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The Premier League stars who lit up Matchday 32
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Matthew Hill
Jacob Murphy scored twice as Newcastle thumped Tottenham 6-1
Jacob Murphy scored twice as Newcastle thumped Tottenham 6-1

Newcastle tore Tottenham apart at St James' Park on Sunday to take a giant stride towards a Premier League top-four spot.

That 6-1 success was the standout performance on a weekend which kicked off with a dramatic 3-3 draw between leaders Arsenal and rock bottom Southampton.

In the relegation scrap, there were crucial wins for Leicester and West Ham while Nottingham Forest and Leeds saw themselves plunged further into trouble after demoralising narrow defeats.

We pick out our five stars of Matchday 32.

Jacob Murphy (Newcastle)

Several Newcastle players were worthy of individual acclaim for their showing against Spurs, but Jacob Murphy was the unlikely hero of the hour.

Ex-Norwich midfielder Murphy, 28, has remarkably featured in all 31 of his side's top-flight outings this term, though 19 of those appearances have come from the bench.

Entrusted from the start here by Eddie Howe, he rewarded his boss with a brilliant brace inside 10 minutes — first tapping home from an acute angle before drilling a spectacular second from 25 yards that left Hugo Lloris rooted.

Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Arsenal were far from their brilliant best on Friday night but rescued a late point against Southampton that could yet prove pivotal in this year's title race.

Down 3-1 at the Emirates after 88 minutes, it was their captain Martin Odegaard who inspired a dramatic comeback when bending the Gunners' second home from the edge of the area.

The Norwegian's composure and passing range then came to the fore, dictating the play in a period which saw Bukayo Saka draw the hosts level before Leandro Trossard was denied a stunning winner by the crossbar.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold was an influential figure for Liverpool on Saturday
Trent Alexander-Arnold was an influential figure for Liverpool on Saturday

Though both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool have had a season to forget, the popular Scouser was back to somewhere near his best during the Reds' 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Clearly enjoying a new role that allows him to drift into central midfield when his side has possession, the 24-year-old appears revitalised and set up Mohamed Salah's winning goal with a wicked delivery.

Usually one of the division's most prolific assisters, Alexander-Arnold has now laid on four goals for team-mates in his last three outings — tripling his season's tally prior to that run.

Declan Rice (West Ham)

West Ham's 4-0 win at Bournemouth felt like the Hammers taking a huge step towards safety — and their influential skipper was once again at the heart of an impressive victory. 

Declan Rice started this season slowly but the England ace is coming to the boil at the perfect time, topping off an excellent all-round performance on the South Coast with his second goal in four days. 

Visiting supporters spent most of the contest waxing lyrical about their captain, who will hope to inspire his side to a Europa Conference League triumph before another inevitable summer of transfer speculation begins.

Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester)

Caglar Soyuncu was inspirational in Leicester's crucial win over Wolves
Caglar Soyuncu was inspirational in Leicester's crucial win over Wolves

Leicester's win against Wolves was arguably the Premier League's most important result this weekend, giving the Foxes renewed hope in the relegation battle.

Goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Timothy Castagne sealed a first success since early February but it was the immense performance of Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu that made all the difference.

Soyuncu, who was making just his fourth top-flight appearance this term, won 100% of his aerial duels and showed a commanding presence that his side have badly lacked in a bitterly frustrating campaign.


Premier LeagueNewcastle UnitedArsenalLiverpoolLeicester CityWest Ham UnitedMartin OedegaardTrent Alexander-ArnoldDeclan Rice
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