With much of the focus being on off-pitch matters in the past week, it was great to get back to the football again this weekend.
Another full set of fixtures should have given us a clearer picture regarding the race for the Champions League and Premier League survival. But the races for both look as tight as they have all season.
Everyone is desperate to impress and the players are clearly keen to finish on a high. With this in mind, I have trawled through the weekend's highlights (not too arduous a task, I have to say) and picked out the best three moments from the weekend. Enjoy!
Yaya Toure Hammers One In
City’s powerhouse midfielder has had an indifferent season, but in recent weeks we’ve seen him getting a bit closer to his best.
His goal against West Ham was certainly a pointer towards that, emphasising yet again he has pretty everything in his locker.
The Ivorian picked the ball up on the edge of the penalty area, before bending a sumptuous left-footed strike into the top corner. Jussi Jaaskelainen, who has had an excellent season, was left with no chance as Toure smashed home what ultimately proved to be the winning goal.
Coutinho Playing The Right Toon
No Suarez? No problem!
Liverpool trounced an abject Newcastle side 6-0 on their own patch. The man at the centre of the demolition job was the diminutive Brazilian, Philippe Coutinho. With Luis Suarez absent, he played off Daniel Sturridge as a classic number 10.
Newcastle never got to grips with the Brazilian, as he was able find so much space throughout the course of the 90 minutes. His passing in particular, was a joy to behold. His two incisive through balls were key in setting up Liverpool’s second and third goals.
Coutinho looked much more comfortable in a central area, as he tormented Newcastle time after time. Next up for Liverpool and Coutinho is the Merseyside derby. It will be a real test of the young Brazilians credentials to see how he handles that red hot atmosphere. I suspect he will do OK.
McManaman Spurs on Wigan
The goal of the weekend game from the much maligned Callum McMananaman. Naturally, you think back to that tackle when you think of the Wigan youngster. But since then, he has put in some exceptional performances.
He has showcased pace, trickery and an eye for goal in recent weeks. He continued this trend against Spurs.
His goal to put Wigan ahead against Spurs was a remarkable effort. The 22-year-old took a wonderful first touch inside to take to him away from his marker, before setting the ball with his right-foot. Next, he powered a stunning, swerving effort at goal. Hugo Lloris had absolutely no chance.
If McMananaman can continue to put in performances like this, that tackle will be soon forgotten. If Wigan fall foul of relegation, then their emerging flying winger will surely be of interest to many a Premier League side.
All GIFs courtesy of Feint Zebra
What plays impressed you this weekend? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter @MattJFootball
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