5 British starlets who dominated gameweek 3 of the Premier League
Round 3 of the Premier League witnessed some high-class drama this weekend, with some enthralling games, evenly-matched end-to-end encounters and a few major upsets providing plenty of material for the fans and the media to dissect.
Looking back at some of the standout individual performances, the Premier League followers have every reason to be pleased with the displays of some of the homegrown British starlets, who took Round 3 by storm and made a massive impact.
It was a particularly happy weekend for some sections of the fans outside the top-six clubs as club-record signings Joelinton, Wesley Moraes and Sebastien Haller hit the ground running in the Premier League and were instrumental in the victories of their respective teams.
However, it was the young homegrown talents who grabbed most of the headlines in the tabloids this week, with some of the individual performances epitomising the fact that the future of British football is in safe hands.
With that in mind, let us take a look back at some of the scintillating performances from the homegrown starlets, albeit a few of them, unfortunately, ended up on the losing side.
1. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
The towering 21-year-old was reinstated in the Blues starting eleven by Frank Lampard, as Olivier Giroud dropped down to the bench after starting in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City in the previous game.
Having failed to make much of an impression against Man United in the season-opener, Abraham was under pressure to answer his critics.
And the Blues academy graduate finally repaid Lampard’s faith in him, starring with a brace in Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
One of the key driving forces behind Lampard’s first win as a manager in the Premier League, Abraham was a constant threat up front and both his goals were a clear reflection of his natural poaching instincts and finishing skills, attributes which are likely to help him excel in the top-flight should he be provided with regular opportunities.
2. Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Alongside Abraham, Mason Mount was also one of the cornerstones of Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over the Canaries, as the 21-year-old attacking midfielder continued the fine start to his Blues career with yet another eye-catching display on Saturday.
Having found the net in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City, Mount was the key architect of Abraham’s opener at Carrow Road, finding Christian Pulisic with a perfectly-weighted lobbed pass, who set up Azpilicueta for the assist.
That wasn’t his only contribution, though, as the youngster powered the Blues into a 2-1 lead after Abraham’s goal had been cancelled out by Todd Cantwell, showing good composure and technique to find the net.
Overall, he was a bagful of energy in the middle of the park and the final third, and his relentless pressing didn’t allow Norwich’s defence a moment’s peace, not to mention his vision and creativity that caused plenty of problems.
3. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City)
Harvey Barnes’ stunning half-volley in Leicester’s 2-1 victory over Sheffield United had pure class and raw power written all over it and Dean Henderson was probably lucky to not have gotten his finger in the way.
Looking for their first victory of the season following draws against Wolves and Chelsea, Jamie Vardy fired the Foxes into the lead before Oliver McBurnie equalised for the Blades with a fine header.
That prompted Brendan Rodgers to introduce Barnes in place of Dennis Praet and didn’t the Burnley-born English U-21 international grab his opportunity with both hands!
Barnes’ absolute screamer ended Sheffield’s unbeaten start to the campaign and Rodgers might think about handing him a start or two in the next few games.
4. Daniel James (Manchester United)
Welshman Daniel James shockingly ended up on the losing side but he once again proved himself to be an incredible signing for the Red Devils.
After scoring as a substitute in the 4-0 drubbing of Chelsea on the opening day, James found himself in Ole Gunnar Solsjaer’s starting eleven against Wolves and the Welsh prodigy retained his spot in the team against Crystal Palace. However, United’s shock 2-1 defeat didn’t do justice to his individual performance.
The 21-year-old’s exquisite curling finish in the 89th minute cancelled out Jordan Ayew’s first-half goal but a stoppage-time winner from Patrick van Aanholt handed Palace their first-ever Premier League victory over Man United, albeit with a bit of help from David de Gea.
5. Harry Wilson (Bournemouth)
Another Welshman who ended up on the losing side despite putting up a promising display, Harry Wilson came on as a substitute for Charlie Daniels in the first-half and got the crowd on its feet with a moment of pure magic from a free-kick just outside the box.
Having scored in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the previous game, Wilson showed his expertise from direct free-kicks, this time against the reigning Premier League champions.
The Liverpool loanee curled one into the top-right corner of Ederson’s goal to pull one back for the Cherries just before the interval. It was a sensational effort, and even Pep Guardiola would probably have applauded that from the sidelines.
Bournemouth went on to lose the game 3-1 but Wilson’s stonker of a free-kick should definitely go down as one of the highlights of round 3 of the Premier League.