Manchester City have finally been beaten! Liverpool’s 4-3 win at Anfield was certainly the game of the season so far. But who were the other heroes of Premier League Round 23?
Hero – Marko Arnautović
Whisper it, but right now Arnautović is one of the Premier League’s best players. David Moyes put his faith in the Austrian attacker and boy is he being rewarded. West Ham’s 4-1 thrashing of Huddersfield lifted them up to 11th in the table. The Terriers’ defence just could not handle a confident Arnautović. He scored the second and then set up goals 3 and 4 for Manuel Lanzini. That’s developing into an excellent partnership.
Hero - James Ward-Prowse
In March 2017, Ward-Prowse got his first call-up to the England senior squad. It felt like the midfielder was really going places. But new Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino is still searching for his best 11 and it’s unclear where Ward-Prowse fits in. For a set-piece specialist, he doesn’t score or create enough goals. Yet. Against Watford, ‘JWP’ grabbed his first-ever Premier League double with two composed finishes. Can he now kick on?
Hero – Jordon Ibe
Ibe cost Bournemouth a club-record £15million back in July 2016. A bright young talent, he just needed more game-time than Liverpool could offer him. That was the plan anyway. But 0 goals in 45 games reflected an attacker struggling for form. Until Premier League Round 23, that is. Eddie Howe started Ibe against Arsenal and with 15 minutes to go, he scored his first Bournemouth goal. It ended up being the matchwinner too, taking The Cherries up to 13th.
Hero – Craig Dawson
West Brom like their goal-shy strikers and their goalscoring defenders. In Premier League Round 23, The Baggies beat Brighton 2-0 to pick up their first win since August. Centre-back Jonny Evans scored the first goal and right-back Dawson grabbed the all-important second. After making a late run into the box, he bounced his header up into the top corner. Some effort.
Villains – The Everton Defence
Has the ‘Big Sam Effect’ run out already? Allardyce picked up 3 cleansheets in his first 5 matches at Everton but his team have now lost 4 games in a row. Tottenham beat them 4-0 on Saturday and it could have been a lot more. Son Heung-Min tore Everton apart time and time again. Fullbacks Cuco Martina and Jonjoe Kenny couldn’t handle him, and poor Phil Jagielka couldn’t even get close. Mason Holgate needs Ashley Williams back by his side as soon as possible.