Garth Crooks's team of the week

The Premier League returned in scintillating fashion this weekend, with Manchester City starting the new season in the same way they finished the last one - by snatching victory in the dying seconds.

But City's title rivals Manchester United left Goodison Park empty-handed on Monday night despite Robin van Persie's late introduction from the bench.

Elsewhere, Chelsea and Newcastle sent out an early warning message to Liverpool and Arsenal, who struggled to find the net, while there were crushing wins for Fulham and Swansea as they directed Norwich and QPR back to the drawing board after just one game.

The season already looks like it might have some new stars this season, and some of them have made it into my first team of the week. Join the debate on Twitter using #BBCFootball.

Team of the week


David de Gea

He took quite a bit of stick last season for a number of indifferent performances. In United's defeat by Everton, however, he looked like a goalkeeper capable of stepping into the shoes of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar with three first-class saves in the first half. He continually kept his side in the game.

Did you know? De Gea made six saves versus Everton, more than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League in the opening round of fixtures.


John Arne Riise

The old boy's still got it. He was making searing runs down the left flank in the 5-0 win over Norwich, providing superb balls for Damien Duff to finish and having a crack with that left foot when given the slightest opportunity. It was a defensive horror show from Norwich, and Fulham made them pay.

Did you know? Riise has assisted more Premier League goals than any other defender in 2012 with five, compared to Manchester City's Gael Clichy with four.


Chico Flores

The Spanish defender had a superb league debut for the Swans against QPR. With the help of Michel Vorm and Ashley Williams, the former Genoa player didn't give the Hoops a sniff. He was cool in defence and a threat on set-pieces. Manager Michael Laudrup knows the player well but, if he continues to play like that, he might cost considerably more than the initial £2m paid so far.

Did you know? Chico made more clearances, blocks and interceptions combined this weekend than any other player (20).


Phil Jagielka

You will never see three sweeter tackles from a centre-back in the Premier League than the ones the Everton defender produced against Manchester United. Jagielka is living proof that the art of the slide tackle is not dead. His positional play was another reason that United were limited to so few chances in their defeat at Goodison Park.

Did you know? Jagielka tasted Premier League victory against Manchester United on Monday, for the first time in 11 appearances against them.


Branislav Ivanovic

Arguably Chelsea's best player last season and there is no doubt he will play a significant part in their attempt to regain the title after his goal and display in the 2-0 victory over Wigan. Wigan's Victor Moses - who is already on Chelsea's radar - gave Ashley Cole a torrid first half and he attempted to do the same to Ivanovic without enjoying anywhere near as much fortune. Brave lad!

Did you know? Ivanovic is Chelsea's joint-top scorer in their last nine league matches with four goals (level with Fernando Torres).


Eden Hazard

As far as debuts go, this was pretty impressive. The Belgian international was involved in almost everything Chelsea did. He looks like a player who can create openings but also cope with the physical aspect of the Premier League. The latter was a question Wigan's defenders were keen to ask.

Did you know? Hazard completed five dribbles on Saturday, one more than the rest of his team-mates combined, and is the first player to complete as many for Chelsea in the Premier League since Ramires last December.


Hatem Ben Arfa

The little Frenchman looked as mischievous as ever, causing Tottenham all kinds of problems in midfield as he combined beautifully with Yohan Cabaye in the Magpies' 2-1 victory. It was Ben Arfa's ingenuity and superb ball control that caused the panic in the Spurs defence which resulted in a penalty kick. It was fitting that the coolest man on the pitch took it.

Did you know? With his goal on Saturday, Ben Arfa became the 18th player in a row to score against Brad Friedel from the spot - the poorest streak by any keeper in the PL since 1998-99.


Nathan Dyer

This lad has had one cracking season in the Premier League already and looks like he's about to have another. Along with Wayne Routledge, the two pocket dynamos tore QPR to shreds. Dyer's two goals were taken with the confidence that suggests he doesn't just play in the Premier League but now believes he's a Premier League player.

Did you know? Dyer scored his first brace in the English league in what was his 209th match.



Every player needs a little luck on his league debut and Swansea's Michu found QPR's Robert Green very obliging. The QPR keeper went down in instalments for Michu's first goal in the 5-0 rout. However Michu's goalscoring pedigree was there for all to see when he superbly bent the ball past Green for his second goal of the afternoon. An impressive start to the season for the Spaniard.

Did you know? Michu was the top-scoring midfielder in La Liga last season with 15 goals - no Premier League midfielder scored more than 11.


Mladen Petric

Martin Jol looks like he's done it again. He replaced Bobby Zamora with Pavel Pogrebnyak and now he may have pulled it off once more by replacing 'wantaway' striker Clint Dempsey with Petric. The Croatian's two goals and one assist suggests that there is life after Dempsey after all.

Did you know? All three of Petric's shots on Saturday were on target, with one resulting in a goal. He is only the second player to score twice on his Premier League debut with Fulham, after Louis Saha in 2001.


Marouane Fellaini

The Everton goalscorer looked every bit the star against a Manchester United team that never came to terms with the Belgian's aerial power. He was the difference between the two teams as the Toffees began the season in style.

Did you know? Fellaini made nine flick-ons, twice as many as anyone else in the game and second only to Peter Crouch league-wide this weekend.

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