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Premier League Awards: Rice cooks, dreadful De Gea, and outstanding Odegaard

Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.

Moment of the Week

Arsenal kept alive the Premier League title race after a 1-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday, with the Gunners weathering an early storm on Tyneside to emerge with three points.

Newcastle struck the post inside 70 seconds at St James’ Park, before the Magpies had a penalty decision overturned after consultation with VAR.

Jakub Kiwior was penalised after Bruno Guimaraes’ shot hit the defender’s arm, but the officials overturned the penalty decision after replays showed the ball had hit Kiwior’s thigh before bouncing up into his arm.

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It was a close call that saw Arsenal off the hook early on, with the Gunners regrouping to claim a crucial win. Eddie Howe, meanwhile, was left to bemoan the ‘fine margins’ as Newcastle’s Champions League hopes were dented with a home defeat.

Player of the Week

Declan Rice returned to the West Ham side after illness in midweek and was the best player on the pitch as the Hammers beat Manchester United 1-0 at the London Stadium.

Rice was everywhere during a dominant performance of box-to-box class, regaining possession repeatedly, using the ball well and driving forward to break lines from midfield. The 24-year-old – who leads the Premier League for interceptions this season – led the game for ball recoveries (13), interceptions (4) and completed dribbles (4).

West Ham fans will want to cherish what is expected to be Rice’s final games in the club’s colours over the coming weeks, with the England midfielder keen to move on and test himself at the highest level.

Each of the Premier League’s wealthiest clubs have been credited with some interest, though it is Arsenal who appear the most determined to land Rice with other clubs having priorities elsewhere.

If the Gunners are allowed a free run at Rice this summer, it might just be a decision rival clubs come to regret. It is not difficult to see just how Rice would improve a team who have gone from strength to strength under Mikel Arteta and have further room for growth.

He would upgrade any midfield in the division and might not have yet reached his ceiling.

Goal of the Week

Martin Odegaard just can’t stop scoring right now.

The Norwegian has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances for Arsenal and followed his brace against Chelsea in midweek with the opener in the Gunners’ win at Newcastle.

Odegaard fired home a precise effort from distance past Nick Pope, who had frustrated the north Londoners with a series of first-half saves at St James’ Park.

Odegaard’s effort was his 15th in the Premier League this season. No midfielder has scored more.

Save of the Week

Aaron Ramsdale came to the rescue for Arsenal as the Gunners maintained the pressure on leaders Manchester City with a vital win at Newcastle.

Newcastle had lost just twice on home soil since January 2022, but Arsenal held their nerve to seal a win at St James’ Park. Ramsdale made a crucial stop from Fabian Schar with Arsenal leading 1-0, reacting rapidly to keep out the defender’s header from close range.

Stat of the Week

It’s fair to say Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold experiment is working out quite nicely.

The 24-year-old has been a revelation since moving into a hybrid role between right-back and midfield, stamping his mark on each game during the Reds’ six-game winning run. Such has been the success of the switch, could Liverpool turn their attention from midfield transfer targets to right-backs this summer?

Tweet of the Week


Donkey of the Week

David de Gea, that is a shocker.

The Spaniard’s distribution has come under question once again this season with some suggesting it’s time Manchester United moved on from the long-serving number one. Shot-stopping has long been his forte, but this was as bad as it gets to allow Said Benrahma to score a winner for West Ham.

Erik ten Hag was staunch in his post-match defence of De Gea, but might be considering change behind closed doors.

Read – The players with the most headed goals in a single Premier League season

Read Also – Remembering when Eden Hazard ruled the Premier League in 2014/15

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