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In Focus: Five Premier League stars who lit up Matchday 31
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Matthew Storey
Brentford celebrate during their stunning victory at Chelsea
Brentford celebrate during their stunning victory at Chelsea

Matchday 31 had it all in the Premier League with big victories, stunning goals and performances that will be talked about for years to come.

With Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace set to complete the fixtures tonight, we have picked out the stars so far.

Christian Eriksen

There may not be a more shocking Premier League result this season than Brentford’s stunning 4-1 victory at Chelsea.

And there have not been many greater or sweeter wins in the Bees’ long history than thrashing their West London neighbours on their first league visit in more than 70 years.

Christian Eriksen has transformed Thomas Frank’s side in recent weeks and he netted the second goal on a memorable afternoon.

Frank said: "I’m just very pleased he’s playing for us. It’s no secret that I want him to continue next season.

"I know Christian is enjoying his football and really enjoying being back. I know I will have to answer these questions until the end of the season, so let’s see what will happen."

James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse's shot map since the start of last season shows how lethal he is from outside the area
James Ward-Prowse's shot map since the start of last season shows how lethal he is from outside the area

After James Ward-Prowse’s wonderful free-kick at Leeds, Ralph Hasenhuttl said: "I can guarantee you it's not the last he will score.

"He's for sure one of the best in the world in this part of the game and for us a very important player.

"I don't need to talk about [his other qualities]. You can talk about it. Tell the people it's more than just set-pieces."

And while the Southampton boss is correct, it is Ward-Prowse's brilliant long-range efforts that catch the eye.

That was the 13th direct free-kick he has scored in the Premier League — only a certain David Beckham has more with 18.

Diogo Jota

On a day when it was all about the result rather than performance, Diogo Jota got Liverpool’s vital opener in the 2-0 victory over Watford.

It is the sixth time he has opened the scoring in a league game this term, more than any other player.

And Liverpool have won all six of those matches — in fact, Jota has never been on the losing side for the Reds or Wolves in the 32 outings he has scored in.

The 25-year-old ace gets better with every passing week and boss Jurgen Klopp clearly sees his future through the middle.

The German said: "Since he came in he improved a lot, that is a little to do with his age, [but] he is growing into the top world-class striker role step by step."

James Maddison

James Maddison was Leicester's standout player as they drew 1-1 at Manchester United
James Maddison was Leicester's standout player as they drew 1-1 at Manchester United

Injuries have disrupted Leicester’s season from the off, yet James Maddison’s form has slipped under the radar.

He was the Foxes’ standout player as they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in a game Maddison and boss Brendan Rodgers felt they should have won.

He set up Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal, had a potential winner disallowed by VAR and looked a real nuisance throughout.

Maddison has now scored 13 times and set up eight this term and is on course to record more goal involvements than he has ever managed at the top level.

Reports this morning suggest Leicester might cash in on the 25-year-old star this summer and he would improve nearly every side in the top flight.

Harry Kane

Rarely do Tottenham score five goals in a game and talisman Harry Kane does not feature on the scoresheet.

That was the case in the 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle, yet Kane was still the best player on the pitch.

He set up Matt Doherty’s header to put Spurs 2-1 up and was imperious as he dropped off the visitors’ centre-backs to pick up the ball and orchestrate attacks.

Boss Antonio Conte said: "His performance was amazing. I said to him it was a shame he didn't score but he played in a fantastic way. 

"To have a player like him in your team makes you strong. To know we have him in our side is very important because we he can score and create to chances."



Premier LeagueBrentfordChristian EriksenSouthamptonJames Ward-ProwseLiverpoolDiogo JotaLeicester CityJames MaddisonTottenham HotspurHarry Kane
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