Wins for the top two meant nothing changed at the business end of the Premier League, but at the bottom there was some news as Sunderland became the first team to be relegated this season. But who made our elite selection?
Eldin Jakupovic (Hull City)
If Hull survive by a single point at the end of the season, then they will have their Swiss goalkeeper to thank. Jakupovic didn’t have a lot to do as the Tigers dominated, but when called upon in the last minute he pulled off a great save to push aside Dusan Tadic’s spot kick for his second penalty save this season.
Stephen Ward (Burnley)
A steady showing from the Republic of Ireland international. Defended competently against the Palace front line and got forward where possible to support the Burnley attack. Delivered a beautiful first–time cross into the box for Ashley Barnes to grab the first goal and record his first Premier League assist for Burnley.
Michael Keane (Burnley)
If anyone has been instrumental in keeping The Clarets in the Premier League this season then it is Michael Keane. Once again a towering presence in defence, winning everything in the air and keeping Palace’s Anfield hero Christian Benteke quiet. Will be tough to replace should he leave as expected in the summer.
Michael Keane has won more aerial duels (144) than any other Premier League defender this season.
Powerhouse in the air. ? pic.twitter.com/oXWj6zzn6W
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 27, 2017
Harry Maguire (Hull City)
Maguire has been one of keys of Hull’s renaissance under Marco Silva and against the Saints the young Englishman was once again the standout defender. Made several crucial blocks, including ones from Tadic’s and Sofiane Boufal, that limited the Saints attack to just two shots on goal. On this form he could on the shopping list of several Premier League bosses this summer.
Harry Maguire vs #SaintsFC:
-75% pass accuracy
-3 successful tackles
-3 Aerial duels won
Transfer target? pic.twitter.com/5WF0i3gd4G
— Saint Harris (@PushAndPuel) April 30, 2017
Kieran Trippier (Tottenham)
Was tasked with taking care of Alexis Sanchez and the young right-back did a great job. Got forward in support of attacks where possible and put in a lot of good work down the flank. Anyone who can keep Kyle Walker out the team must be doing something right.
When Kieran Trippier gets home after the match:
— Everything THFC (@SpursAddicts) April 30, 2017
Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)
Another flawless performance from the midfield enforcer. Plays an important role for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, winning the ball back for the more creative players in the starting line up. Against Arsenal he was immense, regaining possession 13 times for Spurs as they totally dominated the Gunners in the middle of the park, while also playing in Harry Kane for the decisive penalty.
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) April 30, 2017
Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
One of the unsung heroes of Chelsea’s assault on the Premier League summit, Matic was solid as the Blues dominated the Everton midfield. Recorded an assist with the pass to Pedro ahead of his stunning opening goal.
— Crafty Conte (@DONeill90) April 30, 2017
Dele Alli (Tottenham)
Another great game from the double PFA Young Player of the Year award winner that showed exactly why he won. Involved all afternoon as Spurs attacked relentlessly, and overcame the disappointment of missing an easy first-half header to slot in the first goal following a goalmouth scramble. His 21st goal of an outstanding season.
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) April 30, 2017
Alvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough)
Another week, another ex player returning to give his former employees a nightmare. Negredo was a bundle of energy all afternoon and caused lots of problems for City’s notoriously dodgy defence. Scored a stunning opening goal from the edge of the box before his tenacity set up Calum Chambers for the second. Has nine goals for the season to equal his best ever total in the Premier League.
Alvaro Negredo has been directly involved in 52% of Middlesbrough's 25 Premier League goals this season.
9 goals ⚽️
4 assists ?️ pic.twitter.com/UYhXGsZWQm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 30, 2017
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Vardy has seen a complete turnaround in form since Craig Shakespeare took over the reins from Claudio Ranieri, bagging eight goals in 12 games. Against West Brom he was the epitome of efficiency, scoring from his only shot, although he could have had an assist had Shinji Okazaki not fluffed his lines after being set up by the terrier-like Englishman.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 30, 2017
When you are closing in on the title there are plenty of nervy moments and you sometimes need a player to produce something special to settle the nerves or break the deadlock. Pedro was that man on Sunday as he reawakened Chelsea from their Goodison Park slumber with a moment of magic just as it looked like the match was going to end in a draw. Was busy before the goal too with his energetic running keeping the Everton backline occupied.