Lights, drama, action. It’s almost like the Premier League never went away, as April’s fixtures kicked off with a bang to mark the Easter weekend.
The action was aplenty in the league we follow and cherish, starting right from minute one as relegation battling West Brom thumped a shell-shocked Chelsea 5-2 on their own patch to dent their top four hopes. Elsewhere, Manchester City resumed normal service by beating Leicester 2-0, avenging their own 5-2 defeat from the beginning of the season, and a revitalised Liverpool swept aside a toothless Arsenal.
As usual, we will be highlighting the best player in each area of the pitch, in addition to the Matchweek’s leading manager, as we look for the 30th time at the Premier League’s stars of the week.
Stars in Premier League – Gameweek 30
Goalkeeper: Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace’s quietly efficient season rolled on with a hard-fought point away at Everton. The Eagles had their goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to thank after escaping Merseyside with a point – and not for the first time this season, either.
The Spanish goalkeeper made six saves for Palace, the joint most he has made in a Premier League game this season.
It has to be said that he faced some uncharacteristically wasteful finishing from the usually reliable Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, but it was still an excellent goalkeeping display nonetheless.
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
How do you prove a manager wrong? You show them just how good you are, and much like Patrick Bamford in Matchweek 29, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has done just that to fire back at England manager Gareth Southgate.
The marauding right back looked back to near his best against Arsenal on Saturday, providing a vintage cross to Diogo Jota to open the scoring and controlling his flank at both ends with the sort of brilliance that we became so accustomed to seeing last season.
Could a late run of form like this salvage his bid for the Euros?
Midfielder: Jesse Lingard (West Ham United)
The thought of Jesse Lingard lighting up the league seemed extremely remote just months ago, but another stunning performance for West Ham has brought him into our five yet again, for the second Matchweek in a row.
The attacking midfielder produced a dazzling solo goal to open the scoring, before orchestrating the second goal with a brilliant piece of skill and assisting the third, as West Ham held on this time to edge out Wolves 3-2.
Since moving to the Hammers in early February, he has more goal contributions than any other play in the league – a stunning statistic and a testament to his revitalisation.
Forward: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion)
Once again, West Brom proved themselves to be a thorn in the side of Thiago Silva and Chelsea and once again, it was striker Callum Robinson doing the damage.
With Chelsea down to ten men, the Republic of Ireland forward lashed in a clinical volley to put his side 3-1 up, before rounding off the rout with another good finish to make it five.
It was a stunning performance from Robinson, and indeed several other of West Brom’s attackers, but might it be a case of too little, too late in their season?
Manager: Sam Allardyce (West Bromwich Albion)
After achieving a stunning result like that, there could only be one winner for this week’s managerial award, with Baggies boss Sam Allardyce standing out as the clear victor.
Although Chelsea were reduced to ten men, Allardyce still inspired his side to deliver some stunning football to hit five past a defence that had only conceded twice in the league since late January, producing what was arguably the most shocking result of the entire season.
If West Brom are to have any hope of staying up, Big Sam will have to achieve a few more performances like this in the games that remain, which’ll be no easy task.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.