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Heroes and Villains from the Premier League weekend

Hero: Ayoze Perez

As Newcastle grappled with Everton on Saturday it was their Spanish forward Ayoze Perez who bailed them out and helped deliver a massive win.

A timely brace and assist in the dramatic 3-2 comeback victory has helped move the Magpies six points clear of the relegation places. However, Perez’s second and the match winner was spectacularly offside, as were four other of his colleagues, much to the fury of Everton boss Marco Silva.

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Villain: Jordan Pickford

England’s number one had more than a helping hand in Everton surrendering a two-goal advantage on Saturday. Oh and top of that he should have seen red for a comical rugby tackle on Salomon Rondon in the first half after he flapped at a cross. Lee Mason though had to apply the double jeopardy rule and Pickford survived to save the resulting penalty.

As boos and jeers rang out at St James’s, Pickford was duly given his comeuppance. A second half speculative shot from Almiron should have been no bother for the Everton ‘keeper, however, he somehow managed to palm the ball straight out to the onrushing Perez who was able to take advantage and draw his side level.

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Hero: James Ward-Prowse

Southampton have had bugger all to cheer about this season, so they are entitled to enjoy the recent set-piece delights of James Ward-Prowse.

The England international was at it again as The Saints secured a shock win over Spurs. The double-barrelled maestro scored a sublime free kick in the 81st minute, arching the ball with curl, dip, and speed into the top bin, giving Hugo Lloris no chance at all.

Comparisons are already being made to Southampton’s favourite son and it’s fair to say that Le Tissier himself would have been proud of this one.

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Villain: Moussa Sissoko 

If this weekend proved anything, it’s surely that Moussa Sissoko is one hell of a scary bloke! Having raked his studs down the back of Nathan Redmond’s leg in a meaty second half tackle, the France international then reacted violently to the Southampton man’s protestations. A shove and faux headbutt should really have been enough to see Sissoko sent off at St Marys.

Credit must go to Redmond for not making more of it, and also for having the cajones to take on a bloke who suddenly looked twice as big as him!

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Hero: Sadio Mane 

Cometh the hour cometh the Mane! Liverpool’s Senegalese sensation was at it again at the weekend as he helped engineer a crucial win over Burnley for his team to keep hot on the tails of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Burnley took a shock lead at Anfield to silence the crowd temporarily, but Liverpool did well to remain composed and focused. Mane’s brace saw him continue his recent hot streak and he now has a career-best 16 Premier League goals this season, a well-timed surge given Mo Salah’s recent drought.

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Villain: David De Gea

An end to end game at The Emirates was decided by two moments that will leave Manchester United fans feeling a bit sick.

The first, was Granit Xhaka’s swerving shot from outside the area, which you have expected to have been David De Gea’s bread and butter on almost any other day. However, the Spain international somehow got his feet stuck and failed to get across his line to make what should have been an easy save.

Granit Xhaka’s celebrations afterward hinted at more than a hint of surprise that it had gone in. As the race for the top four hots up, United will hope this one isn’t too costly come the end of the season.

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