Gameweek 29 would see goals, drama and action in the Premier League right from the off. The gameweek was opened by out-of-form Burnley hosting Sam Allardyce’s Everton side at Turf Moor for Saturday lunchtime’s kick-off. Southampton hosted Stoke City in a big clash at the bottom, while Swansea were looking to haul themselves further from the drop zone when West Ham came to Wales. Sunday gave Manchester City a chance to creep ever-closer to the title, before Manchester United travelled to Palace on Monday night hoping to keep pace with their noisy neighbours.
Jack Butland – Stoke City travelled to Southampton sat in 19th position in the Premier League, with the Potteries supporters clearly beginning to fear that their decade-odd in the top flight may well come to an end come May. One man with something to prove is England ‘keeper Jack Butland, who will be looking to secure the number one shirt for the Three Lions against the likes of Joe Hart and Everton man Jordan Pickford. He made a series of superb saves as Stoke rode their luck against a struggling Southampton side that on another day would have found the net. 0-0 at St. Mary’s.
Mike van der Hoorn – Carlos Carvalhal seems to have sparked something at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea City. The Swans, who seemed dead and buried just 10 games ago, now look set to pull clear of the drop zone, as we enter the final run-in of the season. Their form since the arrival of the former Sheffield Wednesday boss has been nothing short of excellent, and the Swans faithful will now be looking to pick up the final few results that will see their side continue their Premier League story, which began in 2011 under Brendan Rodgers.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool have been one of the league’s in-form sides over the past few months, and their counter-attacking play has made them a joy to watch at times this season. Their lethal front three of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah has dominated sides, and they find themselves among the world’s elite when it comes to finding the back of the net. They swept aside Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday evening as Mo Salah and Sadio Mané found the net for the Reds in a 2-0 victory.
Lewis Dunk – Result of the week is arguably awarded to Brighton & Hove Albion, who recorded a win that will live long in the memory against Arsenal at the AMEX. They took the lead early on as towering centre-half Lewis Dunk headed them in front after just 7 minutes. They doubled their lead midway through the half, as Glenn Murray was left unmarked, before heading towards goal. Petr Cech saw the striker’s effort squirm through his hands, to the anger of the Gunners fans. A goal just before the half from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would prove to be a consolation for Arsenal, as pressure on Arsene Wenger mounts.
Heung-Min Son – Spurs hosted Huddersfield Town at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, with hopes of ensuring they retained their top four spot against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal. They managed a 2-0 win against the Terriers in a match for which they were strong favourites. The opener was scored by Heung-Min Son as he rounded Jonas Lossl and truned the ball into an empty net. It would be the Korean who netted his side’s second, this time heading in from a superb Harry Kane cross to hand Spurs all 3 points.
Ki Sung-Yueng – There was another Korean goal-scorer in the Premier League on Saturday, as Ki found the back of the net for an impressive Swansea City. They battered West Ham United 4-1 at the Liberty, in a match that was always heading in one direction. After Ki had opened the scoring, Mike van der Hoorn netted, before Andy King scored his first goal for the club. After Andre Ayew was brought down, up stepped brother Jordan Ayew, who converted from the spot. West Ham did manage a consolation late on as Michail Antonio found the back of the net, but it’s a poor result for David Moyes’ side.
Bernardo Silva – Manchester City ran out deserved winners as they beat a pathetic Chelsea side 1-0 at Eastlands on Sunday afternoon. In a first half of few chances, the Blues were forced to sit back and defend against a far superior attacking outfit. What came to be was a side trying to use Eden Hazard as some kind of target man. They were in deep trouble when Bernardo Silva opened the scoring seconds into the second half. What followed was a performance that was lazy, with little attempt to take a result. Boss Antonio Conte was left reeling by his side’s performance on the day.
Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City scored a late leveller to snatch a point as they welcomed AFC Bournemouth to the King Power. The Foxes began as favourites, as they look to claim the final European place, however were stunned as they fell behind ten minutes before the interval, with Josh King converting from the spot after he was brought down. Claude Puel’s men fought for an equaliser but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Then, they were awarded a free kick deep into stoppage time, when Riyad Mahrez whipped the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner, to the delight of the Foxes fans that remained to the end.
Nemanja Matic – Manchester United showed real character as they came from two goals down to snatch a big three points at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on Monday night. After a poor start, the Red Devils had found themselves two down via goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt. However, Chris Smalling pulled a goal back before Romelu Lukaku equalised with 15 minutes remaining. As the clock ticked down the ball fell to Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic 25 yards from goal. He struck a superb volley into the far corner to spark wild scenes in the away end. The result sees United 2nd in the Premier League.
Troy Deeney – Watford recorded a vital 1-0 at home against the bottom side West Bromwich Albion at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon. In a poor first half, Salomon Rondon had the pick of the chances, seeing the Watford keeper save smartly with his legs following the Venezuelan’s low effort. He spurned his side’s best chance in the second half when he headed wide from close range. Alan Pardew’s side would then be punished as Troy Deeney was set through on goal, and he finished delightfully, lobbing the ball over former Watford man Ben Foster and into the back of the net. It sees the Baggies even further from safety.
Cenk Tosun – Everton and Burnley played out a close-fought encounter at Turf Moor at Saturday lunchtime. Sam Allardyce started his big money signing from Besiktas Cenk Tosun up front, and the big man netted the opener as he headed in after Michael Keane flicked on a cross. However, an out of form Burnley would rally, and levelled when Ashley Barnes was set through before squeezing past Jordan Pickford and into the net. The Clarets would complete the comeback when Chris Wood headed in from a corner to take all 3 points, much to the delight of Sean Dyche.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)