Everton rubbed salt into Manchester United wounds which were opened earlier this week at Camp Nou by thrashing the Red Devils 4-0.
Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott rounded up a memorable afternoon for the Toffees, who continued their excellent run of form.
Digne and Sigurdsson were excellent for Everton, among other players. We take a look at how the players from both teams fared.
Pickford 7: Hard to rate an on-field spectator. Pickford was not troubled at all as United produced just one shot on target.
Digne 9: One of the best players on the pitch, Digne was always creating problems on the left flank. The left-back produced good deliveries into the box and scored a belter.
Zouma 8: Absolutely solid at the back, part of the reason Pickford had a boring day at the office.
Keane 7: Looked sloppy at times, but a solid shift nonetheless. Kept Romelu Lukaku in check throughout the game.
Coleman 7: Completely shut down Anthony Martial and provided some legs in attack too.
Schneiderlin 7: Ran the midfield along with Idrissa Gueya, played a progressive and confident game against his former club.
Gueye 8: Toyed with United’s midfield, especially in the second half. Disciplined and sharp performance by the 29-year-old.
Bernard 7: Lacked end-product at times, but had enough in his boots to continuously test the United defence.
Sigurdsson 9: A complete performance as a number 10, the long-ranger was the cherry on top of what was one of his best performances this season.
Calvert-Lewin 7: Whether he meant to assist Richarlison with his touch or not is immaterial. Nevertheless, he was lively throughout and kept United’s defence on their toes.
Richarlison 8: An injury cut his evening short, but Richarlison did more in one half than what United collectively managed in two. Scored the opener with a brilliant aerial effort.
Walcott 8: Joined the party in the second half and slotted one past David De Gea comfortably.
McCarthy 6: Replaced Gueya for the last 15 minutes, when the game was practically done and dusted, wasn’t troubled as much.
Jagielka N/A: Came in for Digne at the 85th minute, not enough touches to pass a judgement.
De Gea 5: There was probably not much he could have done about two of the four goals, but it was still a terribly sub-par performance by the Spaniard, to his and regular standards.
Dalot 5: The youngster started on the left in this game and was comfortably beaten by Richarlison in most of the duels.
Lindelof 6: Probably the best player in the back-line, but this back-line just conceded four goals and could most certainly have conceded two more if not for a couple of good saves by the keeper.
Smalling 5: Won a couple of aerials thanks to the height-advantage he enjoys over Calvert-Lewin, but did nothing to prevent the humiliation.
Jones 4: Picked off from where he left at Barcelona, yet another poor performance by the centre-back.
Matic 3: Provided absolutely nothing to the game and allowed Siggurdsson acres of space as he squared up for the shot which hit the back of the net.
Fred 4: Woeful performance by the Brazilian who was mostly running around without much purpose. Understandably removed at half-time.
Pogba 5: With four key-passes, Pogba was the only source of creativity and the best player for United. But that’s not saying much.
Martial 5: Was at the end of probably the best chance of the second half, the shot which went wide summed up his night.
Lukaku 5: The striker had zero shots on goal and looked lost throughout the game.
Rashford 4: The youngster’s woeful run continued as he failed to pose any threat of any magnitude.
McTominay 3: Let Everton’s attack run through the neutral third like hot knife through butter on what was a forgettable outing for the youngster.
Young 4: Replaced an awful Phil Jones at half-time and was clearly not much of an upgrade.
Pereira N/A: Replaced Rashford for the last 15 minutes, wasn’t involved in the game as much.
Bernardo Silva has welcomed the pressure as title-chasing Manchester City prepare for a critical derby at Manchester United this week.
Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford appears to be the biggest hurdle left facing City as they chase another Premier League crown following Saturday’s tense 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Much has been made over whether United fans might actually prefer loathed neighbours City to win the title rather than arch-rivals Liverpool, but Silva does not expect that to affect players’ thinking.
United are in a tight battle themselves for a top-four spot and Silva thinks they will be just as hungry for the points.
The Portuguese midfielder said: “We are so happy with the win (on Saturday) and now it’s on to another tough one against Manchester United which I think will be crucial for the title.
“It’s a big game for us, a big game for them. They need points to be in the top four and we need them to fight for the title.
“So we expect a very difficult game against one of the best sides in England.
“They will be motivated to beat us and we look forward to it. We know we need the win, and the pressure is on – but that’s a good thing.”
Silva played an influential part as City gained a measure of revenge for their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Spurs.
His clever cross in the fifth minute opened up the Spurs defence and Sergio Aguero nodded across goal for 18-year-old Phil Foden to head what proved the clincher at the Etihad Stadium.
Spurs had numerous chances to level but City held on in a tense and scrappy finale for three vital points. The major downside for City was another injury to Kevin De Bruyne, who limped off in the first half. The club are awaiting an assessment.
Silva said: “It was a massive win, very important for us, especially after the defeat in the Champions League.
“We wanted to give a response with our fans here at home and I think we did it in the best way possible in difficult conditions. It was very warm outside and we played a very tough team with less than 72 hours to recover. It was three big points.”
Silva is one of three City players nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award along with Raheem Sterling and Aguero.
The 24-year-old, who is also on the shortlist for Young Player of Year, said: “Of course I would like one of us three to win, that would be nice, but what really matters is we win the Premier League and FA Cup.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Saturday brought the six-man shortlists for this year’s PFA awards, with Liverpool and Man City unsurprisingly dominating the nominations.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane will compete with City’s Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, and Bernardo Silva, as well as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, for the Player of the Year award.
Sterling and Silva have also been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award, as has Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, West Ham sensation Declan Rice, and Bournemouth schemer David Brooks the other nominees.
As always, some deserving candidates had to be culled to make the final list, with one name in particular a glaring omission as 2017/18 player of the year Mohamed Salah has missed out.
The Liverpool star headlines our list of the biggest snubs from this year’s awards.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Last year’s winner. This year’s current joint-top scorer. There’s no doubting the fact that Salah hasn’t quite hit the levels of last season, but he should be judged on this season only, not what he’s been able to achieve in the past.
Did the Egyptian who’s been constantly compared to Lionel Messi get the Messi treatment here? Missing out for being simply very good instead of magically brilliant?
A seven-game goal drought right when Liverpool were slipping up in the title race may have gone against him, with the wonder goal he scored in a 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend coming long after his colleagues’ votes had been counted.
Salah will also be entitled to wonder why Silva has made the shortlist ahead of him, with the same number of assists (seven) and three times as many goals (19 to six).
Son Heung-min, Tottenham
The case for Son is similar to that for Salah. The South Korean star recorded 12 goals and six assists in the league this season, again more than Silva – who has the advantage of playing for City, alongside the likes of Aguero and Sterling.
Son has star team-mates as well, but Dele Alli has been injured for long spells this season, Harry Kane has, too, and there have been times when Spurs’ No 7 has been the central figure for his team. Even Salah hasn’t had the same weight of responsibility that the former Bayer Leverkusen playmaker had thrust upon him.
Of course, Son isn’t challenging for a title the way Salah and Silva are. That narrative is already costing one player whose candidacy should be taken more seriously, with Hazard a longshot to win this award despite leading the league in combined goals and assists this season. It’s done for Son as well, if a tad unfairly.
Goals in all competitions over the last three seasons:— bet365 (@bet365) April 17, 2019
Mohamed Salah - 86
Son Heung-min - 59
Sadio Mane - 55
Raheem Sterling - 54
Eden Hazard - 53
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal
And if Son doesn’t have the benefit of a narrative where he’s driving a title challenge, at least he’s on a team that is many neutrals’ favourite, and allowing Tottenham to stand its own in the big six despite having a budget and wage bill dwarfed by the rest. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doesn’t even have that going for him.
Yet, the Gabon striker is one of the biggest reasons Unai Emery has been able to take an Arsenal side that seemed in decline when he came in last summer and revitalised them as top-four contenders. He’s a strong contender for winning the Golden Boot in his first full season in the Premier League.
Aubameyang’s tendency to miss big chances may have gone against him – his penalty miss against Tottenham when he could have won the derby for the Gunners was likely fresh on the minds of his colleagues when they voted – but on his goals and their impact, he’d have a case to be included in the six-man shortlist.
Since Aubameyang's transfer to Arsenal in January 2018, he has scored 33 goals and has 11 assists to his name.— P™ (@Cechque) April 15, 2019
Also has scored more goals in the pl (28) than any other player in the league during that time.
Exceptional player.. pic.twitter.com/cPrx6yHm2J
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace
The PFA needs to reconsider its criteria for the young player of the year award. Sterling and Silva, both nominated for the senior gong, turn 25 later this year, and though they still qualified for this category because they were 23 at the start of the season, including them in the shortlist robs others of recognition, like Crystal Palace’s talented right-back.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has withstood every test a young defender can face in the league. Playing for a side battling relegation, the young Englishman has come out of duels against the best wingers from the top six clubs with his reputation enhanced, as he’s rarely beaten defensively and provides an attacking thrust.
The 21-year-old has made more tackles than any other defender in the division. Of the 129 tackles he’s attempted, only nine times has he been dribbled past. And he’s just as good going forward, succeeding in two-thirds of his dribble attempts (54 out of 81) and adding two assists.
Wan-Bissaka should be one of the favourites for this award, not on the outside looking in.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the first player in Europe's top five leagues to make 100+ tackles this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 2, 2019
Still only *seven* players have successfully dribbled past him. 😳 pic.twitter.com/kJyNoXiBFM
Ruben Neves, Wolves
Ruben Neves isn’t flashy – apart from when he’s scoring spectacular goals. The man who famously has scored all his Wolves goals from outside the box is often occupied with simply ticking over possession, leading to accusations that he’s simply a “sideways-pass merchant”.
Yet Neves’ composure on the ball and ability to control a game for Wolves, who have surprised many sides this season by coming straight up from the Championship and competing to be the best side outside the top six, cannot be valued highly enough.
Much like some of the players who have made his role famous – Michael Carrick and Sergio Busquets come to mind – the young Portugal star doesn’t play too many Hollywood passes, instead choosing to keep it simple. And that’s what Wolves need him to do.
The 22-year-old is being linked with the likes of City and United, so there’s clearly an appreciation for what he brings to his team. For long stretches of the season he was being considered the best player outside the top six. It’s a surprise more of his fellow players didn’t vote for him.
Happy Ruben Neves day! 🚀— Wolves (@Wolves) April 11, 2019
A once-in-a-lifetime goal, on this day last year!
Harry Winks, Tottenham
Like Neves, Harry Winks’ style rarely grabs headlines. However, he’s been instrumental to Spurs’ success this season, as one half of one of the Premier League’s more surprising effective midfield partnerships alongside Moussa Sissoko.
His ability to find space to receive the ball, get into dangerous positions, and keep control under pressure are all hallmarks of a complete midfielder. When he scored his only goal of the season, against Fulham, Winks started the move by winning the ball in his own half before ghosting in to grab an injury-time winner.
He’s also come out of games against the likes of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Man City having held his own or even, at times, looking the best midfielder on the pitch. Usually, that’s enough to get the hype train going.
Winks hasn’t gotten the recognition he’s deserved this season, but he is set to be a special player.
He’s no Frenkie De Jong, but gwarn Harry Winks. Second best tempo controller in Europe pic.twitter.com/k8f4MSv8BE— Alex (@highpressmess) April 12, 2019