Coral’s Heroes and Villains: Super Strikes & mistaken identity
With Chelsea and Tottenham playing out the Capital One Cup final, players on both teams are omitted from this week’s Heroes and Villains feature, though with a number of talking points in the Premier League, there is more than enough to go around, as Liverpool who beat Manchester City moved to 11/10 with Coral for a top four finish.
A superb strike from the Baggies frontman in the first two minutes set the tone for West Bromwich Albion’s well-earned victory over Southampton. As the ball was cleared from a looping free-kick, the 21-year-old was on hand at the edge of the area, wrapping his left foot around the ball, smashing a half-volley into the top left corner of the net.
Did what he needed when called upon to bag a brace in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland. Putting in a captain’s performance, he held his nerve just after the hour to convert a penalty and then reacted the quickest to score on the rebound after former City custodian Costel Pantillimon parried an Adnan Januzaj shot.
In the first half of the season, Liverpool’s manager came under considerable scrutiny and criticism. Out of their last 20 matches, the Reds have lost just twice in all competitions and are undefeated in the Premier League since losing 3-0 to United in December. Rodgers rallied his team superbly to respond from a defeat on penalties to Besiktas in the Europa League as they beat Man City 2-1.
There could also be a case for Philippe Coutinho to be pitched as a hero after his world class goal, which won the game, bending a shot into the top right corner from the edge of the area, almost identical to one of Luis Suarez’s last term.
Burnley’s defender was accredited for the own goal which handed visitors to Turf Moor, Swansea City victory, though it was a scruffy goal. Perhaps the corner should have been cleared, however Trippier was in the wrong place at the wrong time, sticking out his leg as the ball beat goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
West Ham United
The whole team could be held accountable for the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, and there seemed to be no invention. Everyone is entitled to an off-day though, and expect Sam Allardyce to motivate a response from his players.
Been the subject of much criticism following the apparent mistaken identity after he sent off Wes Brown, instead of John O’Shea. However, the refereeing governing body has since said that this wasn’t a mistake and East made the right decision.