Coral’s Premier League team of matchday 38: Magpies magic
The Premier League brought the curtain down on an enthralling campaign with a final matchday filled with drama, frustration, triumph, goals galore, strange substitutions and relegation woe.
Here we bring you a brilliant XI of players who did themselves proud on the last day of term. Read on to see which surprise stars made our selection.
Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Burnley may have been relegated already, but promising keeper Heaton was still not about to let his side’s slender 1-0 lead over Aston Villa slip. The Manchester United academy graduate certainly seems to have put himself in the shop window as he made a series of fine stops to deny the Midlands men an equaliser.
Right back:Eric Dier (Tottenham)
Adaptable Dier may prefer to play in the centre of defence, but the youngster’s terrific technique, as evidenced by an inch-perfect cross for Harry Kane to head home the winner against Everton, shows just why Mauricio Pochettino persists with him at full back.
Centre back: Paul McShane (Hull City)
McShane who, for the latter stages of the game sported bandages on both thigh and head, embodied the Tigers’ tenacious attempts to beat the drop and, despite Marouane Fellaini’s terrible tackle, continued to spur his side on and dive into crunching challenges until the final whistle was blown.
Centre back: John Terry (Chelsea)
It was a triumphant moment for Terry, who paraded yet another Premier League trophy around Stamford Bridge. The centre half and skipper helped steady the ship after Steven Fletcher’s opener to ensure Chelsea (13/8 with Coral to win the 2015/16 Premier League) gave a champions performance.
Left back: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United)
The courageous Magpie made the difference with an excellent assist for the opener and stunning strike that ensured Newcastle’s top tier survival. Having only recently made a heroic comeback after being sidelined with a serious illness, Gutierrez’s goal was the most poignant way to cap off his club’s great escape.
Right wing: Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City)
It was tough to choose between Egypt attacker Elmohamady and his clubmate Robbie Brady, who both did their utmost best to give Hull a fighting chance. Dangerous deliveries and dogged determination from both gave the Tigers a boost, but Elmohamady’s exuberance sees him edge it.
Central midfield: Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)
Sissoko was another Newcastle star to turn up when it counted, showing the desire to break the deadlock by meeting Gutierrez’s cracking cross with power and precision, to earn a place in St James’ Park folklore.
Central midfield: Frank Lampard (Manchester City)
Both Steven Gerrard and Lampard found the net in what looks set to be both stalwarts’ last Premier league appearances, however it was the latter who finished on a high note, giving City the lead in trademark style as he popped up in the box to convert James Milner’s low cross.
Left wing: Marco Arnautovic (Stoke City)
Ever a mercurial presence, wing wizard Arnautovic was integral to Stoke’s swashbuckling display against a shell-shocked Liverpool, and the electric Austrian grabbed two assists in the 6-1 mauling to finish his season in style.
Striker: Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)
Dangerman Diouf contributed two cool finishes to the Potters’ cause, with his second, a superb strike from the edge of the area, the pick of the bunch from the poacher. With the Senegal sharpshooter up top, Stoke are set up nicely for next season.
Striker: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Hat-trick hero Walcott was hungry for goals in a predatory display against West Bromwich Albion, as the speedster struck three of Arsenal’s four to silence critics and stake a claim for a starting spot in the FA Cup final, which the Gunners are odds-on at 3/10 to win.