Hero: Gabriel Jesus
The Brazilian forward has cut something of a frustrated figure at Man City this season. Even with Aguero being out, he has failed to stamp his authority and stake a claim to be the top dog at City. However, his performance against Everton could just be the Christmas tonic for the inconsistent striker.
Even Alan Shearer threatened to sound excited and enthusiastic on Match of the Day as he praised Jesus’s efforts. A brace and another goal ruled out showed a forward with plenty of confidence and ability, with Aguero coming back, he will make way, but at least he has given Pep something to ponder.
Villain: Troy Deeney
In a really entertaining game of football between two sides going for it at the weekend, Troy Deeney left his mark on proceedings for all the wrong reasons. The Watford forward went in for a challenge on the Cardiff ‘keeper Neil Etheridge that left the stopper riving in pain.
The replays showed Deeney sliding for a ball he was always going to struggle to reach. Some will say he couldn’t have helped following through, but it looked a dangerous one and really must have caused Etheridge some damage. Warnock was left to fume and will felt his side were at wrong end of dodgy refereeing again this season.
Hero: Xherdan Shaqiri
The Swiss forward had Anfield eating from the palm of his hand on Sunday evening. The super sub came up trumps for Liverpool with two goals to drag his side back to the top of the league and inflict a much needed win over their bitter rivals.
Not that Liverpool will care, but his second goal in particular took a generous deflection to help his shot past De Gea. The Spaniard would probably back himself to make his six thousandth career save against the Reds, but it wasn’t to be, and it left Liverpool toasting their £13 million man.
From hero to villain in just a few days! Liverpool’s impressive goalkeeper made a rare error on Sunday against United, spilling a routine catch and he was duly punished by conceding an equalising goal. Perhaps he was distracted by some mental Sudoku as he tried to stay focused, as his side laid siege to United on the other end of the pitch.
Whatever it was, it was an almighty brainfart to gift Lingard an easy tap-in to make it 1-1.
Ultimately it didn’t hurt his team, but it did have Mr Happy, Roy Keane, saying the Brazilian should have caught the initial ball in with his eyes closed, and in fairness, the former United man wasn’t wrong.
Hero: Danny Ings
Southampton are going to need their better players to drag them out of the mire this season, and Danny Ings duly stepped up to the plate on Sunday.
Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten run in is over. It took some stopping and few would have said it would be Southampton to do it.
Danny Ings was excellent though for his side, playing as a target man he scored his first headed goal since the last days of Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. He put in one hell of a shift, and if he can stay fit, he may just have enough quality to help his new gaffer perform a miracle on the South Coast.
Villain: Charlie Daniels
Just beating Alisson Becker in this weekend’s brainfart awards was Charlie Daniels for Bournemouth. The defender played a suicidal ball back across his own half of the field, allowing Jota in to square the ball to Jimenez for Wolves’ only goal of the game.
It really was one heck of ball to be fair to Daniels, but it’s a pity that it was at the wrong end of the pitch and not for his team, other than that, and he’s a pretty decent ball playing centre-half.