Manchester City and Liverpool dominated proceedings as Premier League pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher handed out their end-of-season awards.
The duo have fought a two-way title fight in recent years and this campaign has proved no different. Indeed, should Liverpool beat Southampton on Tuesday, they will take the race to the final day.
Still, the Reds have done excellently to hunt the reigning champions down. Jurgen Klopp’s men sat 14 points adrift of City in January and are now four behind with that game in hand.
As a result of their dominance, the star players throughout the two teams have stood out among the rest of the Premier League.
Neville and Carragher therefore gave most of their end-of-season awards to City and Liverpool.
Carragher gives out Premier League awards
Carragher named City’s Kevin de Bruyne as the Premier League’s best player. He claimed that while Mohamed Salah of Liverpool was “no doubt the best player in the first half of the season”, De Bruyne has taken that mantle in style.
“Take Liverpool out of the equation, if I want to watch someone, I watch Kevin De Bruyne,” he added. “I think he is going to be one of the all-time greats in the Premier League.”
However, Carragher gave Salah the goal of the season award for his strike against City at Anfield in October.
“That is the type of goal you just don’t see. It was a Lionel Messi type of goal,” Carragher said.
De Bruyne and Salah therefore featured in the ex-Liverpool defender’s team of the season.
Carragher also included Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Joao Cancelo, Declan Rice, Bernardo Silva, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Neville disagrees with Carragher
In his team of the season, though, Neville swapped Kyle Walker for Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Dias for Matip, Andy Robertson for Cancelo and Rodri for Rice.
And former Manchester United full-back Neville named Tottenham forward Son as his player of the season.
“Any club in Europe would take him,” Neville said. “Son does not get the recognition he deserves.
“For what he has done consistently, 21 goals, one off Salah in a team that is nowhere near as good, where he doesn’t get the service, I think he just deserves a mention really.”
Tottenham scooped a second award on the night, with Carragher naming Cristian Romero as his best new player because “there is something special about him”.
“He reminds me of Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea,” the pundit added. “He isn’t the biggest of defenders, but he is clever, he’s switched on, he is cool on the ball. I think Tottenham have a real player there.”
However, Liverpool‘s Luis Diaz earned Neville’s best new player award. Neville labelled the January signing “absolutely sensational” and said Liverpool do not have to worry as much if Salah leaves next summer.
Neville’s best goal was Mateo Kovacic’s long-range strike against Liverpool in January.
As for something the two pundits agreed on, West Ham midfielder Rice was their young player of the season and Klopp scooped the best coaching performance.
Liverpool, City run away with it
The awards are a once again a reflection of the incredible standards City and Liverpool have set.
City have already hit the 90-point mark again this season. Liverpool will look to join them before the season is out.
The two are relentless in their pursuit of perfection, now knowing that a draw is almost as costly as a defeat.
As such, they will go down as two of the best teams in Premier League history.