Petr Cech, Xhaka and the Worst team of the Week

Image result for Harry Kane
With six out of the eight victorious teams from this weekend all winning to nil and only two draws out of the 10 fixtures, the Premier League opening weekend didn’t quite have the drama and break-neck intensity served up in Russia this summer.

However, Arsenal’s defeat to Man City aside, all the big guns got off to winning starts and we were still treated to a host of great goals up and down the country.

Here are the worst  XI from Premier League game week one.

Worst XI

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Looked to be halfway toward saving Raheem Sterling’s opening goal before inexplicably giving up.

To give Petr Cech some credit, he did pull off a few decent saves. However, with Emery clearly wanting his side to play out from the back, Arsenal’s No.1 looked extremely uncomfortable – the Emirates fans looked terrified everytime their ‘keeper received the ball and he made a great attempt to get on the Man City scoresheet by nearly passing the ball into his own net.

Key stat: Petr Cech misplaced more passes (11) than any other Arsenal player vs. Man City.

Right-back: Daniel Amartey

Daniel Amartey had a torrid time against Man United on Friday night.

An inexplicable handball early on for Paul Pogba’s penalty encapsulated what was a terrible performance from the 23-year-old before being substituted on 63 minutes.

Key stat: Daniel Amartey has already picked up as many yellow cards this season as he did in 2017/18.

Centre-back: Phil Jagielka (Everton)

The debate will rage on as to whether Phil Jagielka’s challenge on Diogo Jota actually warranted a red card.

However, it was his sloppy first touch that put him in that situation in the first place and, given Everton’s strong start to the game and their brave performance with 10 men afterwards, the red card cost them the victory in this opening game.

Key stat: Phil Jagielka’s red card was Everton’s 90th in the Premier League – more than any other club.

Centre-back: Calum Chambers (Fulham)

There has been a fair amount of excitement surrounding Fulham’s return to the Premier League given their summer recruitment and the talent they already possess in Ryan Sessegnon.

Calum Chambers was a part of that recruitment drive and had a debut to forget at Craven Cottage – the 23-year-old Arsenal loanee lost Jeffrey Schlupp for Palace’s opener and never looked settled in the heart of the Fulham defence.

Key stat: Calum Chambers won just one of his seven aerial duels against Palace on Saturday.

Left-back: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United)

Masuaku was one of many Hammers that endured a torrid day on Merseyside on Sunday.

He was at fault for Liverpool’s first two goals and was often caught out of position with his poor concentration levels – not a recommended trait when playing against one of world football’s most potent attacking trios – forcing Felipe Anderson into more defensive work than he would have expected.

Key stat: Arthur Masuaku lost possession more times (18) than any other West Ham player at Anfield.

Central midfield: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Granit Xhaka just could not cope with Manchester City’s vibrant midfield as the Swiss international failed to convert his critics.

Picked up yet another booking with a cynical trip on Sergio Aguero.

Key stat: Granit Xhaka has more Premier League yellow cards than any other Arsenal player since the start of last season (11).

Central midfield: Callum Paterson (Cardiff City)

A Premier League debut to forget for Callum Paterson as Cardiff learned some harsh lessons about life at the top against Bournemouth.

Wasteful in possession and not up to the pace, Paterson’s bright point on Saturday was being substituted on 62 minutes.

Key stat: Callum Paterson’s wastefulness in midfield is highlighted by his 42.3% passing accuracy against Bournemouth – the lowest of any outfield player to start the game – and he also won just one out of four attempted tackles.

Right-wing: Andre Schurrle (Fulham)

A very underwhelming performance from one of Fulham’s big-name signings this summer as Andre Schurlle struggled to really impose himself on the Crystal Palace defence.

The Cottagers will be hoping for much more from the German international as the season goes on.

Key stat: Fulham had 15 shots against Crystal Palace, none of which were produced by Andre Schurrle.

Attacking midfield: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

It wasn’t for the want of trying, but Mesut Ozil just could not get Arsenal ticking in midfield on Sunday as City ran the show.

He didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as the Arsenal forwards as he misplaced, overhit and under hit many of his through balls.

Key stat: Mesut Ozil’s 76.32% passing accuracy was the second lowest of any Arsenal midfielder – only Aaron Ramsey had a worse accuracy with 66.67%.

Left-wing: Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)

It’s fair to say that Alexis Sanchez hasn’t hit full flow since signing for Manchester United in January – and Friday’s display against Leicester gave no indication that an improvement is afoot.

Sanchez squandered a number of good opportunities when United were breaking against Leicester with some sloppy passing and poor finishing – the Chilean failed to get a single shot on target.

Key stat: Alexis Sanchez’ completed just one more pass (24) than he did lose possession (23) vs. Leicester, resulting in the lowest passing accuracy (64.9%) of any outfield player.

Centre-forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

After the summer he has had, few could blame Harry Kane for being a little tired and off the pace.

However, that is exactly what he was against Newcastle on Saturday as he failed to truly trouble the Newcastle defence – Kane’s traditional August woes seem to be continuing.

Key stat: Harry Kane mustered just one shot against Newcastle and failed to hit the target in the process.


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