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Heroes and Villains: Premier League Gameweek 37

Following the latest round of Premier League action, we pick out some of the heroes and villains from the best and worst of the weekend fixtures.

The major narratives of the Premier League campaign look set to go down to the wire, with the race for the title, Champions League football and survival all undecided heading into the season’s final week.

Tottenham moved into the top four with a narrow 1-0 win over Burnley, who found themselves dragged into the bottom three after Leeds rescued a point against Brighton at Elland Road.

Manchester City were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham in Mark Noble’s final fixture at the London Stadium, though the destination of the title remains in the league leader’s hands.

 

From star showings to poor performances, here are our Heroes and Villains from the weekend’s Premier League action.

Hero – Ryan Sessegnon

Ryan Sessegnon’s career has stalled since swapping Fulham for Tottenham, with the wing-back’s exciting emergence at the Cottagers having seen him become the first player outside of the top flight to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2017/18.

Sessegnon spent last season on loan at Hoffenheim with mixed results before returning to Spurs, where he has since made 12 league starts for the North Londoners in the current campaign.

He has impressed with a consistent run in the team in recent weeks, helping to shutdown the likes of Mohamed Salah and Bukayo Saka before producing a performance full of energy against Burnley this weekend.

Sessegnon defended well and carved out chances for Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min in an encouraging performance from a player who is still just 21-years-old.

Antonio Conte’s system relies upon the quality of its wing-backs and Sessegnon has stated his case for a regular role in the manager’s plans for next season.

Villain – Jarrad Branthwaite

Jarrad Branthwaite’s third Premier League start of the season ended early as the defender was sent off in Everton’s defeat to Brentford, with the teenage centre-back caught out in the opening exchanges of the clash.

Branthwaite – a late replacement for Michael Keane who dropped out through illness – brought down Ivan Toney after finding himself the wrong side of the forward, a moment of defensive naivety that cost Everton in a huge game.

The Toffees were leading at the time of the defender’s departure for an early bath – a result which would have confirmed top-flight survival – and despite briefly recovering fell to a 3-2 defeat that leaves them in a precarious Premier League position.

Hero – James Maddison

Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Leicester after the club’s 5-1 win at Watford, a result and performance orchestrated by the creative talents of James Maddison.

Maddison scored once and created two more goals to reach 16 goals and 11 assists in all competitions for the Foxes, becoming the first Leicester player since Riyad Mahrez (2017/18) to reach 10+ on both figures.

The 25-year-old’s 16 goals is also a career high, as is the midfielder’s 17 goal involvements in the Premier League so far this season.

Maddison was a cut above against Watford with his touch and technique outstanding at Vicarage Road. Having been largely overlooked for England, he will hope to have done enough in an inconsistent Leicester team to have re-entered the thoughts of Gareth Southgate.

Villain – Ben Foster

Ben Foster’s final home game for Watford proved one to forget, as the veteran goalkeeper – who will leave the Hornets at the end of the season – shipped five goals in defeat to Leicester.

Foster was badly at fault for Leicester’s second goal of the afternoon, after being beaten to the ball by Jamie Vardy as he misjudged the flight of a long pass forward.

The 39-year-old failed to cover himself in glory as the Foxes ran riot across the second half and Watford’s dismal record of 46 goals conceded in home fixtures is a new unwanted Premier League landmark. It’s also the highest figure any side has conceded at home in a single top-flight season since 1960/61.

Hero – Yoanne Wissa

Wissa was the catalyst behind Brentford’s comeback win at Everton, creating one and scoring another as the Bees twice came from behind to secure all three points.

The 25-year-old’s shot took a deflection off Seamus Coleman for an own goal to level the scores in the first half, before Wissa got across his marker to glance home Christian Eriksen’s free-kick and net a second equaliser for Brentford.

It’s now 10 goals in just 14 starts for the winger across all competitions for Brentford this season and he deserves to be handed a more prominent part in Thomas Frank’s side for next season.

The club’s fine form has carried them upwards to 11th in the Premier League and the challenge now will be building on that success in 2022/23.

Villain – Conor Coady

A poor performance from the Wolves captain, who was uncharacteristically lax in possession against Norwich in a shaky showing.

Coady was bailed out by Toti in the opening minutes after gifting the ball to Teemu Pukki with a bad backpass, before allowing the Finland forward to cut inside him and score the game’s opening goal.

Bruno Lage showed little mercy with the England international and hauled Coady off at half-time. The defender’s 150th Premier League appearance for Wolves – the first player to achieve the feat for the club – was one he will not want to remember.

Hero – Jarrod Bowen

There will be riots in the East End of London if Jarrod Bowen is not named in the England squad this summer, with the West Ham winger continuing his superb season with a brace in the club’s 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Bowen has been a brilliant signing for the Hammers and evidence that talent can be unearthed in the lower divisions, excelling since his £20m arrival from Hull and taking his game to new levels this season.

The 25-year-old now has 12 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League this season, with only three players – Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane – having been directly involved in more goals.

His movement this weekend was top-class as he drifted dangerously inside to expose City’s high defensive line, twice getting in behind before finishing with the confidence of a player at the top of his game. Bowen’s brilliance has kept alive the Hammers’ hopes of Europa League football next season.

Villain – Riyad Mahrez

Manchester City showed the character of champions to fight back and earn a point at West Ham, with the league leaders having been 2-0 down at half-time at the London Stadium.

City were given the chance to snatch the win late on after being awarded a penalty, a result which would have all but secured the Premier League title given their superior goal difference to Liverpool.

Riyad Mahrez stepped up and saw his spot-kick saved and the Algerian has now missed more Premier League penalties (6) than any other player since the 2015/16 season.

Mahrez will hope this one does not prove crucial in the outcome of the title race.

Read – Premier League Team of the Week – Gameweek 37

Read Also – Premier League Awards: Leeds leave it late, Mahrez’s miss and Noble’s goodbye

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