Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.
Moment of the Week
Sometimes the best moments of the Premier League weekend come away from the pitch. Bournemouth’s win over Liverpool was a crucial result for Gary O’Neill’s struggling side, but it is the return of David Brooks to the squad that will have been the most significant moment for the Cherries’ squad.
It has been a long wait for the Welshman, a period of more than 520 days following the midfielder’s cancer diagnosis in 2021. The 25-year-old was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma and revealed last May that he was now ‘cancer free’.
After months of regaining his fitness as he looks to get his career back on track, Brooks was included in the matchday squad for the first time since that diagnosis this weekend. He failed to come off the bench as Bournemouth beat Liverpool, but it was a major moment for the 26-cap Wales international.
529 days I’ve had to wait for that feeling! been a long wait and a very difficult period for me and my family but to be able to step back on that football pitch and feel part of the team again was special! Thanks to all the fans for the great reception 🍒❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ji4N4gue0q
— David Brooks (@DRBrooks15) March 12, 2023
One of the division’s most exciting young talents during his breakout season at Bournemouth in 2018/19, he – and the Cherries – will hope this is the first step towards returning to those heights.
Player of the Week
Arsenal’s title challenge has come faster than expected for Mikel Arteta and his staff, who looked to capitalise on the club’s promising position with additions during the January transfer window.
In came Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho to add depth to the squad, with the former viewed as an astute addition after Chelsea stole in to sign Mykhailo Mudryk from under the Gunners’ noses.
Trossard’s impact has perhaps surpassed even Arteta’s expectations. In five league games for the north Londoners he has scored once and provided five assists, including a hat-trick of assists during Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Fulham this weekend.
Manchester City’s win at Crystal Palace had upped the pressure on Arsenal, but the league leaders showed no signs of nerves as Trossard inspired a first-half blitz at Craven Cottage. The Belgian became the first player in Premier League history to provide three assists in the opening 45 minutes of an away fixture, while he is the first player in a decade to record a hat-trick of goals and assists in the same Premier League season.
3+ – Leandro Trossard is the first player since Santi Cazorla in 2012-13 to record a hat-trick of goals and a hat-trick of assists in a single Premier League campaign.
⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs Liverpool in October
🅰️🅰️🅰️ vs Fulham today
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 12, 2023
Inventive, productive, versatile and Premier League proven, he has proven a superb signing for Arsenal and is an addition that could help the Gunners over the line in their pursuit of a first title since 2003/04.
Goal of the Week
Leeds twice hit back to earn a point against Brighton this weekend, coming from behind during an entertaining draw at Elland Road.
The home side’s goals came in spectacular fashion, as Patrick Bamford’s deflected effort from distance crashed in off the underside of the crossbar, before Jack Harrison produced a moment of magic to level the scores a second time.
Collecting a short corner, Harrison bamboozled Solly March with some fine footwork before bending home a fantastic finish into the far corner.
🤯 "Goodness me! That's superb!" pic.twitter.com/q7eerkpBhC
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 11, 2023
Miss of the Week
Liverpool’s top four hopes suffered a damaging blow after defeat at Bournemouth, a shock result given the club’s recent upturn in league results.
Jurgen Klopp’s side faded after a bright start and struggled to create opportunities, but were gifted a chance to rescue a point after Adam Smith was penalised for a handball. Mohamed Salah – so often reliable from the spot – got his effort all wrong, ballooning his penalty high and wide at the Vitality Stadium.
Huge moment as Mohamed Salah misfires from the spot 😳 pic.twitter.com/EyaJ2paKO2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 11, 2023
It was the first time that Salah has missed the target entirely with a Premier League penalty and could prove costly in the club’s Champions League chase. Defeat leaves Liverpool six points adrift of the division’s top four.
Save of the Week
Fraser Forster has deputised in goal for Tottenham in recent fixtures, with Hugo Lloris’ injury having thrust the summer signing into the side.
Forster produced an impressive performance as Spurs solidified their position in the Premier League’s top four this weekend, making a number of smart saves during the club’s win over Nottingham Forest.
He kept out efforts from Brennan Johnson and Emmanuel Dennis alongside an Andre Ayew penalty, though the best of the lot was a one-handed stop from point-blank range to deny ex-Spurs defender Serge Aurier.
“What a save that is from Fraser Forster” ✊
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 12, 2023
Stat of the Week
Is it time Crystal Palace begin to look over their shoulder?
Patrick Vieira’s side have failed to find the verve showcased last season and extended their winless run in the Premier League to ten games after a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City this weekend. Palace have failed to win in the Premier League in 2023 to date and are now just three points above the drop zone.
Goals have been a major problem for the Eagles, who are the first team to go three consecutive Premier League fixtures without a shot on target since the data was first collected (2003/04).
3 – Crystal Palace have become the first team on record (since 2003-04) to fail to have a single shot on target in three consecutive Premier League matches. Blunt. pic.twitter.com/5kfiW8htDj
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 11, 2023
Donkey of the Week
Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Liverpool’s dressing room this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s team appeared back on track for a top four finish after five consecutive Premier League clean sheets, the latest of which came during a record-breaking 7-0 win over Manchester United last weekend.
Six days is a long time in football however, with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth stopping the club’s mini-revival in its tracks. Liverpool were flat in a dull performance on the south coast, one which lacked the energy of recent wins.
Virgil van Dijk was culpable for the game’s decisive goal, as the Dutch defender allowed Dango Ouattara to waltz past him on route to setting up Philip Billing’s winner.
Philip Billing taps home the opener and it's lift-off for Bournemouth 🚀 pic.twitter.com/mFVK90hIyj
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 11, 2023
It was a concerning and costly moment from Van Dijk, who has looked a shadow of his former self for much of this season. Van Dijk’s best levels saw him frustrate Premier League forwards with effortless ease, but opponents no longer fear the centre-back who is too easily got at right now.
He appeared to almost give up on his chase of Ouattara, a bad look at a crucial moment that decided the game.
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