Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero make 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.
Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter using the hashtag #TOTW. Plus, tune in to Monday's ESPN FC show (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) for further reaction.
Goalkeeper: Burnley got their first points of the season with an excellent 2-0 win against Liverpool at Turf Moor on Saturday and goalkeeper Tom Heaton played his part, making some smart stops. He got Paul Mariner's vote and Gabriele Marcotti says: "It helps when your manager erects a wall of humanity in front of you, but Heaton made some big saves."
Right-back: Antonio Valencia, who shone in Friday's 2-0 win over Southampton, has gone about his work quietly but he is establishing himself as a reliable and consistent performer in Jose Mourinho's Manchester United team. His form has come as a shock to Mariner, who says: "I'm surprised how well he has fitted in both defensively and in attack," while Steve Nicol notes his "strong runs from the back."
Centre-back: There are no arguments about influential Hull defender Curtis Davies retaining his place in the team after playing an important part in the Tigers' 2-0 win at Swansea with an assist for the opening goal and a clean sheet. Mariner appreciated his "solid display," and Marcotti concurred, adding: "Defensively he's a rock, which is all the more impressive because he has to play alongside Jake Livermore, who's not a centre-back."
Centre-back: Manchester City didn't keep a clean sheet in their 4-1 win against Stoke, but Nicolas Otamendi looked imperious on his return to the side. He made a nuisance of himself in the opposition box and won a penalty, and Mariner sums it up when he describes the Argentina international as "the kingpin at the back when Stoke surged in the second half." Marcotti adds: "By no means a natural Pep Guardiola centre-back, Otamendi nonetheless looked comfortable."
Left-back: It's been a tough start to life at Sunderland for David Moyes, but there are some positives to take from the two opening games. Patrick van Aanholt is one of them, with Marcotti suitably impressed with his showing in Sunday's 2-1 defeat against Middlesbrough: "One of the few areas of the pitch Moyes doesn't really need to worry about," he says. "Van Aanholt scored the consolation goal and got forward with abandon."
Midfield: Antonio Conte has left Cesc Fabregas on the bench for Chelsea's first two games of the season but the former Arsenal captain knuckled down and turned the game around when he was introduced with his side a goal down at Watford. He had a hand in Michy Batshuayi's equaliser and then set up Diego Costa's late winner. Nicol says: "That's how to make an impact." But is it enough to earn him a start next week?
Midfield: Former Everton youth product Adam Forshaw had to drop down the divisions with Brentford and Wigan before making it back to the Premier League with Middlesbrough, but now he's back he's making the grade. His performance against Sunderland turned our man Marcotti's head and led him to enthuse: "His tidy passing kept Boro ticking over at Sunderland. He's not bothered at all by moving up a division."
Midfield: On his White Hart Lane debut, Victor Wanyama earns special praise from Mariner and Nicol for the ease with which he has taken to life at Tottenham. Wanyama scored the all-important goal in the 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace and Mariner said: "He is fitting in well at Spurs."
Striker: Andre Gray, Cristhian Stuani and Shaun Maloney all made important contributions for the three newly promoted sides winning this weekend, but it was Burnley's feat in beating Liverpool 2-0 that stood out most of all and that is why Gray makes it into the XI. Marcotti liked the 25-year-old's style, saying: "Scored one, set up another and led the press that befuddled Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan." He will be crucial to the Clarets' chances of survival this season.
Striker: Anyone doubting Zlatan Ibrahimovic's suitability for the Premier League were again made to look foolish as the 34-year-old scored twice against Southampton to take his tally to three in two games. He is thriving in England and was a unanimous pick here. Marcotti notes: "He's on pace for 57 goals this season. And to think Nicol predicted he wouldn't get 15." Nicol has been won over by the Swede's excellent start, saying: "Zlatan is already the man at United," while Mariner adds: "A powerful header, a clinical penalty and lots of swagger."
Striker: Sergio Aguero's goals are spearheading the Guardiola revolution at Manchester City and with three in two Premier League games, he is their main man, or as Nicol puts it: "A real No. 9." Mariner singled out the Argentina international for his "linkup play, finishing and work rate out of possession."
Manager: Burnley are tipped to struggle this season but they made light work of Liverpool, and much of that was down to how Sean Dyche set his side up. Marcotti describes him as "The gravelly voiced master with a lot more sophistication than his image and language suggests," while Mariner notes the Clarets gave "a masterclass in defending in numbers, with 11 players in defensive harmony."