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Premier League Team of the Week - Cristiano Ronaldo, Wilfried Zaha, Paul Pogba

Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek four, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Wilfried Zaha and Paul Pogba.

Premier League teams served up a treat in gameweek four of the 2021-22 season following the international break, which began with previously perfect Tottenham Hotspur suffering their first defeat of the season in humbling fashion at Crystal Palace.

Manchester United took advantage during Cristiano Ronaldo's homecoming against Newcastle United to rise to the top of the standings, but Chelsea and Liverpool claimed 3-0 wins over Aston Villa and Leeds United respectively to keep pace with the Red Devils.

Everton also moved onto a double-figure points tally with a thrilling Monday night victory over Burnley, while reigning champions Manchester City avenged their Community Shield defeat to Leicester City with a 1-0 win at the King Power.

Elsewhere, Arsenal claimed their first win of the season over Norwich City by a goal to nil, Wolverhampton Wanderers sunk Watford 2-0, Brighton & Hove Albion ended Brentford's unbeaten start, while Southampton and West Ham United could not find a way through on the South Coast.

Here, Sports Mole picks out 11 of gameweek four's best performers for our Team of the Week.


DEFENCE

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold looks on on August 8, 2021© Reuters

While Romelu Lukaku is busy making headlines at the other end of the pitch, Chelsea's number one Edouard Mendy proved his worth to the Blues backline with a stellar performance to preserve his side's clean sheet against Villa. The former Rennes man made a total of six saves on the day - all of which came from shots inside the area - and his double stop to keep out Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa drew quite the applause from the Stamford Bridge faithful.

A difficult summer has been consigned to history for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who provided the assist for Mohamed Salah's 100th Premier League goal at Elland Road with a perfectly-weighted pass, and the right-back also registered five key passes and won both of his aerial duels. On the other side, another recognisable name in Luke Shaw charged forward and laid the ball on a plate for Ronaldo to score his second against Newcastle while also winning all three of his ground duels and registering a 92% pass accuracy.

Garnering plenty of praise from former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, Southampton's Mohammed Salisu was simply a rock at the back against West Ham to prevent the free-scoring Hammers from finding the back of the net. With eight clearances, four interceptions, two tackles and two blocked shots, Salisu played his part to perfection.

The final spot in our backline belongs to Everton's Michael Keane, who appeared to be heading for defeat against former club Burnley before his pinpoint header inspired quite the turnaround on Monday night. As well as his obvious contribution at the correct end of the pitch, the Englishman chipped in with five clearances and three interceptions as his positive start to life under Rafael Benitez continued.


MIDFIELD

Andros Townsend scores for Everton against Burnley in the Premier League on September 13, 2021© Reuters

Much was made of what appeared to be an underwhelming transfer window for Everton at a first glance, but Andros Townsend produced an early contender for goal of the season against Burnley. After providing the cross for Keane's equaliser, Townsend cut in on his left foot before unleashing a thunderous 30-yard screamer into the top corner to send the Goodison Park faithful into delirium.

Prior to facing Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime, Wilfried Zaha had failed to claim a goal or assist in 12 Premier League games against the Lilywhites, but that all changed during a stellar afternoon in the capital. After calmly tucking home the spot kick to propel the Eagles into the ascendancy, Zaha raced away down the left-hand side and picked out Odsonne Edouard in the centre for his first Palace goal, and he also won 10 of his 16 ground duels on the day.

Abdoulaye Doucoure's performance against Burnley warranted a goal of his own, and while the Frenchman was denied by the offside flag, he put in a monstrous performance in the middle of the park nonetheless. Doucoure claimed the assist for Townsend's stunning effort before his inch-perfect pass allowed Demarai Gray to race through and score the Toffees' third, and he also played his part defensively with three interceptions and two tackles.

It was a tough choice between Fabinho and Paul Pogba for the final spot in the engine room, but in the end the Man United assist king just shades it. Having laid the ball on a plate for Bruno Fernandes's stunner, the Frenchman claimed his second assist of the game and seventh of the season during a remarkable team goal for Jesse Lingard, and the Red Devils' performance against the Magpies could supposedly be a key factor in determining whether he pens a new deal at the club.


ATTACK

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Newcastle United on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Despite finding himself among the substitutes to begin with, Odsonne Edouard could not have dreamt of a better way to kickstart his Crystal Palace career than with a brace against Tottenham. The former Celtic man was only on the pitch for 10 minutes, but he darted into space expertly for his maiden Eagles goal before his second effort had too much power for Hugo Lloris to keep out.

The final spot in our team belongs to a man who needs no introduction. It was written in the stars for Cristiano Ronaldo to take centre stage during his second Old Trafford debut, and while the 36-year-old may have been helped by a less-than-convincing performance by Freddie Woodman, his attacking instincts have clearly not dwindled as he seeks to propel Man United back to the top-flight title.


SPORTS MOLE'S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

PL TOTW GW4

Sports Mole's Premier League team of the week (4-4-2): Mendy; Alexander-Arnold, Salisu, Keane, Shaw; Townsend, Pogba, Doucoure, Zaha; Edouard, Ronaldo


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Bruno Fernandes scores a penalty for Manchester United against Newcastle United in the Premier League on February 21, 2021
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea54101211113
2Liverpool54101211113
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd5410134913
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
5Manchester CityMan City53111111010
6Everton5311107310
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham522111748
9Brentford52215238
10Aston Villa52128717
11Watford520368-26
12Leicester CityLeicester520358-36
13Arsenal520329-76
14Crystal Palace512258-35
15Southampton504146-24
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
19Burnley501439-61
20Norwich CityNorwich5005214-120

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