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Premier League Awards – Saka’s miss, wonderful Watkins

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

Moment of the Week

Have we just seen two minutes that could decide the title race?

Last week a chaotic game at Liverpool saw Arsenal blow a two-goal lead to drop points, before history repeated itself at West Ham this weekend. Arsenal were in cruise control against the Hammers after goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard inside the opening ten minutes, before individual errors allowed West Ham back into the game.

First Gabriel’s careless challenge conceded a penalty which Said Benrahma converted, before Bukayo Saka missed the chance to restore Arsenal’s two-goal cushion as he blazed wide from a spot-kick of his own.

Saka’s miss was his first from the penalty spot in the Premier League and proved almost instantly costly, as West Ham went up the other end to equalise through Jarrod Bowen less than two minutes later.

The result means Arsenal are four points above Manchester City having played a game more, but the chasing champions are in inspired form right now and host the Gunners at the Etihad on April 26. Pep Guardiola’s team have the experience and the form right now, while the Gunners have shown signs of nerves in recent fixtures.

Just over a week ago City were a comfortable distance behind Arsenal in the title race, but two games later the champions are up close in the Gunners’ rear-view mirror. The pressure is on as both teams race to the finish line.

Player of the Week

Ollie Watkins is bang in form right now.

Watkins’ has now scored ten goals in his last 12 appearances for in-form Aston Villa, after a brilliant brace against Newcastle continued the club’s challenge for European football. Newcastle could not cope with the pace, power and intelligent movement of the Villa frontman, who is thriving as the main man in Unai Emery’s improving side.

He set up the first goal in Villa’s 3-0 win with a cushioned header into Jacob Ramsey’s path, before a sharp turn and finish inside the area continued his own hot streak. Watkins added a second goal at the back post and could have had more as he proved a menacing presence to Newcastle’s centre-back duo of Sven Botman and Fabian Schar.

The onlooking Gareth Southgate will no doubt have been impressed with the 27-year-old, who bullied Botman and shrugged off Schar to create chances for himself and those around him. This was a performance of the highest quality, against the Premier League’s best defence.

Villa – and Watkins – are flying.

Goal of the Week

Brighton’s recruitment team continue to churn out diamonds, with Julio Enciso the latest name with a fast-growing reputation.

Signed from Club Libertad in a £9.5m deal last summer, the teenager has been eased into the first-team picture at Brighton, but has shown recent signs he is truly finding his feet in the Premier League.

After scoring his first Premier League goal against Bournemouth earlier this month, Enciso made it two goals in three games with a stunning effort against Chelsea. Enciso unleashed a thunderous strike past Kepa Arrizabalaga to earn Brighton a first-ever win at Stamford Bridge, while the 19-year-old became the first Paraguayan player to score against Chelsea.

When it comes to signing exciting prospects, the Seagulls just do not miss at present.

Miss of the Week

Bukayo Saka is the first Arsenal player to miss the target entirely from a penalty in almost eight years.

It could prove a gargantuan miss in the outcome of the Premier League title.

Save of the Week

Keylor Navas rolled back the years despite Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, with the Costa Rican ensuring the home side were not embarrassed at the City Ground.

Navas made a string of saves to frustrate Erik ten Hag’s side, including this wonderful stop to palm Bruno Fernandes’ fierce effort onto the crossbar. A reminder from the three-time Champions League winner that class is permanent.

Stat of the Week

When it comes to creating chances, Kevin De Bruyne is often in a league of his own.

The Belgian reached 15 assists for the season in Manchester City’s win over Leicester, the fourth time he has reached that landmark in his Premier League career.

Tweet of the Week

For the first time ever, Arsenal have dropped a two-goal lead in consecutive Premier League games and the Gunners are just the fifth side to have ever done so.

Manchester City fans were more than a little pleased with their favour from West Ham.

Donkey of the Week

Antonio Conte’s exit from Tottenham was hardly a shock. The bubbling temper of the Italian had begun to surface long before the explosive rant which saw Spurs sack their head coach, though no contingency plan was put into place.

Cristian Stellini was promoted from his role as an assistant until the end of the season, but to date has had little impact on a campaign that is threatening to unravel. A fortunate win against Brighton last weekend was followed with a home defeat to Bournemouth this, as the Cherries stunned Spurs with a stoppage-time winner.

Stellini has had little to no impact on this side, opting for the same tactics which had failed to get consistent results under Conte. The Italian brutally hooked substitute Davinson Sanchez just 23 minutes after his initial introduction, who despite an error-prone performance was far from alone in struggling in a Spurs shirt.

Was Sanchez – booed by his own fans as he departed the pitch – a convenient scapegoat to deflect from Stellini’s stale football?

To make matters worse, Stellini refused to shake hands with the Bournemouth coaching staff at full-time, with Gary O’Neill critical of his conduct. The sooner Spurs sort out their managerial position the better, though it could be too late to salvage this season.

Read – All-time Premier League hard bastard XI

Read Also – Player Profile: Exciting Dutch right-back and Man United target Jeremie Frimpong

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