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Premier League Weekend: Heroes and Villains

As another weekend of Premier League action passes us by, it’s time to take stock and decide which players were a help or a hindrance to their sides over the weekend.

Hero: Willian 

It’s hard to imagine what more Willian could have done for this side during his Roy of the Rovers style antics against Spurs. Yes, Jose Mourinho’s men played with virtually no pace or urgency in their quest to bore their opponents to death, but all credit must go to the veteran Brazilian for bossing this one.

His first goal was outstanding, punishing near comical defending by Serge Aurier to curl in a beauty from the edge of the box. His passing radar was working overtime too, as he perfectly picked out his Chelsea teammates on the counter all afternoon before burying his penalty to make it 2-0 just before half time.

Tidy stuff from the evergreen Samba magician as the Blues strengthened their grip on a top-four spot.

See also – Willian reckons Chelsea’s ‘mentality’ was key to crucial win over Spurs

Villain: Paulo Gazzaniga 

It’s hard to work out what exactly the Spurs’ keeper was trying to do in his efforts to close down Marcos Alonso as the Spaniard was in on goal. The Argentine stand-in ‘keeper rushed out in an attempt to clear the ball, though his grimly timed Kung Fu kick effectively clotheslined Alonso.

After what must have been 617 VAR replays to confirm the most stonewall of penalty decisions, it really is hard to see what Gazzaniga had in mind. It was dodgy goalkeeping at it’s shabby best and it led to all three points going to West London for Christmas.

Hero: Kevin De Bruyne 

This is Kevin de Bruyne’s world and we are all just living it. At least it feels that way at the moment.

The 28-year-old is near unplayable in this kind of form and he helped deliver a massive victory for Man City over Leicester City on Saturday evening.

The Belgian may not have found the net, but he was so so classy in his overall game for Pep Guardiola’s men. His assist for Gabriel Jesus at the King Power takes him to 16 Premier League goal involvements already for this season, six goals and 10 assists. Tidy.

Villain: Son Heung-min

So often the hero for Spurs, though Son Heung-Min found himself on the receiving end of a VAR induced red card on Sunday afternoon against Chelsea.

The South Korean was caught raking his studs down the belly of Antonio Rudiger who duly went down in an Oscar-worthy display. However, it was still a painfully stupid thing for Son to do with his team under the cosh and facing another set back in their attempts to seal a top-four spot this season.

Not for the first time this season, Son was visibly upset at the decision, but in all honesty, he knew what he doing and duly paid the price.

See also – Mourinho admits Spurs can only ‘blame ourselves’ for 2-0 Chelsea loss

Hero: Danny Ings 

Danny Ings is going full-on Jamie Vardy mode of late as he continues to bang in the goals for the Saints.

His brace at Villa Park took him to 11 goals for the season, the most of any other Southampton player at this stage of a Premier League campaign, although the legendary James Beattie also managed it back in 2002/03.

Ings has been through the injury mill during his career and deserves this run; and on current form, Southampton have every shot of survival this season if their main man can stay in the goal-scoring groove.

Villain: David De Gea 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have known about the myriad of problems he was inheriting when he took over at Manchester United in 12 months ago. However, one position the Norwegian would have put his mortgage on (if he had one) was his goalkeeper. De Gea was arguably the only stalwart of the post-Fergie era and firmly in most people’s minds as the best in the league between the sticks.

However, on Sunday night Manchester United fans were left with the sobering reality that no other Premier League player has directly contributed to more opposition goals since the start of last season than De Gea. The Spaniard’s glaring error at Vicarage Road handed bottom club Watford their first home win since April as he allowed Ismaila Sarr’s tame effort to slip through his hands.

It can happen to any keeper, but the growing frequency of big errors and wobbly shifts from the Spain international must be a growing concern at Old Trafford.

Read – The best Premier League stats of gameweek 18: Form is temporary, Vardy is eternal

See also – Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 18