Harry Kane, Santi Cazorla, Laurent Koscielny star in Team of the Weekend
After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers, along with a manager.
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Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section below the article or on Twitter using the hashtag #TOTW. Plus, tune in to Monday's ESPN FC show (6 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN) for further reaction.
Goalkeeper: The north east belongs to Sunderland. A sixth straight Tyne-Wear derby win was pretty much guaranteed the second Fabricio Coloccini decided to go all argy bargy on the stroke of half-time. But prior to that, Sam Allardyce's men had been battered and as Paul Mariner points out, had Costel Pantilimon to thank for keeping the Geordies at bay. The Romanian foiled Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jack Colback in the first half before making a vital block from Aleksandar Mitrovic at 1-0. Steve Nicol says the 28-year-old proved "a giant in physique and performance." Gab Marcotti makes it a full house.
Right wing-back: Roll up, roll up for a five-man back line. Ooh, how continental I hear you cry, and we have a straight fight between Tottenham's Kyle Walker and Leicester's Danny Simpson. The former is put forward by Marcotti after he made hay against a pretty hapless Bournemouth rearguard. "Games like this are made for his pace and athleticism," Marcotti said. "There's a highway in front of him and he rides it all game long." Meanwhile Mariner was impressed with a "brilliant exhibition" by Simpson. Both compelling cases, but these boots were made for Walker. He's in.
Centre-back: Kicking off a three-man back line is West Bromwich Albion's Jonny Evans. His wise, ex-Manchester United head was a vital factor as the Baggies withstood an early onslaught from Norwich, who were clearly smarting after being hit for six at Newcastle last week. Mariner called him "a rock" in defence for Tony Pulis while Nicol asks "would you want to fight him?" No Steve, I don't. But thanks.
Centre-back: This was a big win for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger knew it. Of several big performances, Laurent Koscielny put in a mammoth shift at the back as Everton wrestled back from 2-0 down and threatened to grab a point. Not only did the Frenchman just about keep the Gunners intact, he also got on the scoresheet to nod home his first goal of the Premier League season. Mariner pays tribute to his prowess at both ends of the field and Nicol was impressed with his aggression. Marcotti says "When Arsenal stutter defensively, it's rarely in his area. There's a reason."
Centre-back: The third cog at the centre of defence? Nicolas Otamendi. In what was a damp squib of a Manchester derby, he stood firm whenever United managed to get it together offensively. Marcotti explains it best: "Rooney and United don't provide much of a threat, but he gets stuck in late on when they do push a little. Derbies don't faze a guy like him."
Left wing-back: On the left flank is Sunderland's Billy Jones. Playing on his opposite side to accommodate DeAndre Yedlin, he toiled in the opening half as many of his teammates did but still found a way through. As Marcotti underlines, Jones did a solid job defensively and also scored a crucial goal at the other end.
Centre Midfield: Into the midfield and it's another week in which Santi Cazorla wowed our panel. The Spaniard is a joy to watch, finding intricate lines of attack and showcasing a sublime range of passing. His set piece delivery is decent too, as he proved for Laurent Koscielny's match-winning goal. Mariner says Cazorla "pulled the strings," a phrase that Marcotti also uses. "Him again. Sets up a goal, conducts the orchestra. You'd almost forget he spent a big chunk of his career playing wide."
Centre Midfield: In front of Cazorla, it's a bit of a free-for-all. One certainty is Tottenham's Mousa Dembele, who has been resurgent in recent weeks. He and the rest of Mauricio Pochettino's troops were behind in less than 50 seconds, but roared back to score five unanswered goals. The Belgian grabbed one, slotting home coolly after a deflection broke his way, and oozed class in the middle of the park. "He's got a wand of a left peg and has added work ethic to his game," explained Mariner, while Nicol is also on board.
Attacking Midfield: We have a wealth of options for our final midfield slot. Marcotti put forward two West Ham players, Manuel Lanzini and Dmitri Payet, who played their parts in West Ham's 2-1 win over struggling Chelsea. Mariner's pair of choices consist of West Brom's Claudio Yacob and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, while Nicol champions Watford's Etienne Capoue. But I've gone for another Hornet, Almen Abdi, also selected by Marcotti. "He was a driving force from midfield in the win at Stoke, combining quantity and quality," said Gab. "Shows he's a difference-maker at this level as well."
Striker: Welcome back Harry Kane, we've missed you! The Spurs striker has had a subdued start to the season, potting just one top-flight goal in his opening nine matches, but thanks to benevolent Bournemouth and hapless Artur Boruc, he notched a hat-trick on the south coast. All the goals were well-taken, if a tad straightforward. Mariner simply says "he's back," while Marcotti adds: "A HurriKane descended on the south coast."
Striker: Also back for another week is Mr. Hotshot, Jamie Vardy. He scored for a seventh Premier League match in a row to match a feat accomplished by eight others (Ruud van Nistelrooy, Daniel Sturridge, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Mark Stein). An impressive list! In a drab game he took his big chance after being played in by Riyad Mahrez. Mariner titles him "Mr. Workrate plus goals" and he edges out Marcotti's choice, Troy Deeney.
Manager: You wonder if Sunderland get rid of a manager the game before they face Newcastle on purpose. Sam Allardyce is the latest to get his home reign off to the best possible start by getting one over the black and whites -- it was a victory made extra special one given his past treatment by the Toon and owner Mike Ashley. They had to weather the storm but then made the Geordies pay, grabbing a first win and first clean sheet of the campaign. Mariner says he delivered under massive pressure and Nicol agrees. Marcotti's choice of "the original metal God," Slaven Bilic, is voted down.