With the title race continuing to hot up, this weekend’s Premier League action saw contenders Liverpool going toe-to-toe with rivals Manchester United, while champions Manchester City took the weekend off from league action to battle Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final. At the lower end of the table, Newcastle hosted Huddersfield in what could be described as a relegation six-pointer. With that said, let us take a look at which players performed the best for their clubs over the past few days.
The very first new player Rafael Benitez wanted to bring to Newcastle United was a goalkeeper; after years of never worrying about that position, with Shay Given, Steve Harper and Tim Krul all making the number one shirt their own during their long careers on Tyneside. An injury to the latter early in the Magpies’ relegation season meant Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow had to be called upon for much of 2015/16. Upon Benitez’s arrival in March of that season, he made it clear he wanted an upgrade.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that he had the opportunity to take charge of Spain ahead of this summer’s World Cup. The former world champions caused early drama in the tournament when they sacked boss Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the opening game of the campaign after the 51-year-old took charge of Real Madrid without notifying the Spanish FA. Sporting director Fernando Hierro ultimately took charge of the team for the tournament, but Benitez claims there was a “chance” that he could have been the man in the dugout in Russia. Benitez admitted that he remains open to the prospect of managing his native national team in the future, but says for the time being he is happy in the north east.