power is not to be underestimated. England manager Gareth Southgate should not take Tomori's England age group appearances for granted.

Did you know? Tomori has made the most interceptions of any defender for Chelsea in the Premier League this season (12).

Van Dijk: Well, he might not have won the Fifa Player of the Year award but he is definitely on top of my list. The Dutch international was back doing what he does best and that is keeping matters calm at the back for Liverpool.

To be perfectly honest I thought the Sheffield United fans offered more of a threat than their strikers. United just cannot afford to miss chances when they come along but this was a day when Liverpool's strikeforce also struggled in front of goal and Van Dijk - with his fellow defenders - bailed them out.

Did you know? Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 24 Premier League games that Van Dijk has featured in, and have won the last 16 of those in a row.

Matip: The improvement in Matip's performances since the arrival of Van Dijk at Liverpool has been amazing. I have said before that Matip has been prepared to do a lot of the heavy lifting in Liverpool's defence - a role that can be physically demanding at times but one that is immensely rewarding too.

Against Sheffield United, it was his ball distribution that impressed me. Making passes into strikers from deep positions can be a risky affair and takes courage. Matip seems to be fearless at the moment. Bad news for Joe Gomez.

Did you know? Matip has the best aerial duel success of any player in the Premier League this season (minimum 10 aerial duels), winning 88% of those in 2019-20 so far.

Midfielders - Matt Doherty (Wolves), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham)

Matt Doherty (Wolves), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham)

Doherty: The goal that was carved out for Doherty to sidefoot home was glorious. The more I see of Doherty, the harder he seems to work. I get tired just watching him.

If ever a man deserves a goal it is the Republic of Ireland international. This was a game Wolves had to win. European football has been a terrible distraction for this club and the sooner they get to grips with the Premier League again the better.

Did you know? Since the start of last season, Doherty (five goals, five assists) has been directly involved in 10 or more goals in the Premier League.

De Bruyne: When De Bruyne has the ball at his feet, and you are a striker in his team and don't make your way immediately into the opposition's penalty area, then you are an idiot.

The Belgium international is so precise with his passing he is a forward's dream. Is it any wonder that Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero feed off him like vultures?

As for Morgan Schneiderlin, trying to take De Bruyne out with a cynical challenge was in poor taste. Punters pay to see De Bruyne because he is an artist. Trying to kick top class players out of the game is a job for hod carriers.

Did you know? De Bruyne has provided eight assists in the Premier League already this season - only Cesc Fabregas in 2009-10 has provided as many in his side's first seven games in a single campaign.

Yarmolenko: This lad can bend balls around keepers for fun. Yarmolenko took his goal brilliantly once he turned Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on the edge of the penalty area.

The Ukraine international has the ability to beat the goalkeeper once he is on his favoured left foot. He is also starting to become a firm favourite among the West Ham faithful.

Did you know? Yarmolenko has netted three goals in his last four Premier League games, one more than he managed in his previous 11.

Forwards - Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Mahrez: Manchester City fans have waited quite some time to see the best of Mahrez. Leicester City fans have seen it, the Algeria fans have seen it and against Everton, City fans saw what I thought was his best performance for the club since his somewhat controversial arrival at the Etihad Stadium. His goal was beautifully taken.

Did you know? Mahrez has been directly involved in 17 goals in his last 17 starts for Manchester City in all competitions (seven goals, 10 assists), including nine in his last seven (four goals, five assists).

Kane: Spurs would have lost this game if it were not for the calmness of Kane. For large parts of the win against Southampton, Tottenham's performance descended into chaos.

Serge Aurier's game fell apart during 10 minutes of madness, followed by Hugo Lloris's peculiar rendition of the Cruyff turn on his own goalline. Really, have you ever seen anything like it?

What Southampton made of all this I can only imagine. The sad thing for the Saints is that they could not take advantage of it. Thank goodness Spurs have Kane - one of the few players they can rely on in a crisis.

Did you know? Kane scored in his sixth consecutive Premier League appearance against Southampton - only Robin van Persie v Stoke (8), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink v West Ham (7) and Romelu Lukaku s West Ham (7) have had longer scoring streaks against an opponent in the competition.

Vardy: You can always tell when a striker is on top of his game and I don't think Vardy can get any higher at the moment. The lad looks in great form and so do Leicester when they perform in front of their own fans.

If they can get their away form right then a top six finish is very feasible. The Foxes savaged Newcastle, who look like they might be slipping back into old habits again. What Isaac Hayden was doing crashing into Dennis Praet like that just beggars belief.

Did you know? Since Brendan Rodgers' first match with Leicester in March, Jamie Vardy has scored more Premier League goals than any other player; netting 14 times in 17 appearances.

Now it's your turn

You've seen my selections this season. But who would you go for?

Pick your Team of the Week

Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.

Crooks of the Matter

Last week I selected Bernardo Silva in my Team of the Week for producing a splendid performance against Watford. This week the same player finds himself featuring in the Crooks of the Matter for his sheer stupidity.

Silva depicting his team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a Conguitos (Spanish chocolate) is the sort of remark I heard in the '70s and '80s . Why would a modern-day professional footballer think that 'banter' of this nature could possibly be accepted by the rest of us as a harmless joke in this day and age?

Manager Pep Guardiola has been quick to defend his player's character, which is odd because it's not Silva's character that is in question but his intelligence. It's also perfectly understandable that Silva, who now finds himself in the dock, is being defended by Mendy and Raheem Sterling, but those players can't have it both ways. They cannot defend their team-mate's stupidity just because he's a decent lad but condemn fans for being equally stupid.

Black players have an enormous role to play here not just in educating their team-mates but by recognising racism wherever they see it, and that means in the dressing room as well.

Top Stories