Game of the Round – Leicester 1-2 Southampton
You imagine that Saints fans must have been bracing themselves for this day. Whilst their form has improved dramatically lately, that nightmarish 0-9 drubbing back in October is a gaping wound that will fester at least for the rest of the season, and likely far beyond.
That’s why a dogged performance and surprise victory here, helped on their merry way by VAR, provided the most satisfying storyline of the weekend.
They showed the type of character that Brendan Rogers would have been profoundly moved by, coming back from a goal down inside 15 minutes to snatch their fourth league win in five games.
Ings huffed and puffed, hitting the bar twice in the space of one minute. The high-flying local lad had a typically busy afternoon, firing off five shots on target, the same amount of the Leicester team combined.
VAR was like a giant out of control pendulum, swinging ominously like some random deathtrap in a Final Destination movie. First it struck Saints, robbing them of a penalty with the score 1-1 after Shane Long was scythed down in front of goal.
But the biggest drama came deep in injury time and went in their favour to ensure their victory stood. Johnny Evans’ last-gasp equaliser was ruled offside after a lenthy delay meaning the Saints do indeed go marching on.
Hero of the Round – Sergio Aguero
The man, the myth the legend. How is it that great players and teams never seem content with breaking single records? It's like they’re compelled to smash multiple in one sitting.
Big Sergi’s 12th Premier League hat-trick in the 1-6 blitz of poor old Aston Villa perches him as king of the treble. His nearest challenger is Harry Kane (currently on 8 hat-tricks) but given the questions about the Englishman's future, that record is likely to endure.
King Kun is now the highest scoring foreign player in the Premier League ever, having overtaken Thierry Henry with his third goal on Sunday.
As Joleon Lescott put it in his analysis, “He might not be the most underrated player, but he’s certainly the most underappreciated.” Quite how those two accolades differ is anybody’s guess.
Chump of the Round – Danny Drinkwater
There is at least one man keeping a safe distance from social media today. A catalogue of costly individual errors by the on-loan Chelsea midfielder gifted Man City the keys to Villa Park.
Rubbing salt in the wound was the fact that running him so ragged was his former title-winning Leicester teammate Riayd Mahrez, who notched two goals – both directly attributable to Drinkmorewater’s antics. The Mancunian (wait, is this cause for suspicion?!) must be sick of the sight of the Algerian. Incredibly, his last three mathces have all been against the Sky Blues, all ending in bitter defeat with an aggregate score of 12-2.
One bookmaker even offered to refund bets for anyone mad enough to back the free-falling 29-year-old to score or manage a shot on target. This was presumably an exercise in social responsibility given their perceived behaviour of habilitally exploting the mentally unhinged.
The man, the myth, the absolute legend.
Goal of the Round – Gabriel Jesus
There is no pleasure derived from dishing out three awards in a single match but at least this one recognises two different but equally impressive individuals. Gabriel Jesus and KDB are nothing short of superstars, as showcased by City’s fourth goal.
The Belgian and Brazilian worked in glorious tandem yet again, with the former making an incisive dribble before picking out the latter with an inch-perfect low cross. From there, a tidy tap-in saw the ball safely into the back of the net.
All images - PA. Numbers and stats via WhoScored.