Merry Monday to you. With just five Premier League matches this weekend we’ve had to borrow some players from the FA Cup. Either way, there were enough incidents to bring you the usual mix of the best and worst of the action.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – If you save a penalty, you get in the team of the week. It’s irrelevant that his save popped right back to Sigurdsson to tap in the rebound. Even when Kepa does right it goes wrong, he just can’t win.
Harry Maguire – A tad unfortunate perhaps but one of the earliest red cards of the season can’t be overlooked. To make matters worse for old “slabhead” Leicester didn’t seem to miss him at all and his replacement in the back line Wes Morgan popped up with the winner. At least they won, Harry.
Luke Shaw – Rumour has it Luke Shaw is still trying to untangle himself after Diogo Jota turned him inside out on Saturday night. Shaw’s actually had a good season but this was a definite night to forget as Man Utd well at the quarter-final hurdle. Two defeats in a week for Solskjaer as reality begins to bite.
Virgil van Dijk – After a season where Van Dijk has been named the greatest centre half to ever walk the face of the earth, an awful mix up nearly cost Liverpool dearly on Sunday. Van Dijk’s back header was short of pace and Ryan Babel nipped in to equalise and set everybody panicking for about 4 minutes. It happens to the best of us, Virg.
James Maddison – There’s been a lot of talk about how Jamie Vardy has looked a new man under Brendan Rodgers. Whilst that is true, the same can definitely be said for James Maddison. A brilliant free-kick earns him a spot in the team this week with Leicester looking well placed to enjoy an entertaining end to the season.
Matt Ritchie – Goal of the weekend? Ritchie’s last-minute volley denied his former club all three points and earned Newcastle a share of the spoils. This was a good comeback for the Scotland man after missing a penalty last week.
Bernardo Silva – That is a lovely finish. His outside of the left foot finish was the start of the comeback that Man City craved. In my opinion, Bernardo has been an unsung hero for Pep this season. With De Bruyne missing large parts of the season, Bernardo has played in both central midfield and the wide positions and been a fantastic team player throughout. Aguero and Sterling will get a lot of the headlines for their end product (and rightly so) but Bernardo has played a huge part in their success.
Solly March – Even when the keeper makes a massive howler, it still counts. March’s hopeful last-minute free-kick should have been an easy catch for Millwall’s goalkeeper but instead, he rather foolishly let it slip through his fingers. Obviously, Brighton won on pens. March had made a difference after he came on so his appearance in our team is not entirely a fluke.
Andre Gray – Wembley bound! Andre Gray has got himself into the happy habit of climbing off the bench to score important goals. His latest settled the FA Cup quarter-final between Watford and Crystal Palace and meant Watford’s impressive season went up another level.
Salomon Rondon – Three free kicks in one weekend? You spoil us, Premier League (and FA Cup). Rondon scoring a direct free-kick has been coming for most of the season. He’s hit the woodwork a couple of times but Boruc had absolutely no chance here. It hardly seems fair that a physical beast like Rondon is also technically gifted but his stock is rising by the week.
Karlan Grant – Although Javier Hernandez will be on the back pages, I’ve opted for his opposite number Karlan Grant. He scored twice for Huddersfield in an ultimately losing effort but talk about taking your opportunity. The game is basically up for Huddersfield as a Premier League side but Grant is making a good claim to spearhead their assault on the Championship next season. Two well-taken goals here show he can do it at the top level.
Nuno Espirito Santo – Wolves’ record against top 6 sides is very good indeed. That form has carried over to the FA Cup where Wolves have added Man Utd to their earlier scalp of Liverpool. Nuno has been brilliant all season. His tactics are spot on and fairly unique, Wolves are an enjoyable watch when they get going. Winning the FA Cup would be a fine end to the season.
That’s all for this week, I’ll be back in two weeks after the International break. Goodbye for now.