The Premier League stars who lit up Matchday 25
There were no slip-ups from title hopefuls Arsenal and Manchester City on another pulsating weekend of Premier League action.
Matchday 25 consisted of only eight fixtures due to Sunday's Carabao Cup final but top-fight fans were still treated to 17 goals, with crucial wins also arriving for struggling Leeds and West Ham.
Read on as we pick out our five top individual performers from the weekend games.
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Unai Emery has made a promising start to his Aston Villa tenure and Ollie Watkins is fast becoming the Spaniard’s star attraction.
Ex-Brentford ace Watkins, 27, netted for a fifth consecutive Premier League game against Everton on Saturday when coolly beating Toffees stopper Jordan Pickford from the penalty spot midway through the second half.
He could have easily added a couple more to his tally on Merseyside too as Pickford pulled out two superb stops to foil his in-form England international colleague either side of the interval.
Playing with supreme confidence, the speedy striker looks irrepressible and will be confident of extending his stunning scoring streak further against Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bournemouth in the coming weeks.
On course for a double-figure goal return for a third straight top-flight campaign, Watkins is giving Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate plenty to think about ahead of next month’s international break.
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Champions City roared back to winning ways at Bournemouth with Phil Foden putting in a majestic display on the South Coast.
The 22-year-old was making a remarkable 200th Premier League appearance for his boyhood club and fittingly played a part in all four goals as they ran riot against the struggling Cherries.
As well as playing crucial parts in the build-up of the visitors’ first and last strikes of the evening, the No47 squared cleverly to assist the prolific Erling Haaland for his 27th effort of a record-breaking campaign.
Foden’s goal was arguably the pick of the bunch, however, as he intercepted Philip Billing’s loose pass and took three decisive touches before firing past Neto in ruthless fashion.
Asked about Foden’s lack of playing time recently, Guardiola said last week: "If you are saying I don’t trust Phil, forget about it. Phil is our diamond."
Oliver Skipp (Tottenham)
Tottenham piled more misery on their London rivals Chelsea yesterday as Oliver Skipp’s first Spurs goal set the hosts on their way to an important 2-0 victory.
Despite the Blues’ struggles under Graham Potter, Sunday’s contest was an even one until Skipp rifled a stinging strike beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga from 25 yards in the first minute of the second half.
It capped an impressive display from the 22-year-old, who spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Norwich before injury disrupted his breakthrough season in North London last term.
Opportunities have been limited this season but injuries to fellow midfielders Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur have presented an opportunity to the academy starlet, which he is taking with both hands.
Skipp confessed the last year has been "difficult" in his post-match interview, but business is now starting to pick up.
Manor Solomon (Fulham)
Israeli winger Manor Solomon is finally getting to show Fulham fans what he is all about.
It has been a frustrating start to life in England for the 23-year-old, who joined the Cottagers on a season-long loan from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer with a burgeoning reputation.
Sustaining an injury in Fulham’s opening-day draw with Liverpool that required knee surgery, Solomon is still yet to make a Premier League start but has been making a stunning impact from the bench for Marco Silva’s men.
His goal in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves, where he cut in from the left flank before bending a devastating 20-yard strike into the far corner, was his third in as many substitute appearances.
With Silva remarking post-match that Solomon is still not ready to play 90 minutes, however, his late cameos look set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Danny Ings (West Ham)
West Ham’s clash with Nottingham Forest had the look of a must-win match for David Moyes and the hosts did exactly that.
At the heart of the victory was new recruit Danny Ings, who notched a brace on his first Hammers start since arriving on loan from Aston Villa last month via two typical striker’s finishes.
Both times, low balls were drilled across the box and Ings was on hand to steer them home — an art form he has become a master of, as showcased by his 70 top-flight strikes in 193 outings.
Having a genuine goalscorer in the ranks can be the difference between survival and relegation, so it was little wonder Moyes was left purring about his 30-year-old marksman post-match.
Moyes said: "What we’ve said is we need someone who knows the art of it and knows exactly where his runs are.
"I know he bundled in the net, but that’s the goals you want to see from centre forwards at times."