Gameweek 32 may have seen those sides towards the bottom end of the Premier League table start to get somewhat twitchy, as fans know that every point between now and the end of the campaign could be absolutely priceless. There was a huge match at the London Stadium as West Ham hosted Southampton in a match that may well be a decider where the final relegation place is concerned. Spurs travelled to West London to face Chelsea, looking to halt a horrendous record at Stamford Bridge over the years. Arsenal hosted Stoke in a match that the Potteries needed to take something from.
Kasper Schmeichel – Danish stopper Kasper Schmeichel was in fine form as his Leicester City side travelled to the Amex to face Brighton and Hove Albion, who have been one of the surprises of the season, with many tipping the Seagulls for the drop early on in the season. Chris Hughton may have been forgiven for expecting something more than a 2-0 home defeat, however thanks to a solid performance from Schmeichel and co. the South coast club were left disappointed. It’s a good win for Leicester, who continue to chase the final European place.
Ben Chilwell – Leicester were let off the hook during their match with Brighton and Hove Albion, as the normally reliable Glenn Murray was denied from the spot by Kasper Schmeichel. The Seagulls would be punished as Leicester put them to the sword late on. Vicente Iborro broke the deadlock with just seven minutes remaining. Wilfried Ndidi was sent off just seconds later for a foul on Shane Duffy. However, as Brighton pushed for an equaliser, Jamie Vardy would net deep into injury time to seal a fantastic win for the Foxes.
Arthur Masuaku – West Ham United fans were visibly nervous as their side geared up to face Southampton in what may well have been the definition of a ‘relegation six-pointer’. What unfolded would have left the Hammers faithful delighted as they eased worries of the drop with a convincing 3-0 win. One of the star men on the day was Arthur Masuaku, who has been a standout performer during periods this season. The man signed from Olympiakos provides a spark going forward, and this has seen him deployed further forward at times.
Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin – Newcastle United left it late to secure a priceless home victory against Huddersfield Town, who themselves will feel deeply disappointed after holding on for so long. Despite early pressure, the Magpies went in at half time at 0-0, and many fans thought it might be the same old story. However, as the clock ticked down Kenedy drilled in a cross, from which Ayoze Perez would slot home, to spark wild scenes among the home faithful. The defeat leaves Huddersfield Town hovering nervously, just three points above the drop zone.
Marko Arnautovic and Joao Mario – It’s been a tough spell for Joao Mario at West Ham, however the Inter Milan loanee shone as he scored his first Irons goal when he slammed into roof of the net when his drive was too powerful for Alex McCarthy. Marko Arnautovic netted the other two goals in the 3-0 victory, and he had a point to prove to former boss Mark Hughes, who claimed he had made the wrong decision in joining West Ham from Stoke. The Austrian made his feelings clear as he aimed his celebration towards the new Saints boss. Hughes would become just the second team to relegate two teams in the same season, should Southampton and Stoke finish in their current positions.
Dele Alli – Spurs held the most unwanted of records at Stamford Bridge, having failed to beat Chelsea on their own turf for twenty years. It looked like they were struggling yet again when Alvaro Morata beat Hugo Lloris to a cross to head the Blues in front. However, Christian Eriksen thundered home a ferocious dipping strike on the stoke of half time to level matters. After receiving a lot of criticism for his performances this season, Dele Alli silenced the critics as he netted a superb brace to secure a vital win in his side’s hopes of securing second position in the Premier League.
Alexis Sanchez – Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez turned in his best performance in a United shirt as he starred in their 2-0 home win over Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils started in style, with Romelu Lukaku netting his 100th Premier League goal after just five minutes, becoming the fifth youngest ever to do so. Alexis doubled the advantage just fifteen minutes later when he drilled home. Despite improvements from the Swans in the second half, it wasn’t enough to take a point back to Wales.
David Silva – As per usual, we feature Manchester City in the review. This week it’s David Silva, who was excellent as City comfortably beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison on Saturday evening. After some superb interplay, Leroy Sane hammered in a superb volley after just four minutes to give City the lead. They doubled this just eight minutes later, as a swift counter attack saw Gabriel Jesus head past Jordan Pickford. Their third came as Raheem Sterling swept home his 21st of the season. A Yannick Bolasie consolation in the second half did little to rattle City, who are now just seven days away from being able to seal the title against Manchester United next Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a brace as his side comfortably swept Stoke City aside at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. After dominating for much of the match, the Gunners wouldn’t break the deadlock until fifteen minutes from time when the Gabonese netted from the spot. He then fired home from a corner to double his own tally. Despite being presented with an opportunity for his hat-trick from the spot, he chose to let teammate Alex Lacazette score a third, after the Frenchman’s poor run of form of late.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)