Champions Liverpool were held by an in-form Burnley in the latest round of Premier League fixtures.
In the final game of the weekend, Manchester United missed the chance to go third as they were held 2-2 by Southampton.
Have a look at my team of week and then choose your own below.
Goalkeeper – Nick Pope (Burnley)
Pope: He’s a candidate for the golden gloves award and after his performance against Liverpool I’m not surprised.
Nick Pope had probably wished he could have avoided the Premier League champions at this late stage of the season. Nevertheless the Burnley keeper was in brilliant form against Liverpool. He may not have kept a clean sheet but the game would have been well out of Burnley’s reach had it not been for the England international.
Questions are now being posed about whether Pope should be England’s number one goalkeeper. Based on his performance against Liverpool there is no question about it. The answer is yes.
Did you know? Pope made eight saves against Liverpool, his most in a single Premier League match this season.
Defenders – Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
Robertson: They had only played 30 minutes of football and Nick Pope had made two outstanding saves from Mo Salah. The first save he practically clawed it out of the back of the net. It was clear that Liverpool were going to have to do something quite special to beat the Burnley keeper.
Andy Robertson’s header was that special.
The Liverpool full-back then produced a mouth-watering cross for Sadio Mane, who couldn’t apply the finishing touch. Robertson is back to his best after a shaky period following the restart.
Did you know? Robertson had more touches (111) and made more passes in the opposition half (51) than any other Liverpool player against Burnley.
Garcia: I’m not surprised Barcelona have shown some interested in this lad. He’s only 19 and appears as steady as a rock. In fact he reminds me of the Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro and displayed the same composure against a totally outclassed Brighton.
For the first time I’m beginning to think that Pep Guardiola is paying as much attention to his back five as he is to his midfield and attacking front three. He has a world class keeper, two competent full-backs in Kyle Walker and an in-form Benjamin Mendy, and Eric Garcia, who looks like he might be the perfect replacement for John Stones, alongside Aymeric Laporte, at centre-back.
Did you know? Garcia completed 97% of his passes against Brighton, more than any other starting player in the match (76/78).
Alderweireld: Spurs have had a torrid time lately. The draw at Bournemouth was just an awful performance and I think most Tottenham fans would have settled for a draw against Arsenal especially having gone 1-0 down.
It’s been an odd time for Alderweireld too. His future at Spurs was in doubt. He then signed a new contract but wasn’t picked. He is then picked and scores the winner in the north London derby. You couldn’t make it up.
His 81st-minute header will soften the blow for Spurs fans with the club now looking likely to finish outside the top four. It’s an indication of just how much importance is placed on this fixture.
Did you know? As well as his winning goal, Alderweireld made seven clearances against Arsenal, more than any other player.
Midfielders – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Mark Noble (West Ham), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Sterling: Just when you think Raheem Sterling can’t get any better he comes up with the goals and a performance that says to Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘come and get me’. Both former champions of the coveted European title are capable of prizing Sterling away, especially if City don’t win the Champions League this season.
If City do win the Champions League, Sterling has an even bigger decision to make. This is no longer about money but glory. The England striker was unplayable against Brighton, demonstrated by a superbly taken hat-trick. With Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s domination of the Ballon d’Or coming to an end Sterling can, providing he makes the right decision, replace them but he needs a Champions League under his belt. Then it’s about trust: is it Pep Guardiola or Zinedine Zidane he trusts with the rest of his future?
Did you know? Sterling scored his third hat-trick of the season in all competitions, with his three goals against Brighton coming from just four shots on target.
Noble: He’s had to sit a few games out for West Ham recently, leaving Declan Rice to fill in the gap. Nevertheless club captain Mark Noble was back to his leadership best against Norwich, who were relegated before a second-half ball was kicked and were totally hammered by the end of the match.
All credit to Norwich’s skipper Alex Tettey, who faced the cameras after the game and put his team’s season into perspective: you can’t expect to survive in the Premier League unless you’re prepared to invest in players who cost £40/50m. I have some sympathy with his point.
Did you know? Noble created eight chances against Norwich, his highest ever tally in a Premier League game.
Neves: The ball from Ruben Neves for Diogo Jota to score Wolves third goal and put the game way beyond a poor Everton was quite brilliant.
Wolves did well after the restart but their form then suffered from some poor performances. However they seem to have recovered and there is more good news. Neves not only looks like he’s got his form back but was also a cut above the rest. This lad should really be playing Champions League football.
In the meantime what’s happened to Everton? They were looking great when Carlo Ancelotti took over and now they look like a fabulous new car, ditched on the pavement after its engine has just blown up, with an owner not knowing what to do.
Did you know? Neves created more chances (three) and made more successful passes (82) than any other player for Wolves against Everton.
Son: A goal and an assist in a north London derby is about as good as it gets. This was a game that was all about the result and to hell with the performance. Tottenham’s form has been so erratic recently a win against their biggest rivals was essential.
Son Heung-min looked something like his former self. The South Korea international suddenly looked impressive again especially on the counter attack. His goal was beautifully taken but sadly I fear his return to form might be too late to get Spurs a Champions League spot.
The very thought of Thursday night Europa League football in the best stadium in the world doesn’t seem right. Spurs fans were told Jose Mourinho would fix this.
Did you know? Son both scored and assisted a goal for the first time ever in a Premier League north London derby.
Forwards – Anthony Martial (Manchester United), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Martial: My goodness was Anthony Martial in the mood against Southampton. The way he took his goal was quite phenomenal. The determination on his face the moment he picked up the ball outside the box and started to make his way into the Saints penalty area there was only one thing on his mind and that was hitting the back of the net. It was only a few days ago Martial was substituted against Aston Villa and came off the field with a face like thunder. The best strikers hate being dragged off especially if they haven’t scored. However what is becoming clear is the Manchester United striker is growing in confidence and seems to have the resolve to make the centre forward spot very much his own.
Did you know? Martial has become the 10th player to score 50 Premier League goals for Man Utd.
McGoldrick: I sat watching this game and couldn’t believe my eyes. Sheffield United making Chelsea look ordinary? This was United’s fourth consecutive victory at Bramall Lane and they are still above Spurs and Arsenal with two games to go.
David McGoldrick was the man of the moment for the Blades. Goals have not come easy for McGoldrick this season but he nailed both his opportunities and put Chris Wilder’s boys in with a real chance of European football.
Frank Lampard, on the other hand, was furious with his team’s performance and quite rightly. However wasn’t it Chelsea fans who were telling me at the start of the season that mid-table would be fine in Frank’s first season in the Premier League? Now it appears only Champions League will do?
Did you know? McGoldrick (32 years and 225 days) became the oldest player to score a Premier League brace against Chelsea since Paolo Di Canio in September 2002 (34 years, 81 days)
Antonio: I took one look on the face of Tettey during the second-half water break and the expression on the Norwich City captain’s face said it all: We are down.
The Canaries were trailing West Ham 3-0 at the time and Michail Antonio had scored all three and still had goals on his mind. Antonio ended the game with four and deserved every goal he got. I have never seen a more willing runner and often for little reward. Well, he put that right against Norwich.
In fact, Antonio deserved much more than what he got at Carrow Road and you can read why in the Crooks of the Matter below. As for the Canaries, their season is over and rebuilding for next season starts now.
Did you know? Antonio became the first West Ham player to score four goals in a league match since David Cross against Spurs in September 1981.
The Crooks of the Matter
Most professional footballers are fans well before they become players. That’s probably why their relationship is so intrinsically linked. In fact the relationship is almost like a marriage. After a while you begin to realise you can’t live without each other.
We will have rows, fall out, even not speak to each other for a while but for all their faults players would pay a king’s ransom to have them back again. Any idea of a permanent separation is, and always was, totally out of the question.
Like most relationships fans are often unpredictable, hilarious, wonderful and yes sometimes down right painful. Since the restart of the Premier League season not having football fans in our stadiums has been torturous.
Throughout this lockdown we have all realised the value of football fans in our lives. They can be outrageously funny, incredibly uplifting and also desperately rude but the game can’t survive without them. We can’t survive without them.
Watching Spurs versus Arsenal without fans was like being served warm beer or watching a game when someone else is in your favourite seat. It’s just not right.
Michail Antonio scored four superbly taken goals against Norwich City. An amazing achievement and a wonderful landmark in his relatively successful career. The ovation he would have received from a packed Carrow Road when he was substituted would have been amazing. Not to mention West Ham fans sharing the moment with their hero, having giving them a Premier League lifeline, singing Antonio, Antonio, Antonio as he left the pitch. These moments would have lasted him a lifetime.
It’s not just about the goals it’s about the relationship with the fans. It means everything to the professional footballer and football without it is unthinkable.