Benjamin Wills picks the top eleven performers in an exciting weekend of Premier League action.
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Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes (Watford)
You rarely see a goalkeeper save one penalty in a match, never mind two – but that’s precisely what Heurelho Gomes managed to do in Watford’s 1-0 win at the Hawthorns.
Saido Berahino was twice denied from 12 yards by the Brazilian in a once-in-a-lifetime outing for the Watford man.
No-one could find the back of the net from open play either, and Gomes kept his first clean sheet since late February.
Right-back: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Antonio Valencia never has been and never will be one of the more celebrated names on the Manchester United team sheet. What he does offer, however, is a tireless work ethic.
Marcus Rashford’s latest goal was set up by the right-sided midfielder, who can also be deployed at right-back, when the Ecuadorian caught up with the ball before it went out of play and picked out Rashford with a neat low cross.
He also did his defensive duties with the minimum of fuss too, keeping Aston Villa at bay for the 90 minutes.
Centre-back: Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton)
Despite an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon, Everton fans are less than happy with an underperforming outfit. Ramiro Funes Mori, however, briefly put smiles on their faces.
Funes Mori, who signed from River Plate for £9.5 million last summer, gave the Toffees the lead with a sweet strike that deflected in to give the home side the lead against Southampton.
Left-back: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United)
Crucial moments in relegation scraps normally come from the senior players. Not at Newcastle this week, though, as 22-year-old Jamaal Lascelles was the hero against Swansea.
The ex-Nottingham Forest centre back headed the Magpies in front five minutes before half-time, and was also just at good at his normal job: defending.
It was Newcastle’s first clean sheet since early February.
Right midfielder: Andros Townsend (Newcastle United)
Andros Townsend may have cost Newcastle a hefty £12 million from Tottenham in January, but if the England winger keeps Rafa Benitez’s side in the Premier League, the transfer will have been a priceless one.
Townsend contributed to two of Newcastle’s three goals at St James’ Park on Saturday to give them hope in their attempts to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Lascelles’ strike came about after a Townsend corner, and then the ex-Spurs man scored himself when he slotted past Lukasz Fabianski in the dying moments to seal the points.
Centre midfielder: Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
The first match of this weekend was also the most crucial one, with Sunderland the victors in a hard-fought 3-0 win over Norwich.
‘Fought’ was the word of the day, and no-one epitomises that word for Sunderland quite like their captain, Lee Cattermole, who lives for matches such as this one.
Cattermole bossed the midfield, made several crucial blocks and last ditch challenges, and at one stage, he cleared the ball off the line twice in a matter of moments to keep the Black Cats well in the survival hunt.
Centre midfielder: Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)
Moussa Sissoko regularly gets the brunt of the flak from Newcastle United supporters for his inconsistent displays, but Saturday was one of his good outings.
Sissoko was given the captain’s armband ahead of Newcastle’s 3-0 win over Swansea and repaid his manager’s faith with a crucial goal.
He turned in a late corner to give his team and fans some breathing space in what was a nervy game on Tyneside.
Left midfielder: Jordon Ibe (Liverpool)
Jordon Ibe was once Liverpool’s brightest young hope before a dip in form, but after a spell away from the first team, he looks rejuvenated.
The young English winger linked well with his team-mates, and it always looked like a Liverpool goal would come through him.
Ibe looked lively all game, and his good work was rewarded when Daniel Sturridge converted his free-kick.
Centre attacking midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Manchester City dismantled champions Chelsea 3-0 on Saturday, and despite Sergio Agüero’s hat-trick, Kevin De Bruyne was the man who got everyone talking due to his equally stellar display.
De Bruyne was all over the pitch, trying to create attacks at every opportunity, and caused Chelsea trouble from the very first whistle.
Agüero’s first goal was assisted by the influential Belgian, who had a stunning game.
Striker: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
There are not many players in the Premier League who could fall under the ‘world class’ category – but Agüero is one of them.
Agüero scored a hat-trick against disgraced champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a 3-0 Manchester City.
Number one came from a deflected effort from outside the box; his second was a calm, composed finish past Thibaut Courtois, and the third came from the penalty spot. Routine from the Argentine.
Striker: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
When Daniel Sturridge is playing for Liverpool, it only makes their fans rue his injuries even more, because with him, the Reds are a much better team.
Roberto Firmino gave Jürgen Klopp’s Europe League semi-finalists the lead when he rebounded in from a cheeky Sturridge back-heel, and then the striker had a goal of his own to celebrate.
Sturridge headed home a free-kick to double Liverpool’s lead against Bournemouth to win them the match.
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