Premier League player – Fernando Llorente (Swansea City)
For most of this season we have expressed our deepest sympathies towards Gylfi Sigurdsson for being Swansea’s only hope of survival. Guess what: Gylfi got a friend. The Spaniard has now scored seven goals from his last ten shots on target, and his two at Anfield gave Swansea a sensational victory. Suddenly everyone can beat everyone again.
Football League player – Anthony Knockaert (Brighton)
I know it feels a little bit like cheating on my own club, but watching the team spirit in the Brighton success story just makes my heart pang. George Caulkin’s beautiful interview feature with Knockaert got me all misty-eyed, and the love between those teammates makes the sum so much more than the individual. Still, every team has a star: There’s no doubt that Knockaert is exactly that.
European player – Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna)
You can doubt many things in this f**ked up, dark, sad world, but you cannot doubt that Blerim Dzemaili enjoys playing for Italian clubs. Torino in 2009, Parma in 2010, Napoli in 2011, Genoa in 2015 and Bologna in 2017; it’s a lovely set. In the space of 40 minutes on Sunday, Dzemaili scored 6% of his career league goals against Torino. More importantly, he can tell his grandkids he scored twice against Joe Hart.
Best goal – Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
That’s how you end a five-game goal drought. The chest control was majestic, the calmness to set himself just as impressive and the finish on the spin absolute magic. Now give him back his Sadio Mane and let the games begin again.
Best pass – Tom Carroll (Swansea)
It’s just a sodding great cross…
Llorente goal vs Liverpool [2-0]
— Goal Watch (@goal_watch) January 21, 2017
Best save – David Stockdale (Brighton)
Karl Darlow got the social media fame for his recovery save against Rotherham, but Darlow made the initial error. Stockdale’s double save – a penalty and subsequent rebound – with the score at 1-1 set up Brighton for a late victory that kept their firm grasp on an automatic promotion spot in the Championship.
— Football League Zone (@TheFLZone) January 23, 2017
Best tactical move – Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Because when I saw Yaya Toure on his own in central midfield, I thought Manchester City were going to lose 4-1 and a football police officer was going to march down the dugout and arrest Pep Guardiola for fraud. City didn’t win the game, but Guardiola proved us wrong.
Worst tactical move – Jose Mourinho (Manchester United)
Still racking my brains at why Mourinho would rest Carrick for a trip to Stoke City, but if it was in favour of starting him in the second leg of a League Cup semi-final against Hull City in which United already lead 2-0, that’s several different kinds of bloody stupid. Marouane Fellaini has started seven league games since August – United have dropped 13 points in those games.
Premier League loan player – Izzy Brown (Huddersfield Town, on loan from Chelsea)
Yes Sarah, I’m picking Izzy Brown. Put down that lead pipe and settle down, will you? Like the smell of smoked haddock and that nasty business you caught in Malia in 2007, Huddersfield Town just will not go away. They moved back up to third after beating Ipswich Town thanks in part to Brown’s first goal for the club. Izzy, Izzy let’s get busy.
D*ck move of the week – Daily Mirror
Why wait for the official update and make sure you get it right when you can go with an unnamed source, claim a 24-year-old man is fighting for his life, leave the tweets up for hours after the story has been changed and have an inaccurate and insensitive back page. Really, really poor.
Cup draw of the week – Rod Stewart
Dembele of the week – Denis Dembele
We have waited so long for this moment, crossing off the days on our AFCON advent calendar. And then, finally, on Monday evening Zimbabwe played Tunisia, which meant the arrival of Denis Dembele. Not only did the game see 20% of the first-half goals in the tournament scored in one match, but Dembele gave a penalty after taking advice from his assistant. Helping others to help themselves.
Timewasting of the week – Khadim N’Diaye (Senegal)
— Net World Sports (@NetWorldSports) January 24, 2017
“Cheers boss” of the week – David Moyes and Joleon Lescott (Sunderland)
January 20: “I’d be kidding you on if I said the players we’re hoping to bring in this month are going to make a big difference because, first of all, we probably couldn’t get that level of player and, secondly, we probably wouldn’t have the finances to do that. To suggest that a player we might bring in would be making a big difference would not be correct” – David Moyes.
January 24: Sunderland announce the signing of Joleon Lescott.
Compiler of the week – Daniel Storey