Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.
Moment of the Week
Newcastle’s pursuit of Champions League football remains firmly in their own hands, with Eddie Howe’s side securing a dramatic late win at Nottingham Forest.
Last week, Miguel Almiron’s late winner against Wolves steadied the ship after a five-game winless run, before Alexander Isak took centre stage on Friday evening. The Sweden international scored twice as the Magpies came from behind to beat Forest, scoring a brilliant equaliser before holding his nerve to convert a stoppage-time penalty.
It shaped as a massive moment when Forest’s Moussa Niakhate was penalised for handball in the box, but fortunately for Newcastle the coolest man in the City Ground was in charge of spot-kick duties.
"BIG moment, BIG penalty!" 🎯🔳
Alexander Isak sends the Newcastle fans WILD! 🔥pic.twitter.com/y7dsDaBVqd
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 17, 2023
Isak’s winner moves Newcastle within two points of Tottenham in fourth, with two games in hand on the north Londoners. Those on Tyneside are daring to dream of a place among Europe’s elite next season.
Player of the Week
Arsenal took a huge step closer to the Premier League title after a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace extended their lead at the top of the division to eight points.
Mikel Arteta’s side cruised to a comfortable win with Bukayo Saka the architect of their afternoon’s work, producing another decisive contribution to underline his status as one of Europe’s most exciting talents. Saka created the first goal after picking out Gabriel Martinelli inside the area, before a fine inter-change with Ben White provided shooting room for the winger to double Arsenal’s lead.
Bukayo Saka lighting up the Premier League this season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Gvjo9EsNPv
— GOAL (@goal) March 19, 2023
He added a fourth – and his second – to kill off the contest, rifling in a classy finish from Kieran Tierney’s cut-back.
Saka is the first player to reach 10+ goals and 10+ assists in the Premier League this season, an indicator of his contribution to Arsenal’s unexpected title challenge. That challenge continues to go from strength to strength, with Saka’s superb showing piling the pressure on Manchester City.
Goal of the Week
Audacious and instinctive from Alexander Isak.
Newcastle’s record signing produced an electric display as the Magpies won at Nottingham Forest to boost their hopes of a top four finish. The 23-year-old’s ability to move through the gears and ghost past defenders caused problems all evening for Steve Cooper’s side, with his improvised equaliser the highlight of his performance.
Improvisation at its best from Alexander Isak 🧠⚡️pic.twitter.com/DxMNS0sRlZ
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 17, 2023
Save of the Week
Aston Villa recorded a third clean sheet in four fixtures this week, as Unai Emery’s side swatted aside Bournemouth to move into European contention.
Villa are just four points adrift of the Premier League’s top six, with only Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United having taken more points since Emery’s appointment as manager.
Emi Martinez was on hand to preserve their latest shut out, as the World Cup winner got a strong hand to Philip Billing’s free-kick.
World class from the world's best. 😍
🇦🇷 @EmiMartinezz1 pic.twitter.com/UIHAi8FHpz
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) March 19, 2023
Stat of the Week
Perhaps the most curious quirk of the Premier League weekend.
2 – Luke Ayling's last two goals in the Premier League:
March 18th 2022 away to Wolves
March 18th 2023 away to Wolves
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 18, 2023
Quote of the Week
Antonio Conte and Spurs, an underwhelming love affair that looks set to end in tears.
Conte went full meltdown after the north Londoners squandered a two-goal lead to draw with Southampton, launching into a bizarre rant in which he called out his ‘selfish’ squad and blasted Spurs’ ownership for the club’s history of failures.
Whether Conte’s comments are deflection, dejection, or something in between, it doesn’t take a genius to see how this one pans out.
"Tottenham's story is this – 20 years there is this owner and they never won something."
Antonio Conte did not hold back after Spurs dropped points in stoppage time at St Mary's 🤬#BBCFootball #MOTD #THFC pic.twitter.com/Hbuu31lP4M
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 18, 2023
Donkey of the Week
Just when it appeared Kalidou Koulibaly was beginning to turn a corner at Chelsea, the defender found himself culpable for dropped points this weekend.
The Senegal international had had a difficult debut season in west London but had found form during the club’s mini-revival under Graham Potter. However, the centre-back was exposed against Everton, as Chelsea’s fading hopes of Champions League football suffered a damaging blow.
HUGE, HUGE MOMENT FOR EVERTON AND FOR ELLIS SIMMS!!! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GWwutZg4yT
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 18, 2023
Koulibaly was beaten too easily in the air for Everton’s first goal, before a dreadful attempt to stop Ellis Simms for the forward’s late equaliser. Simms breezed past the 31-year-old with ease before firing home in the closing stages, as Koulibaly was left chasing shadows.
Read – The players with the most headed goals in a single Premier League season
Read Also – Five of the best Serie A strikers of the 90s
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