The Premier League’s weekend action was headlined by a shock win for West Brom at Chelsea, the preconceptions that Sam Allardyce’s side would dig deep for a result proving inaccurate as the struggling side hit five at Stamford Bridge.
West Brom’s win boosted Liverpool’s hopes of securing a top four finish with the Reds winning impressively at Arsenal, whilst Manchester City edged closer to replacing Jurgen Klopp’s side as champions after beating Leicester.
Following the latest round of fixtures we’ve picked out some of the Premier League’s leading performers, here are eight players who shone this weekend.
The central figure in a seismic shock at Chelsea, Matheus Pereira has been a shining light in a season of struggle for West Brom and delivered yet another fine performance at Stamford Bridge.
Pereira starred during the club’s promotion-winning season and has handled the step up to the Premier League in fine fashion, scoring seven goals and providing five assists in a side that has not always looked competitive.
The 24-year-old was involved in four goals as West Brom made a mockery of the form guide with a 5-2 win, scoring twice in first-half stoppage-time to turn a deficit into a lead shortly before the break.
Pereira’s first finish was a brilliant lob after being found in route one style by Sam Johnstone, before manoeuvring himself a shooting opportunity inside the box to give the travelling Baggies the lead.
He started on the left before taking up a central role and Chelsea failed to deal with his movement and creativity, the midfielder teeing up Mbaye Diagne for the visitor’s fourth and providing a perfect pass in behind for Callum Robinson to net the fifth.
Pereira’s performances this season are unlikely to have gone unnoticed by Premier League rivals ahead of the summer, with West Brom still needing a miracle to escape from the bottom three.
Just when hope appeared lost following a difficult title defence for Liverpool, optimism has increased around Anfield ahead of the Premier League’s run-in and Champions League campaign.
Back-to-back league wins – coupled with favourable results elsewhere – have moved the Reds within just two points of the top four, ahead of a quarter-final meeting with Real Madrid in Europe this week.
Key to the club’s recent improvement has been the return of Fabinho to midfield, the Brazilian having deputised in an unfamiliar role at centre-back for much of the campaign before being moved back into his rightful place in the Reds’ engine room.
Against Arsenal this weekend the 27-year-old provided a reminder of just why he may be the best defensive midfielder in the division, producing a monstrous display to help his side to a 3-0 win at the Emirates.
Fabinho won all six of his tackles, two aerial duels and nine of the 12 ground duels he contested, Liverpool infinitely a better side with their destroyer stationed further up the pitch, providing protection to an inexperienced centre-back pairing and freedom for the full-backs to flourish.
Fabinho’s move into midfield has also brought the best from summer signing Thiago Alcantara and will offer encouragement ahead of a defining week in the club’s season.
Harry Kane just doing Harry Kane things once again this weekend, making the art form of scoring goals at Premier League level seem ridiculously easy.
Kane’s clinical performance at Newcastle once again raises the question of just where Tottenham would be without him, a worrying thought for the north London side but a potentially realistic one in the near future if they cannot show tangible signs of progress.
The England captain took both goals in typical fashion with his second a crisp finish into the far corner, though was let down by a series of ineffective performances from his teammates as Spurs were held to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.
Kane now leads the division for both goals and assists and could become only the second player – after Andy Cole in 1993/94 – to finish top of both rankings outright in a Premier League season.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 4, 2021
Kane’s talents unquestionably lie at the highest level and he faces a huge decision this summer if he is to fulfil his ambitions of winning major silverware.
Another player linked with a summer move but seemingly irreplaceable to his current side, Danny Ings proved the inspiration as Southampton fought from two goals down to beat Burnley 3-2 this weekend.
Ings had missed the club’s last two fixtures through injury but returned to the side against the Clarets, providing a reminder of the qualities which have seen him linked with Manchester City of late.
The 28-year-old provided the assist for Stuart Armstrong’s goal with a clever flick round the corner, before bringing the scores level with an individual effort that saw him ease past Ben Mee and James Tarkowski before firing home.
Ings’ mix of industry, intelligence and finishing ability make him the ideal focal point for any side, a player who provides multiple threats and has shown since signing for Southampton he can thrive at a higher level.
Danny Ings has now scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances against Burnley.
Haunting his former side again. 👻 pic.twitter.com/aGeFBgTosv
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 4, 2021
Victory this weekend all but ensured Southampton’s safety after a concerning second half of the season slump, but the Saints look set to face a fight to hold onto their prized asset this summer.
Trezeguet ended an indifferent first season in the Premier League last term as the toast of the town for Aston Villa, the winger demonstrating a knack of scoring crucial goals at crucial times during last season’s run-in.
The Egyptian international’s double against Crystal Palace and winner against Arsenal ensured that Dean Smith’s side survived relegation by the narrowest of margins, though he has struggled to command regular minutes this season in an improved Villa side.
Villa have shown huge signs of progress this season, but their hopes of reaching Europe have faltered in the absence of the injured Jack Grealish in recent weeks.
Once again out of this weekend’s clash with Fulham, it was Trezeguet who proved the match-winner after becoming the first Aston Villa player in two decades to score twice after coming off the bench.
Trezeguet made an immediate impact a he cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener for Fulham, before arriving at the back post to net a second and put Smith’s side ahead for the first time.
Villa’s 3-1 win has reignited their hopes of securing continental football and Trezeguet showed he can be a valuable contributor in the run-in once more.
Mason Greenwood was heralded as the most exciting talent in English football following his emergence last season, the teenager bursting onto the scene to score 17 goals during an incredible debut campaign in the senior side at Manchester United.
That haul equalled the all-time single season record for a Red Devils teenager, whilst he became the first Premier League player since Michael Owen more than two decades earlier to score 10+ league goals aged 18 or under.
Greenwood has failed to hit those same heights in a testing second season at first-team level, with top-flight defenders having a better grip on the talents of a player with remarkable shooting off either foot.
Greenwood had scored just one league goal before the visit of Brighton this weekend and will hope to take confidence after netting the decisive winner with a smart diving header seven minutes from time.
The 19-year-old’s goal was the highlight of an improved performance as he drifted into dangerous areas, his role set to increase in the coming weeks given injuries to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Most goals as a teenager for @ManUtd:
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 4, 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope to see more of the intelligent movement that led to his match-winning moment, a huge boost for a player brimming with youthful potential.
Benjamin Mendy’s career at Manchester City has had plenty of false starts with form and fitness issues having plagued his time at the Etihad, but the full-back will hope his prominent role in the win at Leicester can lead to an increase in minutes.
The France international started for the second successive league fixture and produced a strong showing at left-back, pushing high and wide up the pitch and showing plenty of attacking endeavour as the champions elect dominated possession.
Mendy also proved the unlikeliest of avenues to goal when he opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium, cutting inside confidently on his weaker right foot to net his second league goal of the campaign.
The 26-year-old looked elated as he set the league leaders on their way to an important victory and he will be hoping to build on this showing as he looks to establish himself as key part of Guardiola’s plans.
Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered the perfect response to Gareth Southgate’s snub this week, producing one of his best performances of the campaign as Liverpool secured an impressive 3-0 win at Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have endured a difficult campaign so far, though this was a showing that resembled the side crowned champions in emphatic fashion in 2019/20.
Perhaps no player has emphasised the dip in standards and subsequent return to form this weekend better than Alexander-Arnold, who provided a reminder of his attacking qualities with a display full of forward running and creative quality.
The 22-year-old registered his fourth assist of the season with a brilliant cross for Diogo Jota, a superb delivery that the Portugal international met to head home the opening goal of the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold for Liverpool vs. Arsenal:
◉ Most open-play crosses (6)
◉ Most chances created (4)
◉ Most interceptions (3)
Are you watching, Gareth Southgate? 👀 pic.twitter.com/1UWmiaWwom
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 3, 2021
Involved throughout in a positive performance from the right-back, Southgate will be foolish if he leaves a player of this calibre on the sidelines this summer.
Read Also – Premier League Team of the Week