Premier League Player of the Week: De Bruyne guides City past Fulham and Kane dominates the North London Derby
Who gets your vote this week?
Another Premier League game week is done and dusted, filled with all the usual thrills, spills, red cards and controversy we’ve seen this season, but with one difference.
We saw fans return to selected grounds in the Premier League for the first time since March, and in London, it was just in time for 2,000 Tottenham fans to witness their club claim the North London bragging rights and retain their place atop the table.
Elsewhere, Manchester United and Chelsea came from behind to win their respective matches 3-1, while Manchester City coasted to a home win against Fulham and Liverpool put four past Wolves.
We’ve cast our eyes over the weekend’s action and picked out four stand-out performances that inspired their sides for our Premier League Player of the Week…
Kevin De Bruyne
Any hopes Fulham had of an upset lasted all but five minutes, after Raheem Sterling struck early to give Manchester City total control.
But Sterling’s first goal in six matches in all competitions was crafted by the magic feet of Kevin De Bruyne, carrying the ball forward from the half-way line before delicately sliding the ball through to Sterling with a perfectly weighted pass, for the Englishman to take a touch before scoring.
City continued to dominate, and it was just 20 minutes later that the Belgian playmaker emphasised their dominance from the spot after Sterling was fouled in the box by Joachim Andersen.
Despite the Cityzens’ penalty woes in previous seasons, there was never any doubt where the ball was heading when De Bruyne calmly and confidently took three steps before stroking the ball into the right-hand side of Alphonse Areola’s net.
De Bruyne had the opportunity to score his second of the match after Gabriel Jesus played the ball to the edge of the area, but the Belgian’s first-time strike thundered against the cross bar.
It was in just the eighth minute of the game that Crystal Palace’s talisman offered West Brom a warning about what was to come, getting away from Matheus Pereira before whipping in a low cross which was turned into the back of his own net by Darnell Furlong.
But it was the second half where Wilfried Zaha came into his own, taking advantage of the man advantage his Palace side had over the Baggies.
Starting the second half at 1-1, the Ivorian forward emphatically put the Eagles back ahead in the 55th minute, cutting in on his right foot before unleashing a powerful, curled effort into the far corner, giving Sam Johnstone in the West Brom net absolutely no chance.
A Christian Benteke strike made it 3-1, before Zaha finished off a delightful Palace move to make it four. Eberechi Eze played a one-two with Benteke before dancing through the Baggies defence, with the ball falling into the path of Zaha to delightfully smash it home with the outside of his right boot.
Zaha is in the form of his life at present, scoring seven goals in his last nine Premier League appearances. His last seven before that were scored in 49 matches.
Has Harry Kane become the most complete forward in world football? His inclusion in this week’s Player of the Week poll would suggest so.
While the opening goal of the North London Derby was all about the audacity and vision of Son Heung-min, we can’t discredit Kane for his role in the build-up.
Controlling a wildly bouncing ball, Kane nipped the ball past Thomas Partey in the middle of his own half before a first time left-footed pass set Son on his way, with the South Korean finishing with aplomb.
But it was the sublime movement of Kane that allowed the second goal to happen. After a poor cross in the Spurs box from Hector Bellerin, Serge Aurier set the Lilywhites away on the counter with Giovanni Lo Celso leading the four against two charge.
After handing the mantle over to Son, the South Korean plays a couple of step overs while Kane runs around the back of him, before a quick slide off to the English forward puts him in prime position to punish the Gunners, and that’s exactly what he does.
He takes one touch with his left before unleashing an explosive shot which cannons off the underside of the crossbar and across the line. His hold up play and awareness also deserves a mention, but Kane is now the all-time leading North London Derby goalscorer with 11 strikes.
Another week, another Premier League goal for Mohamed Salah. At this stage, can we even be surprised by his consistency to find the back of the net anymore?
The Egyptian forward capitalised on a mistake from Wolves skipper Conor Coady, cushioning the ball on his chest to put it on a plate for Salah inside the box, with the winger taking one touch before sliding it past Rui Patricio to break the deadlock.
Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 with a sumptuous strike from the edge of the Wolves area, before Salah was involved in adding to the scoreline once again.
A short corner from Jordan Henderson to Salah allowed the Egyptian to open up a better angle to cross. Chipping a ball right into the danger area, Salah’s cross was met in the six-yard box by the onrushing Joel Matip, whose powerful header sealed the three points.
As always, we’ll give some honourable mentions down here. Wijnaldum may have been mentioned, but we’d like to highlight his dominant display in the centre of the park for Liverpool.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke and Eberechi Eze deserve more plaudits for the part they played in their 5-1 win, while Harry Kane shouldn’t take all of the credit for that North London Derby win, as Son was just as influential.
We saw an impressive performance from Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma too, with the Frenchman grabbing his fourth Premier League goal of the season. But who gets your vote for this week’s Player of the Week? Let us know in our Twitter poll.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.