Garth Crooks' team of the week: Alisson, Keita, Mount, Salah, Foden

Liverpool put pressure on Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by a 5-0 win at Old Trafford.
Chelsea defeated Norwich 7-0, Manchester City beat Brighton 4-1, and West Ham advanced to the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Watford beat Everton 5-2 at Goodison Park. Arsenal defeated Aston Villa 3-1 Friday night.

Southampton was drawn 2-2 with Burnley, Leeds, and Wolves. It was also 1-1 between Crystal Palace, Newcastle, and Wolves.

You can check out my team of week, and make your own selections at the end of the article.

Alisson (Liverpool), Goalkeeper

Mason Greenwood's save in the first half was a sign that Alisson was ready for this match, and was prepared to face any challengers. He saved Cristiano Ronaldo's feet from the foul. This was the second one-on-one stop that I have witnessed the Brazil international make in this season.

In the Champions League, he made a similar save against Atletico Madrid midweek. Alisson is undoubtedly the best in one-on-ones.

Did you know? Alisson has kept seven clean sheets over his last 10 Premier League matches. He also made three saves in Liverpool’s 5-0 win against Old Trafford.

Defenders: Reece James (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)

Reece James says: It's amazing to see a Chelsea team producing such incredible home-grown talent.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben LoftusCheek, as well as James, are the jewels in the crown. Not so long ago, English players couldn’t get a game at the Premier league. But that is no longer the case.

It seems that the Premier League academy system is working, and it took significant investment. Norwich, please take notice.

Did you know? James was directly involved in four Premier League goals this season, including two goals and two assists. In his two previous Premier League seasons, he had scored only once.

Virgil van Dijk - What can I say about my favorite defender? His partner Ibrahima Konate, a Liverpool player who beat a top four contender 5-0, was quietly exceptional in what will be one of the greatest victories at Old Trafford.

Van Dijk thought it was just another day at work.

Did you know? Van Dijk was the only player to lose in five of his 91 Premier League matches.

Ibrahima Konate: This Liverpool player is a French centre-back who was signed from RB Leipzig in the summer. He fits like a glove.

He doesn't have any special skills or frills, but he uses his strength and power to the maximum effect. It wasn't Chelsea against Norwich, but Manchester United against Liverpool. Mason Greenwood was Mason Greenwood's opponent. Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo had barely a chance to win. Jurgen Klopp appears to have made another very smart purchase in Konate, like Naby Keita.

Did you know? Konate cleared eight times against Manchester United, which was the most clearances of any player in that match.

Ben Chilwell: After a thunderous half-volley, he was unlucky not make my selection. After his performance against Norwich, I couldn't help but notice the England fullback. Chilwell scored the fourth goal of four league games against Norwich, and is now in the best shape of his life.

Did you know? Chilwell was the first Englishman to score in consecutive Premier League matches for Chelsea since Frank Lampard (February 2013).

Midfielders: Nabykeita (Liverpool), Mason Mount, (Chelsea), Bernardo Silva.

Naby Keita - The coolness with which Keita scored his goal at Old Trafford blew my mind. He should have scored, but he was up against David de Gea who is in great form. I've seen many midfielders fail to realize their potential and lose it. Keita was, however, as cold as ice.

To my surprise, the international from Guinea started the match against Manchester United. They didn't disappoint. Liverpool's midfield is the only area that doesn’t seem to be world-class. However, they defeated United in the first 15 minutes. Jurgen Klopp has taken these boys flying.

Did you know? Keita scored and assisted in the Premier League match against Bournemouth for the first time since December 2019.

Mason Mount: It was great to see Mount in a Chelsea shirt again and amongst the goals. But this was not about Mount, but Norwich. Daniel Farke, despite six league defeats and two draws in eight games, is still there? As early as the first match of the season, I stated that Norwich was down. It is equally the fault of the managers and the owners.

Norwich has not tried to hide what is painfully obvious. While they are content to spend their time with Premier League, they don't want to invest in the Premier League to try and stay. It is shameful.

This is unacceptable. But what do I not understand about Norwich fans accepting it? This is the most disappointing part.

Did you know? Mount was the 20th player to score a Premier League double for Chelsea. Only Arsenal (21) has had more.

Bernardo Silva: I am always amazed at how another person steps in when a major figure in Manchester City is injured. Ilkay Gundogan was the one who pulled the strings when Kevin de Bruyne was unable to perform.

With Gundogan returning from injury and De Bruyne still in his best form, Silva has been the driving force behind the Manchester City team this season. This was also the case against Brighton. That's what happens when resources are available to City.

Did you know? Silva scored Manchester City's first goal in the Premier League against Brighton.

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Joshua King (Everton), Phil Foden (Man City)

Mohamed Salah: It was amazing. After 45 minutes, Manchester United is 4-0 down at Liverpool. Salah is the architect of their demise. I was there when the Egyptian played for Chelsea. He then went to Fiorentina and Roma where he rose to greatness.

He arrived at Liverpool as a professional player and quickly rose to the top of the game. He is the best player I know. Salah is not playable right now, as I have said before. I can see titles in the future.

Did you know? Salah was the first opposing player to score at Old Trafford a hat trick since Dennis Bailey, QPR's January 1992 goalkeeper.

Joshua King: King returns to Goodison Park and scores a hat trick. Claudio Ranieri gets his first win and the club's nightmare of Liverpool's and Salah’s 5-0 defeats are over.

Watford must have felt that a week is a long time to be in politics. Two completely different results against Merseyside clubs. Everton's performance was summed up by Rafa Benitez, the boss, standing motionless on the touchline and Duncan Ferguson, assistant manager.

Did you know? King was the third Premier League player to score a hat-trick against a team he had previously played for in this competition, following Andy Cole (for Man Utd at Newcastle) and Marcus Bent(for Wigan v Blackburn).

Phil Foden: Although there is much debate about Foden’s best position, it should be noted that he plays for a manager who promotes total football. During one counter attack, I saw six City players in Brighton's penalty area. Foden has shown remarkable adaptability to the free-flowing football of Manchester City.

But, which is his best position? Although he can play in a three-man attack on the left, at the top of the diamond, or in midfield, he is not a central forward. Pep Guardiola should stop trying to make him one.

Did you know? Foden was involved in three goals in one Premier League match for the first time. (two goals, one assist).

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The Crooks of the Matter

Last week, I wrote in this column that Steve Bruce was a mere 'caretaker manager'. Within days, the Newcastle United manager had been promoted to their former manager after celebrating his 1,000th league game.

It seems that Bruce was ejected by the Saudi Arabian owners, and not delayed the inevitable.

If the country from whom they came had a good human rights record, or at least one they could be proud to boast about, I would have applauded their decision. But they don't, so I won't.

Newcastle may have gotten rid of Mike Ashley's problem, but now they are guilty of being guilty of association.

Amnesty International insists that the Premier League meet with the human rights group to address concerns about Saudi Arabia's participation in the most prestigious league of the world.

However, the question is: Should Newcastle United be held to a higher standard of morality than other businesses with this part of the globe?

People who expect professional footballers to be better than the rest of us have always been a problem for me.

It provides an unrivaled level of entertainment and we should enjoy it as such. It is unreasonable, unfair, and unreasonable to expect more from the game.

Our moral compass is set by our leaders and elected officials, not football.


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