Premier League 2018-19 season review: our writers best and worst

The best players, greatest games and standout signings plus those that didnt work out, and what needs to change Best player Ed Aarons: Virgil van Dijk. Raheem Sterling runs him close but in terms of impact and influence, the big Dutchman has been peerless. Nick Ames: A confession: at the time Liverpool paid 75m for Van Dijk this writer having been present to cover all of his exceptionally rare rickets at Southampton considered them barmy. Instead, he has almost single-handedly given Jrgen Klopp the ability to build from a solid base, transforming the teams prospects. No centre-back has had this profound an influence in years. Simon Burnton: Bernardo Silva has been an absolute joy a wonderful combination of technique, tenacity …

Nine-man Tottenham undone at the last as Ak snatches win for Bournemouth

Bournemouths Nathan Ak scored a winner in added-time against Spurs, who had Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth sent off Tottenham are not making things easy in their quest for a Premier League top-four finish. On a madcap afternoon at Bournemouth, they played for 42 minutes with nine men, after having Son Heung-min and the substitute Juan Foyth sent off, while they were fortunate not to lose Eric Dier to another red card. Their rap sheet also featured five yellow cards. Mauricio Pochettinos depleted team held out until stoppage-time and it had to be said that Bournemouth were strangely toothless opposition, not entirely comfortable when the onus was on them to force the issue. But they found the killer blow when …

Mohamed Salah downs Chelsea and keeps Liverpool ahead of City

Sadio Man and Mohamed Salah scored second-half goals as Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 to stay two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League It was an arrow into the top corner of Chelseas goal and potentially the hearts of Manchester City from Mohamed Salah. The great players rise with pressure and the striker chose his moment and his spot to perfection to drive Liverpool over the most daunting hurdle remaining in their pursuit of the title. We can finally close the slipping book, Jrgen Klopp reflected. A greater sense of closure is tantalisingly within reach should City falter now. Parallels with the Chelsea visit that derailed Liverpools title pursuit in 2014 ran only as far …

Liverpools title charge driven by Champions League pain, says Klopp

Jrgen Klopp believes his Liverpool team are fired by their Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid last season rather than a league slip-up against Chelsea five years ago Liverpool are driven in their pursuit of the Premier League title by the pain of last seasons 2-0 defeat derailed the title ambitions of Brendan Rodgers team. Klopp admits a determination to make amends is a factor in Liverpools challenge this season but cited defeat by Real Madrid last May as the source, not a different team under a different manager falling into Jos Mourinhos trap. It is not important to talk about what happened. It is too long ago, the Liverpool manager said. We have enough reasons to be positive …

Kevin De Bruyne slips into gear and drives Manchester City past Cardiff

Kevin De Bruyne scored the opening goal and looked close to his best as Manchester City beat Cardiff 2-0 to retake top spot from Liverpool Manchester City did what they desired, a 26th Premier League win of the season taking the champions ahead of Liverpool by a point with each title challenger having six matches to play. Pep Guardiolas team cantered to victory, though the manager may be unhappy at the slew of chances they spurned. Still, with the FA Cup semifinal against Brighton on Saturday in mind, the manager can be content at having come through the game while resting several players. Yet Oleksandr Zinchenko was forced off and with Fabian Delph already injured Guardiola may consider Benjamin Mendy …

Fulham relegated after Watfords Will Hughes opens the floodgates

Fulhams relegation from the Premier League was confirmed by a 4-1 defeat at Watford Another one bites the dust. Three days after against Everton their victory over Manchester United. But such an outcome looked unlikely during a first half in which the home sides performance was for the most part lamentable. Fulham fans try to keep their spirits up at Vicarage Road. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Within 10 minutes the away fans were lustily ol-ing every pass as Fulham dominated possession, and suggesting in somewhat crude terms that the fact that Aleksandar Mitrovic, back in the team after a stomach injury, had a headed effort however wide it went reflected poorly on their opponents. But in this early period, when …

Premier League fans assess the run-in. Part 2: Leicester to Wolves

Fans rate the season so far, and predict what lies ahead Leicester The mood has really lifted around here in the few weeks since Brendan Rodgers arrived. After months of grim, sluggish football, the Foxes are starting to rediscover their swagger again. It might all be too little too late for this season but the longer-term future is looking bright again. More of this please Hamza Choudhury. Make no mistake, hes going to be a top-quality player at this level, but for some reason he never seems to be able to hold down a place in the team. Yes hes young and we do have three more experienced central midfielders, but if Rachid Ghezzal can find himself a place in …

Aubameyang atones from spot to help Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United

Granit Xhaka and a penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a 2-0 win over Manchester United to go fourth in the Premier League After the the euphoria of Paris Manchester United tasted Premier League defeat for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjr. This topsy-turvy season continues to confound and, as the dust settled, the fight for third and fourth places in the top-flight table could not be more tantalisingly poised. Arsenal had been abject in the 3-1 defeat in France on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League last 16 but they found a way to maintain their imposing form at the Emirates Stadium. It was not a vintage display but one in which they laboured for …

Man and Firmino lead Liverpools 4-2 win over Burnley to keep City in sight

Liverpool kept the gap behind the Premier League leaders, Manchester City, to a point with a 4-2 win against Burnley with two goals each from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Man It would be too simplistic to say Liverpool responded to the test of nerve set by Manchester City. Jrgen Klopps contenders have been doing that since the first day of this enthralling title race. This was a test of nerve, quality and composure set by Burnley, the match officials plus the elements and they delivered on all counts to remind the champions that, as Klopp defiantly put it, nobody gets rid of us. Liverpool remain on Citys shoulder courtesy of an impressive but far from routine home victory over Sean …