Best of the Weekend
Sky Sports casts an eye over the weekend's Premier League action and picks out some of the key highlights.
By Jon Holmes - @jonboy79
Last Updated: 07/04/14 10:56am
Player of the Weekend
Chelsea's Saturday Night Football assignment looked a tricky one, with visitors Stoke one of the Premier League's in-form teams going into the weekend. That the Blues came through the test so comfortably at Stamford Bridge owed much to the attacking invention and hard work of Willian. As the Brazil international's fellow goalscorer Frank Lampard put it afterwards: "Willian was brilliant. He is so sharp on the ball and the goal was the epitome of what he does - and he grafts back too. Some don't want to graft back, but he is one of those that does." The 25-year-old's 72nd-minute clincher - curled over Asmir Begovic from the edge of the box after the Stoke defence had backed off - was only his third Chelsea goal, however. After this impressive all-round display, more will now be expected from the £32million man.
Performance of the Weekend
David Moyes was in no doubt about the quality of Manchester United's display at Newcastle on Saturday. "It was a perfect performance in the Premier League," said the Red Devils manager, as his side chalked up a 10th top-flight away win of the campaign. Newcastle's season may be as good as over, but Papiss Cisse was certainly in the mood. The Senegal striker had seven shots on goal during the match, and Anders Lindegaard had to be at his very best to keep a clean sheet. Juan Mata was the two-goal star of the show, however, but the Spain schemer is unfortunately cup-tied for Wednesday night's Champions League quarter-final second-leg tie at Bayern Munich.
Goal of the Weekend
Jason Puncheon weighed in with some crucial goals for Crystal Palace in January - an equaliser at home to Norwich on New Year's Day, and Selhurst Park winners against Stoke and Hull. However, the 27-year-old winger had gone seven games without a goal and has been in danger of looking like a luxury - something Tony Pulis will never allow. A good time, therefore, to turn in an outstanding performance against woeful Cardiff. Puncheon's first was well taken in the box after good work by Joe Ledley but his second was wonderful, as he punished the retreating defence by curling a 25-yarder around David Marshall to cap a vital 3-0 victory.
Controversy of the Weekend
The offical Premier League Handbook is a weighty tome, coming in at 526 pages and a retail price of £13. Whoever controls the video shown on the two giant LCD screens in the corners of Upton Park on matchdays may need their attention drawn to the book's Section K.37.4, which states "the screen shall not be used to show... action replays of negative or controversial incidents... (and) any incident that may bring into question the judgment of a Match Official'. To be fair, regardless of the rule, the judgment of referee Anthony Taylor would have been a talking point anyway after his decision to award the Hammers an equaliser in first-half stoppage time against Liverpool on Sunday. Andy Carroll's outstretched hand hit Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet on the head and when the Belgian dropped the ball, Guy Demel knocked it in. Despite the fact Taylor's assistant Stuart Burt flagged for a foul - and deliberately ignoring the pleas of the Liverpool players to look at the big screen, where Carroll's intervention was displayed for all to see - Taylor allowed the goal to stand. In the second half, he pointed to the spot for a second time in the match and Steven Gerrard repeated his earlier spot-kick success to give the visitors a 2-1 victory and top spot once more.
Tactician of the Weekend
Roberto Martinez's astute assessment of the opposition has proved to be of vital importance to Everton's top-four challenge this season, and his tactical ploy against Arsenal on Sunday was another case in point. Seeing left-back Nacho Monreal as a potential weak link, Martinez fielded Romelu Lukaku in a wide right position - and the Belgian went on to enjoy a productive afternoon. The Toffees' second goal, in the 34th minute, came after the Gunners defence had stood off Lukaku - and the celebration between player and manager that followed suggested a plan had come together.
Save of the Weekend
As mentioned above, Manchester United's Anders Lindegaard thwarted Papiss Cisse on several occasions at Newcastle on Saturday, while Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic did brilliantly to dive to his right to keep out Frank Lampard's powerful penalty at Chelsea - only to see the England midfielder stick away the loose ball. But our star shot-stopper of round 33 is West Brom's Foster, who helped his side record a narrow victory at Norwich by getting down low to his right to claw out a glancing header from Johan Elmander in the second half. Although they are 17th, Albion have a five-point cushion above the drop zone and are on course to retain their Premier League status.
Moment of the Weekend
Fulham hadn't won away to Aston Villa in the top flight of English football since a 5-2 success in March 1966, but they recorded a 2-1 victory at Villa Park on Saturday to rekindle their hopes of survival. Lewis Holtby must have feared it was not going to be the Cottagers' day when he was denied by an incredible goalline clearance by Matt Lowton in the 77th minute. Replays from the Goal Decision System showed there were barely millimetres in it as Villa's right-back managed to kick Holtby's close-range effort away, with goalkeeper Brad Guzan stranded. However, the German midfielder would go on to play a crucial part in Fulham's winning goal when he crossed from the right for Hugo Rodallega to head home.
Mistake of the Weekend
Luke Shaw posted an interesting picture on his Instagram after Southampton's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City - a snapshot of the build-up to the hosts' second goal of the game, scored by Samir Nasri. Helpfully, a white line clarified just how far offside David Silva actually was when he received Edin Dzeko's backheel, en route to sliding the ball across for Nasri to score. Quite how linesman Michael McDonough, assistant to referee Chris Foy, failed to spot the gap must remain a mystery. Shaw later removed the image, but the message was clear.