Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.
Moment of the Week
The 2018/19 title race went down to the wire as Manchester City beat Liverpool to the crown, just a single point separating the sides following a campaign of remarkable consistency from both teams.
In a season of defining moments, John Stones’ goal-line clearance in the fixture between the teams at the Etihad – an incident which saw 21.9cm of a 22cm Premier League football cross the line – ultimately proved decisive in the destination of the title.
How crucial then could Rodri’s heroic late block be on this season’s race?
That was fucking insane from Rodri. Unbelievable. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/BHjm2WqBdx
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) October 3, 2021
After a pulsating second-half saw the two teams share four goals, the midfielder flung himself across goal to deny Fabinho from point-blank range with an open goal gaping.
Rodri’s desperate determination ensured City left Merseyside with the point their performance more than deserved, and that the gap between them and Liverpool remained a margin of just one point.
Player of the Week
The best action was found on Merseyside in that aforementioned clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, arguably the two best teams in the Premier League going toe-to-toe during a gripping contest.
It was the visitors who dominated the opening exchanges, however, with Phil Foden providing another reminder of his quality with an irrepressible performance down the left.
Foden was simply sensational as he ripped Liverpool to shreds, the whirling speed of the youngster making auxiliary right-back James Milner look like a footballer with two decades of Premier League football in his ageing legs.
We fight to the end! Had to battle today, great to get on the scoresheet again 💙 pic.twitter.com/Toohga7mZ9
— Phil Foden (@PhilFoden) October 3, 2021
After missing a clear-cut chance in the first half, Foden produced a fine finish in the second to bring City level after Sadio Mane’s opener.
The 21-year-old’s arrowed finish into the side netting was his sixth goal involvement in just three appearances against Liverpool, whilst he now has 14 against ‘big six’ sides in the Premier League – with no opposition or occasion daunting arguably England’s brightest young talent.
Foden created City’s second equaliser with another surging run and cross, a performance of the highest calibre from a midfielder bursting with precocious talent.
Goal of the Week
Take a bow, Mohamed Salah.
Salah is in the form of his life right now for Liverpool, scoring for the seventh consecutive game during the Reds’ thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City at Anfield.
The Egyptian’s assist for Sadio Mane’s opener was brilliant in itself, before the 29-year-old took it upon himself to restore Liverpool’s lead with a moment of individual goalscoring genius.
There appeared little danger as Salah received Curtis Jones’ pass with his back to goal some distance out, before a show of strength and balance turned Joao Cancelo and allowed the winger to move towards goal.
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 😱
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 3, 2021
Salah’s dancing feet left Bernardo Silva on the turf in a heap, before twisting and turning beyond Aymeric Laporte’s challenge and firing an unstoppable finish beyond Ederson.
Salah has now scored 101 league goals since signing for Liverpool from Roma, but few – if any – have been better than this.
Stat of the Week
Timo Werner’s time with Chelsea has no doubt been a testing experience, the forward having been a regular target for criticism and social media jibes after failing to reproduce the prolific form he showed at RB Leipzig.
Werner scored just six league goals for the west Londoners last season, but the Germany international deserves huge credit for the incredible perseverance he has shown at Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old saw a drought-breaking goal disallowed against Southampton this weekend, with the referee penalising a foul in the build-up long after Werner had wheeled away in celebration.
Timo Werner has had 16 goals disallowed since moving to Chelsea 😳 pic.twitter.com/pkniF3EqR3
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 2, 2021
The disallowed effort was staggeringly the 16th goal the forward has seen ruled out by VAR since signing for Chelsea, a remarkable number that demonstrates the fine lines between perceived success and struggle.
Werner’s impressive performance and perseverance was eventually rewarded with the winner against Southampton this weekend, his first Premier League goal of the campaign.
We’re not quite sure we’re falling for Andros Townsend’s innocent act and so-called ‘mark of respect’ to Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford.
The Everton winger copied Cristiano’s trademark ‘Siuuu’ celebration after equalising against Manchester United this weekend, in a moment of elite shithousery that would have made even Jamie Vardy proud.
Andros Townsend really hit Cristiano Ronaldo's Siuuuu at Old Trafford 😳 pic.twitter.com/pqdGVDV6UB
— Goal (@goal) October 2, 2021
Instant Impact Award
Patrick Vieira has had the magic touch when it comes to changes so far this season, with Crystal Palace having scored more goals from substitutes (4) than any other team in the division.
Two of those goals came during the Eagles’ fightback from two goals down to draw with Leicester this weekend, with both Michael Olise and Jeffrey Schlupp coming off the bench to snatch a point for the home side at Selhurst Park.
⚽ @CPFC's Jeff Schlupp scored 48 seconds after coming on as sub and had the joint most attempts in the game (4) despite only playing 19 mins
Crystal Palace have had the most PL goals scored by subs this season
4 Crystal Palace
2 Brentford, Liverpool, Man City & Man Utd pic.twitter.com/cJgAG73TA9
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 3, 2021
Schlupp’s goalscoring salvo came just 48 seconds after his arrival off the bench against the Foxes, the winger making an instant impact to save his side.
Quote of the Week
““I’ve never seen anything like it. He has to be the best winger the league has ever seen and the best player in the world at the moment. No one is doing it like him.”
– Pep Guardiola on Mohamed Salah
Donkey of the Week
He wasn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last player to be on the receiving end of a magical Phil Foden performance, but it was merciless from the 21-year-old against James Milner this weekend.
Milner has been – and so often still is – a fine footballer for Liverpool, but he was exposed time and time again against the youthful brilliance of Foden in a performance he will want to forget.
The 35-year-old could not live with Foden throughout a torturous opening 45 minutes, with some surprise when Milner reemerged for the second half given the difficulties he had containing the England international.
Featuring out-of-position at right-back in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, he was fortunate to not concede a penalty and later to be sent off for a second bookable offence, with the only surprise surrounding his substitution was that it came so late into a challenging contest.
James Ward-Prowse also deserves a mention following his needless sending off after bringing Southampton level against Chelsea, whilst Joachim Andersen also suffered for Crystal Palace.