Tottenham player stars as pair of European hopefuls unravel in Hot or not: Gameweek 31 edition
The latest week of the Premier League continued to show why millions around the world tune in. While all the focus was on the battle between the top 2, which ended in a pulsating draw, surprises continued to rear their head.
Everton came up with an unlikely 3 points against Manchester United, while Brighton put their bugbears behind them at the Emirates as they saw off Arsenal in a game with massive ramifications for the top 4.
But who shone, and who stood out for all the wrong reasons? 101 take a look.
Hot: Heung-Min Son
Tottenham are in fantastic form at the moment, and are ensuring that they capitalise on their football by picking up vital wins in the hunt for the top 4.
Watching Arsenal slip up twice, they now sit in control of their own destiny as they look to finish in a Champions League spot for next season. Central to their form is Heung Min-Son, who netted a hat-trick against Aston Villa and took him to the top of the charts for goals from open play this season.
Excluding penalties, @SpursOfficial’s Son Heung-min has scored more #PL goals this season than any other player (17), overtaking Mo Salah (15)#AVLTOT pic.twitter.com/SWlY7MdwX0
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 10, 2022
Should he and Kane continue their telepathic link up and Conte is backed appropriately in the summer, they could finally end their trophy drought next season.
Hot: Newcastle United
Another win for Newcastle United and Eddie Howe means that the Magpies are virtually safe from relegation this season.
While they spent plenty in January, Howe has done an impressive job in the face of the absence of star forward Callum Wilson once more, and has guided the Tyneside outfit to 34 points, 10 clear of the relegation zone which they sat in for much of the first half of the season.
With safety all but assured, attention will turn to the next step in the summer, where they are expected to be busy once more.
Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea could be forgiven for licking their wounds after heavy losses to Brentford and Real Madrid in the past week, while a spot in the top 4 looks to be a given for the Blues.
However, they came out swinging, demolishing Southampton in what is turning into a seasonal occurrence for Ralph Hassenhutl’s men courtesy of a 6-0 scoreline. It could have been more too, had Werner not developed a strong relationship with Alex McCarthy’s woodwork.
While the result means little to either side, it could be just the tonic the Blues need ahead of a massive clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Not: Mikel Arteta
It has been an awful week for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. Robbed of both Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey, potentially until the end of the season, the Gunners have fallen to back to back defeats for the first time since the beginning of December and a top 4 finish has gone from manageable to now out of their hands.
Arsenal lose to Crystal Palace and Brighton in a week.
Their top-four hopes are fading fast 👋 pic.twitter.com/nOLvw81R13
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 9, 2022
Questions will be asked of the manager, who chose to play Granit Xhaka at left-back and leave young Sambi Lokonga as a lone midfielder against Brighton, while fingers will also be pointed at the lack of business in and significant business out in January.
In what felt a must-win game for Watford to have any chance of Premier League survival, a pitiful performance from Watford saw them fall to a heavy 3-0 defeat to fellow bottom of the league side Leeds United.
Leeds fans celebrating at Watford
Hang this in the Louvre 😂 pic.twitter.com/HX8AnuK6iC
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) April 9, 2022
The result, combined with wins for Newcastle, Brentford and Everton leave the Hornets six points adrift from safety, and having lost four of their last five under Roy Hodgson.
Once again, the London outfit may be lining up in the Championship next season.
Not: Manchester United
Manchester United continue to find themselves in freefall, this time coming unstuck against relegation-threatened Everton, hardly laying a glove on the Toffees.
Despite having nearly 70% possession, the Red Devils managed just 4 shots on targets, two of which came early in the piece with the scoreline still at 0-0. However, Ralf Rangnick’s side looked short on ideas, and look like a side that have given up for the season already.
Anthony Gordon with a vital goal for Everton 💪
A big deflection, but the Goodison Park crowd won’t care one bit, listen to that roar! pic.twitter.com/AkPtyTBF5Q
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2022
It was perhaps indicative of the situation of both them and their captain that the only goal of the game was a deflected shot that went in off Harry Maguire, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s post-match antics offered the most threat all afternoon from the Portuguese.