The Premier League is back! This season, our regular feature will focus on three stand out players and how they helped their respective sides to success. Week one of the campaign saw three English attackers make the difference with fine performances in front of goal.
Defending champions Manchester City laid down a marker on Saturday afternoon, with their 5-0 destruction of West Ham. Central to the sumptuous attacking flair of Pep Guardiola’s side was the composure of Sterling in scoring his second-half hat-trick.
One of the criticisms of the England international down the years had been his finishing in front of goal, but Sterling went some way to dismiss the doubters with a trio of goals that underlined his finishing credentials.
His first goal came with two deft touches, quickly killing the pass from Kevin de Bryne before sliding the ball through the legs of Lukas Fabianski. Whilst the second was perhaps the best goal of the lot, narrowly avoiding the offside trap control Riyad Mahrez’s inch-perfect long ball before exhibiting the awareness to chip the ball over the keeper. Whilst an arrowed shot in stoppage time completed the haul for Sterling.
Having registered 17 goals and 10 assists last season, the winger has set a marker for registering even better numbers this season, as City chase glory on four fronts.
The 2018/2019 season didn’t end to well for Harry Kane. The Spurs captain was rushed back from an ankle injury to play in the Champions League final and was not his usual self as Tottenham eventually lost 2-0 to Premier League rivals Liverpool.
However, after a full preseason, Kane looks raring to go again and his late brace against Aston Villa helped his side secure all three points after going behind to a John McGinn goal early in the first half. Villa was a tough prospect to break down and two goals in four minutes from Kane made the difference.
Now fully moved into their brand new stadium, and with Spurs adding quality to their ranks in the form of Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso a trophy is needed to Mauricio Pochettino’s legacy. Providing Kane can keep fit this term, Spurs could prove to be formidable challengers for Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
With Manchester United selling Romelu Lukaku, without bringing in a replacement had many worrying for the Red Devils ahead of their opening game of the season against Chelsea. Based on preseason preparations Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seem to suggest that Marcus Rashford would be playing a more central role this season.
Solskjaer opted for Rashford playing just behind Antony Martial, and the England international put in a performance to justify his place in the side in the convincing 4-0 win over Chelsea. After winning and converting the opener from the penalty spot, Rashford was a constant threat on the breakaway, as United set up to punish Chelsea on the counter-attack.
Whilst his second goal on the 66th minute exhibited exactly why Solskjaer has put his faith in Rashford. With Paul Pogba clipping a ball over the defence, Rashford timed his run to perfection, before rifling the ball past a helpless Kepa. The mixture of raw pace and composure is exactly the reason why Rashford will be favoured this season, As Manchester United look to recapture the spirit of old to get themselves back into the top four picture.
Who do you think shone from our selections? Don’t forget to follow all the action from the 2018/2019 Premier League season with beIN SPORTS. Grab next weekend’s games Live and Exclusive via beIN CONNECT.