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Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week

Sports Mole picks out the 11 players that made the biggest impression during the seventh round of Premier League encounters.

For the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson's side were crowned champions, Manchester United are looking down on the rest of the Premier League.

The Red Devils capitalised on their rivals and leaders Manchester City being thrashed 4-1 away at Tottenham Hotspur by recording a 3-0 triumph over Sunderland at Old Trafford to go top.

Elsewhere, there were home victories for Liverpool, Southampton and Stoke City, while Arsenal became the first side to beat Leicester City this term in a high-scoring affair at the King Power Stadium and Everton won by the odd goal in five at The Hawthorns.

Crystal Palace registered a 1-0 win at Watford, with the games at Upton Park and St James' Park ending in draws.

Here, Sports Mole has looked back over each contest and picked out the 11 most impressive players.


Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
Usually when a side wins by such a healthy margin, their goalkeeper will have had an afternoon off, but that was certainly not the case as far as Lloris was concerned at White Hart Lane. The France number one made a string of decent saves, including one to deny Raheem Sterling when his side were trailing 1-0. In total he made seven stops against City - only Aston Villa's Brad Guzan made more at the weekend.

Kevin Mbabu (Newcastle United)
Who? The 20-year-old has been a Newcastle player since 2013, but it was not until Saturday evening against Chelsea that he made his full Premier League debut. After this outing there could be many more appearances to come. Up against the speedy, tricky and experienced Pedro, Mbabu more than held his own.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Everyone knew how comfortable the Dutchman was on the ball, but there were concerns over his ability to defend well enough in the Premier League following his switch from Celtic. To Van Dijk's credit, he silenced the doubters against the Swans as he made eight clearances, two interceptions and one tackle. Not only that, he also opened his goalscoring account for the club.
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
Sergio Aguero may not have been in the best form so far this season, yet he is still a centre-forward that defenders would rather not have to mark. However, along with his partner in crime and fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen, Alderweireld kept City's talisman relatively quiet. Then, up the other end, he capitalised on an error from visiting goalkeeper Willy Caballero to make it 2-1.
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
The young Spaniard is fast becoming one of the most impressive right-backs in the Premier League. Throughout the 90 minutes at the King Power Stadium Bellerin raided up and down his flank, causing numerous problems to the Leicester rearguard.

Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Creative roles appear to be at a premium in Louis van Gaal's starting lineup, yet it would seem that Mata has nabbed one of those spots. The bearded Spaniard produced a lively showing against Sunderland, one that often saw him cut in from the right flank to wreak havoc. A well-timed run allowed Mata to set up the opening goal for Memphis Depay and then he went on to round off the scoring himself in stoppage time.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
When Liverpool recently visited Old Trafford, they missed the creative influence that the suspended Coutinho gives them. He proved his worth against Villa, who couldn't handle the 23-year-old as he popped up in numerous pockets of space between the defence and midfield. Of Liverpool's three goals at Anfield, two were assisted by the talented Brazilian.
Ramires (Chelsea)
The hard-working Brazilian may have only been on the pitch for the last 20 minutes or so, but he made such a big impact. It's probably fair to surmise that had he not been introduced as a second-half substitute, Chelsea would have headed back to London with nothing to show for their display. Ramires reduced the deficit with a stunning effort from distance and then made a crucial run for Willian's late equaliser.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
If Arsenal are to end an 11-year wait for the Premier League title, this man is going to have a huge role to play. He had not scored in the league this season prior to the trip to Leicester, but he righted that wrong with an impressive hat-trick at the King Power Stadium.

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Having spent so much time on the sidelines over the last 18 months, it's easy to forget just how good the Liverpool frontman is. Despite having been injured for so long, Sturridge showed no signs of any rustiness by scoring two goals that any centre-forward would have been proud of. It is vitally important that he is managed properly by Brendan Rodgers because there is no doubt that the Reds are a much better side with him included.
Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
On his day, the Belgian striker is unplayable. His side looked down and out when Craig Dawson put West Brom 2-0 up just after the break, but Lukaku almost single-handedly took it upon himself to not only get Everton back in the game but win it for them. His two goals sandwiched an assist for Arouna Kone on what was a memorable evening for the Everton frontman at his old stomping ground.


Numpty of the Week

Willy Caballero: There is a saying in football that you become a better footballer when you're out of the team - that's certainly the case where Joe Hart is concerned. A back injury forced the City number one to sit out the trip to Spurs and it ended up being a costly absence.

His deputy Caballero didn't look prepared for Eric Dier's equaliser for the hosts, but worse was to come. He had no right to come for a high ball in the box early in the second half, but a rush of blood to the head allowed Alderweireld to put the home side 2-1 up. From that moment onwards, City were second best.

Goal of the Week

Daniel Sturridge - (Liverpool) vs. Villa: The fit-again striker scored twice on Merseyside, but it was his first of the afternoon that was most impressive. Having exchanged passes with James Milner, Sturridge then unleashed a volley with the outside of his left foot that curled away from a diving Guzan on its way into the far corner of the net.


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Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on September 26, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd32199464352966
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4Chelsea321510750311955
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham32167953421155
6Liverpool32158954381653
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs321481054371750
8Everton31147104340349
9Arsenal32137124436846
10Leeds UnitedLeeds32144145050046
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32118133241-941
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton31106153956-1736
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3298153553-1835
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32713123338-534
17Burnley3289152645-1933
18Fulham33512162543-1827
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3242261756-3914

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