Well, there we have it. Six Matchweeks to go, and we’re still no closer to knowing who will lift the Premier League trophy next month. Given that Matchweek 32 played host to one of the biggest games in recent Premier League history, it is no real surprise that all eyes were on Sunday’s pulsating 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool, a match-up that brought out the very highest quality from two of the best teams on the planet.
Away from the game of the weekend, the Premier League typically didn’t disappoint in its other matches either, with the other nine games producing 25 goals and enough twists and turns to fill several weeks of action. A weekend of contrasting fortunes for London’s heavy hitters saw a vengeful Chelsea and high-flying Spurs demolish Southampton and Aston Villa respectively, whilst Arsenal suffered a big blow in their top four chase with a surprise defeat at home to Brighton. Elsewhere, Leeds United’s revival continued and Everton achieved a hugely morale-boosting victory over Manchester United.
Here are our Stars of the Week in Matchweek 32
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Amidst all the goals that were racked up this weekend, there was some fine goalkeeping on display as well, not least from Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris before his side eventually blew Aston Villa away.
However, in terms of impact on a game, this week’s star goalkeeper award belongs instead to Jordan Pickford. Everton’s number one pulled out a great performance when his side most needed him, holding firm both before and after the Toffees achieved a slender 1-0 lead. Fine saves and handling from the likes of Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo was enough to keep United at bay on en-route to victory.
With Everton still fighting for their Premier League lives, this performance could be one of Pickford’s finest and most important contributions during his time on Merseyside.
Defender: Liam Cooper (Leeds United)
Leeds United have been very much on the rise since February, and extended their unbeaten run in the league to four matches with a thumping victory away at fellow strugglers Watford. Whilst the forwards did the business in front of goal with some clinical finishes, the result was built so much on the performance of club captain Liam Cooper, who was a rock at the back for The Whites.
The centre back was on top of his game at Vicarage Road, leading a defence that held firm against the attacking threats of Ismaila Sarr and Joao Pedro. Individually he was outstanding, making three tackles, five interceptions and winning ten out of eleven duels.
It seems that Cooper is just one of many Leeds players getting back to their best under the leadership of Jesse Marsch.
Midfielder: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
A bruising week in the league and in Europe had many questioning Chelsea’s fight as well as the form of Mason Mount, questions that were both answered emphatically on Saturday afternoon as a Mount-led Chelsea ripped Southampton apart.
Playing in his favoured attacking midfield role, Mount was unplayable against Southampton. The Chelsea youngster bagged an assist with a smart flick to Marcos Alonso to open the scoring before netting two goals of his own, the first with a pinpoint low drive from outside the area and the second with a simple tap-in after Southampton had failed to get the ball clear.
A Portsmouth native, Mount always seems to enjoy playing against the Saints, and this return to form couldn’t have come at a more crucial point in the season, both for him and for Chelsea.
Forward: Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur)
The goals are flowing at an astonishing rate for Tottenham Hotspur right now, with the North London side boasting the most in-form front three in the Premier League. That point was driven home yet again in Spurs’ 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa on Saturday evening, with Son Heung-Min emerging as our Premier League star forward for the second Matchweek in a row.
Having registered a goal and assist in last week’s victory over Newcastle, the South Korean outdid himself in his latest outing, showing he meant business with an early strike in off the post to put his team 1-0 up.
Having weathered the Aston Villa storm for the remainder of the first half, Son netted another goal after latching onto Harry Kane’s header and racing through, before wrapping up his hat-trick with another strike in off the post.
Is there a more in-form player in the Premier League right now?
Manager: Graham Potter (Brighton and Hove Albion)
How’s that for a tale of the unexpected? After weeks of poor performances from Brighton, their season seemingly grinding to a halt, the Seagulls pulled off a stunning victory over Arsenal at the Emirates.
Having only netted once in seven games, Brighton certainly didn’t look like a team shy of goals at the Emirates, with Graham Potter and his side sticking to their style of play and taking Arsenal punch-for-punch. Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu made use of the hosts absences on the flanks and re-found their shooting boots to punish Arsenal, and the entire team stood firm and defended stoutly when requires.
It seemed they might have lost their way in recent weeks, but this was a reminder of what Graham Potter’s Brighton are all about. Once again, they’ve proven to be Arsenal’s nemesis.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.