A look at the heroes from Premier League Gameweek 27, and there are no Manchester United or Liverpool players in sight.
Gerard Deulofeu, Watford
Deulofeu might be a bit of a flat-track bully, but sometimes that’s a very useful skill in the Premier League. In Gameweek 27, the Spaniard tore through the Cardiff City defence to score a classy hat-trick. The first was a clinical finish, the second was a sprinting counter-attack, and the third was a cheeky chip past the keeper. He even set up one for his strike partner, Troy Deeney. The last time Deulofeu grabbed both a goal and an assist? In Watford’s home game against Cardiff back in December.
James McArthur, Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha gets a lot of the plaudits for Palace, so let’s give their unsung central midfielders some credit for a change. In Gameweek 27, Luka Milivojević scored yet another penalty, while James McArthur picked up 2 assists. The Scot was a little lucky with the first - his hopeful shot deflected in off striker Michy Batshuayi - but there was nothing fortunate about the second. On the edge of the Leicester City area, McArthur fooled two defenders with a right foot fake, before cutting back onto his left and picking out Zaha at the back post. With quality like that, Palace are no one-man team.
Tom Heaton, Burnley
Even the returning Harry Kane couldn’t end Burnley’s unbeaten start to 2019. The Clarets extended that run to 8 games with a surprise 2-1 win over Tottenham in Gameweek 27. Sean Dyche’s side looks so strong and settled. In attack, wingers Dwight McNeil and Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson are serving up lots of chances for in-form strikers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. The biggest change for Burnley, however, has come at the back. Joe Hart’s last game in goal was a 5-1 defeat at home to Everton in late December. Since his return, Heaton has only conceded 7 goals in 8 games, and that just can’t be a coincidence. The England international made 5 saves against Spurs, including a diving stop to keep out Kane’s swerving long-range strike.
Salomón Rondón, Newcastle United
No disrespect to The Terriers, but Huddersfield at home is a must-win game for all Premier League teams. And especially Newcastle, who before Gameweek 27, sat just 1 point above the relegation zone. It took a while against 10 men, but eventually the goals arrived, thanks to their top scorer, Rondón. The Venezuelan was a constant threat, linking up well with exciting new signing Miguel Almirón. Rondón made up for a couple of first-half misses by scoring the opening goal and setting up the second for Ayoze Pérez.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal
In Gameweek 27, Mkhitaryan made only his second Premier League start of 2019 due to injury. When fit, Unai Emery clearly prefers the Armenian’s work-rate to that of Mesut Özil. Mkhitaryan rewarded his manager’s faith with an all-action display, including an assist for Alexandre Lacazette and a cool finish of his own to make it Arsenal 2 Southampton 0.