THE BLOG

League Focus: Premier League Team of the Month - August

04/09/2014 17:26 BST | Updated 04/11/2014 10:59 GMT

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The first 'month' of the Premier League season is over and it's fair to say there have already been a number of surprises. The least shocking outcome from the three matches thus far, perhaps, sees favourites prior to the season Chelsea sitting pretty at the top.

The most shocking, in more ways than one, has been Manchester United's false start under Louis van Gaal, amassing just two points despite a favourable looking start to the season with an embarrassing cup exit thrown in for good measure. The Red Devils' opening day defeat to Swansea, however, was no doubt outdone in terms of upsets by Stoke's 1-0 victory over City at the Etihad last time out.

With Arsenal and Liverpool also dropping points, Chelsea have made a clear statement to secure their 100% record, though great credit must also go to Garry Monk and Swansea for matching that feat. It's little surprise, then, that of WhoScored's top rated XI, six represent the current top two. Both of Swansea's men to feature were signed over the summer, as well as two of Chelsea's quintet to make the grade, highlighting the importance of a productive transfer window.

With four of the top five rated players in the league thus far enjoying life in West London under Mourinho, it's clear just how rampant Chelsea have been, addressing the lack of goals within their squad to net 11 times in just three matches - four more than any other side. Swansea's success, meanwhile, can be credited to the joint-strongest defensive record in the league (just 1 conceded).

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A key player to the Welsh outfit's defensive resolve this season has been their new number one Lukas Fabianski, whose WhoScored rating of 7.60 makes him the top rated keeper of the month. A man of the match rating as the Swans ground out a 1-0 win over Burnley stood out, with 14 successful claims from crosses in total representing a league high thus far.

There's little doubt as to who warrants the right-back spot with Branislav Ivanovic already netting twice for Chelsea this season. It was, however, the one game in which the Serbian didn't net that he was arguably at his best though, earning a rating of 8.68 in a 2-0 win over Leicester. The defender combined superbly with Oscar in the build up to Diego Costa's decisive second goal and has also won 6 tackles and made seven interceptions thus far.

Ryan Shawcross earns a place at the heart of the backline courtesy of WhoScored man of the match attaining displays against both Hull - netting a scrappy equaliser at the KC Stadium - and most recently in the shock 1-0 win at City. His rating of 8.18 over three appearances has come thanks, in part, to a league high of 38 clearances, while only Wes Morgan has blocked more shots at goal thus far (four).

The Stoke man is partnered at the back by Phil Jones, with the young English international perhaps the only United player to emerge from August with any real credit whatsoever. Jones has made 10 tackles to date as well as a league high of 17 interceptions and has earned WhoScored's man of the match award in each of United's back-to-back draws in the league, with an average rating of 8.02.

Completing the four-man defence is Gaël Clichy, lining up on the left despite an admirable opening appearance on the right against Newcastle. Unlucky to lose his place due to squad rotation against Stoke - Clichy should be back in soon enough after the defeat - the Frenchman has produced 10 tackles and seven interceptions in just two starts to earn a rating of 7.99.

Moving into midfield, Raheem Sterling lines up on the right having played across the front in his three appearances to date. With two goals and an assist to his name, the England winger is entering the international break in top form after excellent displays against Southampton and Spurs. Only Eden Hazard has completed more dribbles thus far (nine), with Sterling also creating seven chances and mustering 8 shots.

Cesc Fàbregas' return to the capital certainly turned some heads earlier in the month but the Spaniard's is clearly focused on returning Chelsea to the top of the Premier League. So far, so good on that front then, with no player registering more assists to date (four) - three of which have teed up Diego Costa - while four accurate through balls also representing another league high.

The Chelsea new boy is joined in midfield by another summer signing, with Gylfi Sigurdsson quickly settling back into life at Swansea. His return was eagerly anticipated by the fans and it's already not hard to see why, with the Iceland international matching Fabregas' four assists as well as notching the match-winner in the curtain-raiser with United.

Not to be outdone by the new arrivals at the Bridge, Eden Hazard has picked up where he left off last season to earn a rating 8.13 from WhoScored. The Belgian has completed 16 dribbles already - seven more than any other player - while only Joey Barton has created more chances in the top-flight thus far (10).

The top rated player in England's top tier for the month of August (8.4), Diego Costa is already the Premier League's top scorer (four) and has certainly hit the ground running in the capital. His goal tally has come from nine shots to date - six on target - and while the forward has also created six chances for teammates, he showed what he can add defensively at Everton too, completing four tackles.

Completing the XI is Aston Villa's Andi Weimann, who has had a hand - two goals and one assist - in all three of the Midlands' outfit's strikes thus far as they sit proudly in third. The Austrian has netted with both of his shots on target thus far but also shown great graft from the front to win 11 tackles - more than any other teammate.

Who do you think shone in the month of August in the Premier League? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com where you can find yet more stats and player ratings.