Premier League Weekend Awards: A Christmas Miracle In Manchester

With Boxing Day just around the corner, the Premier League got a much needed shake-up.  Crazy results on Saturday have sent the top 6 into a frenzy during the most hectic part of the season.  20 matches now remain for a majority of teams, and we could be in for a classic league finish.

Match of the Weekend:  Palace 3, Man City 2

Andros Townsend celebrates scoring against Manchester City

For the second time in the three weeks that I have done this, the match of the weekend has come at the expense of the reigning title holders.  And what a stunner this one was!  Crystal Palace came into this game with just 15 points through 17 matches, and had only scored 14 goals in those matches.  But on Saturday, none of those statistics meant anything to Palace, as they waltzed into the Etihad and delivered the upset of the season. Ilkay Gundogan started off the day with a goal, but Palace quickly responded with two quick goals from Schlupp and Townsend (SPOILER ALERT:  We will talk about that Townsend goal again…).  Just six minutes into the second half, Kyle Walker’s poor challenge sent Crystal Palace to the spot with a chance to take a two goal lead. Luka Milivojevic buried it and Crystal Palace never looked back.  De Bruyne grabbed a second for City in the 85th, but it was not enough to inspire a Citizens’ comeback.  With Liverpool securing a victory on Friday, Manchester City are now four points behind the leaders.  Crystal Palace now well out of the relegation battle, firmly in 14th place.

Honorable Mention:

Leicester City 1, Chelsea 0

Player of the Weekend:  Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil

After back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Tottenham, Arsenal needed three points against Burnley, especially with Liverpool on the schedule at the end of the month.  Mesut Ozil had not been selected often in the past month, nursing a back injury, and ultimately not being selected on a few occasions.  In his return, the German dominated in the attacking third.  He set up an assist with a fantastic pass to Kolasinac, who delivered a ball to Aubameyang to open the scoring.  Ozil also tallied an assist in injury time, finding Alex Iwobi for an easy finish.  On top of the assist, Ozil completed 34/34 passes in Burnley’s half of the pitch, earning him his first ever Player of the Weekend Award from Crustman.

Honorable Mentions:

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, 2 goals in a 3-1 win against Burnley

David Brooks, secured a brace on only 3 shots, B’Mouth won 2-0

Goal of the Weekend:  Andros Townsend

Can a goal from 2018 be considered for the 2019 Puskas Award?  This Andros Townsend screamer was just that good.  I alluded to this goal in the Match of the Weekend segment, because it was truly special.  Just watch it for yourself…

Goalie of the Weekend:  Asmir Begovic

Asmir Begovic punches a cross clear. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Eighth-placed Bournemouth defeated Brighton 2-0 on Saturday, and that was in no small part to the clean sheet from Asmir Begovic.  Just 20 minutes into the match, with the score still 0-0, Yves Bissouma was in on goal, but Begovic made a fantastic point-blank save to keep it level in Vitality Stadium.  He also stopped Jurgen Locadia and Lewis Dunk from scoring before the half, which kept Bournemouth in the lead.  He was able to survive a relatively quiet second half and complete the shutout and earn himself his first Goalie of the Weekend Award.

Honorable Mentions:

Ben Foster, could have easily won the award as well, keeping a clean sheet against a relatively poor West Ham effort

Kasper Schmeichel, kept a clean sheet, thanks to a bunch of Chelsea misses

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