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Premier League weekend: Heroes and Villains

Hero – David Luiz

Sideshow Dave was at his Play Station worst at Spurs a couple of weeks ago. The Brazilian really is a divisive player, capable of brilliance and eye budging stupidity in the space of a few minutes on football pitch.

Against Man City though, Luiz was superb. The wavy-haired centre-half seemed hell bent on blocking everything that came his way, and won several duels that set the tone for Chelsea’s resistance. His twisting, looping header was an outstanding match winner as well – it may well just have made things very interesting in the title race.

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Villain – Shkodran Mustafi

In a moment which will have had Sean Dyce spilling his Earl Gray down his shirt watching Match of the Day, Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi was booked for a cynical dive against Huddersfield.

The German International did his best salmon leap in the penalty box after feigning contact and trying to win a penalty. Paul Tierney though was having none of it and duly handed out a yellow for diving. Woeful stuff indeed.

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Hero – Marcus Rashford

The England International will have had Fantasy Football players purring this weekend after a Roy of the Rovers display against Fulham. Rashford has been the victim of some criticism for his finishing, but you cannot fault his effort and obvious quality.

He was buzzing around the opposition penalty area for most of the ninety minutes, providing two assists and firing home an audacious effort from distance. He was central to almost every attack against Fulham and has shown real desire in recent weeks to help his side improve. A talent for sure and if he can get his manager to crack a smile he may be down for a PFA award.

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Villain – Willy Boly

During their win over Newcastle, Wolves rolled back the years to, the glory days of Kevin Davies’s sharpened elbows for Bolton Wanderers. Willy Boly knew full well what he was playing at, when he smashed his elbow into Ayoze Perez. It was brinksmanship defending and bloody horrible to see, Newcastle were rightly fuming, but clearly rattled by the incident. Perez will have shiner and a half going into training on Monday.

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Hero – Mohamed Salah

Salah’s rubbish season continued, with a hat-trick at The Vitality for Liverpool on Saturday. The Egyptian, officially the sixth best player in the world now, simply blew The Cherries away with a wonderful display of individual brilliance and cool finishing.

A tap in, a striker’s finish from a through ball and an outrageous solo goal, really does show the full varied brilliance of Mo Salah. His third was outstanding, one of his best for Liverpool. Not content with beating the keeper once, he did took it past Begovic again after being forced wide, before tapping home from close range. When he’s on it like that, there ain’t a thing you can to stop him. apart from aim snide kicks….

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Villain – Steve Cook

Speaking of snide kicks, Steve Cook will have had Sean Dyhce cheering on a good, honest, filthy tackle from his sofa on Saturday night.  The Bournemouth defender was left for dead after Bobby Firmino released Salah, on route for his second goal at The Vitality. Cook, giving chase, duly raked his studs down the back of the Egyptian’s Achilles tendon.

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It looked a really painful one, with Salah wincing as he applied the finish. It’s naughty things like that, which can cause serious injury and need to be eradicated. Nobody should have a problem with tackles, but hurting gifted forwards, whether intentional or not is pretty grim to watch.

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