Friday, October 18

Premier League Team of the Week - Sadio Mane, Tammy Abraham, Roberto Firmino

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Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek five, including Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham.
By , Editor | 1mo

The 2019-20 Premier League season may only be five matches old, but already it feels as though there has been a significant moment in the expected title race following Manchester City's stunning 3-2 defeat at newly-promoted Norwich City on Saturday.

The defeat, which came after Liverpool had come from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1 earlier in the day, leaves the champions five points off the Reds - the biggest ever gap between first and second at this stage of a Premier League season.

Tottenham Hotspur, as many predicted, sit in third place having returned to form with a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, while Manchester United's own return to winning ways against Leicester City sees them complete the early top four.

Chelsea's goal-laden start to the season continued with a 5-2 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are one of two teams still waiting for their first win of the season.

The other winless team is Watford, although they came from two goals down to salvage a draw against Arsenal in Quique Sanchez Flores's first game back in charge of the club.

Southampton and Bournemouth both picked up victories over Sheffield United and Everton respectively, while Brighton and Burnley shared the points and Aston Villa and West Ham United ended the weekend's action with the first goalless draw of the season on Monday night.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek five.

For the third time in five weeks this season, Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris gets the gloves in this team having made six saves to protect his clean sheet against Crystal Palace - although that match was over as a contest before half time. There was plenty of competition for the gloves this week, though, and David de Gea, Tim Krul, Nick Pope, Angus Gunn and Lukasz Fabianski all deserve mentions.

Lloris is one of four Tottenham players to make the team courtesy of that Palace rout, and two more come in defence as well. Serge Aurier has had to bide his time for a starting berth this season, but he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and picked up an assist as well as forcing Patrick van Aanholt's own goal. Toby Alderweireld also helped himself to an assist in the win, once again underlining the importance of keeping hold of him this summer.

Andrew Robertson makes it three of our four defenders to have claimed an assist - doing so for Sadio Mane's opener at Anfield - but Chelsea's Fikayo Tomori went one better with a stunning strike to break the deadlock at Molineux. The 21-year-old may have been part of a defence which conceded two goals, but he was one of three young English players to star for Chelsea, all of whom make this week's team.

Mason Mount is another to have continued his fine start to the season with the closing goal in Chelsea's big win, which was a deserved reward for his all-round performance. The new England international is forced to play a slightly deeper role in this XI due to the talent ahead of him, but still sees off competition from Scott McTominay, Rodri and Tom Cleverley for a midfield spot.

Norwich are the only team other than Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs to feature in this week's selection, and they can feel slightly hard done by to only have one representative too. Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki were all instrumental in their famous win over Man City, but the star of the show was Emiliano Buendia, who won more duels, had the joint-most touches and tackles, completed the most dribbles and won possession more times than any other player on his side during a complete performance.

Even Buendia, who also registered two assists, has to settle for a slightly deeper role with Son Heung-min and Sadio Mane both helping themselves to well-taken braces in their matches. Once again, competition was fierce, with the likes of Moussa Djenepo, Mohamed Salah, Joshua King and in particular Gerard Deulofeu unfortunate to miss out.

Despite Mane scoring two goals it was Roberto Firmino who won our man of the match award for Liverpool's win over Newcastle. The Brazilian was only on the field for 53 minutes, but he delighted the Anfield crowd with his flicks and tricks and, more importantly, provided the incision for his side to cut through the previously stubborn Newcastle defence. The assist for Salah's strike was especially joyous to behold.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Callum Wilson both scored twice this weekend, while Pukki got a goal and assist, but there was only one choice to lead the line in this XI. Tammy Abraham now has seven goals for the season and is one of only three players - alongside Dele Alli and Cristiano Ronaldo - to have scored two or more goals in three successive Premier League games while aged 21 or under. The well-taken hat-trick also saw him become the youngest Chelsea player to net a treble in the competition, and even an unfortunate own goal could not dampen a memorable day for him.

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Premier League Table
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
6Crystal Palace842288014
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
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3Atletico MadridAtletico843174315
5Real Sociedad8413139413
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