Gameweek 35 of the Premier League season proved to be one of the most dramatic and potentially one of the most pivotal of the campaign so far as the battles for Europe and survival took fresh twists.
Chelsea's heavy defeat at Sheffield United saw them cede control of the top-four race to those below them in the table, but Leicester City were then beaten 4-1 by relegation-threatened Bournemouth and Manchester United could only draw at home to Southampton to leave one point separating the three Champions League hopefuls.
Manchester City's successful appeal against their European ban means that only the top four will be good enough, and Wolverhampton Wanderers will not be ruling themselves out of the conversation entirely just yet following their 3-0 victory over Everton.
At the bottom, Norwich City's relegation was confirmed with a 4-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham United, although the magnitude of that win for the Hammers was lessened by Watford, Aston Villa and Bournemouth all winning too over the course of the weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal in the North London derby to leave the Gunners on the brink of missing out of Europe altogether next season, while Burnley became the first visiting team since January 2019 to take points off Liverpool in a league game at Anfield.
Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week from a shock-filled and action-packed gameweek 35.
The remarkable number of outstanding individual attacking performances this week forces us into an unorthodox and, frankly, unbalanced 3-2-3-2 formation in this XI.
The achievements of the players who miss out are almost as impressive as those who made the cut, but there was never any doubt about Nick Pope's place between the sticks as he almost single-handedly kept Liverpool down to only one goal at Anfield, making a whopping eight saves.
Pope was undoubtedly the star of the show, but James Tarkowski in front of him also played an important part both defensively and in attack, providing the assist for Burnley's equaliser.
West Ham's Issa Diop also helped himself to an assist during the win over Norwich, in addition to keeping a rare clean sheet for the Hammers as they edged closer to safety.
The back three is rounded off by Watford's Craig Dawson, who makes the XI for the second week in a row having won a whopping 14 aerial duels during the win over Newcastle - comfortably more than anyone else on the pitch.
Andrew Robertson's goal and Ryan Fredericks's all-round performance earn them honourable mentions, but there were far more impressive displays further up the field this week so we have ditched the full-back roles, with the two in front of the back three charged with protecting them.
Mark Noble pulled the strings for the Hammers in their rout of Norwich, helping himself to an assist en route, while Ruben Neves did exactly the same for Wolves against Everton, providing the pass of the game for Diogo Jota's goal.
There were plenty of other contenders for the central midfield spots too, including Declan Rice, Kevin De Bruyne, Leander Dendoncker and Bernardo Silva, but the places further forward are almost all filled with players who simply had to be included - hence the formation and some slightly unfamiliar positions to crowbar them in.
At the very top of that list was Michail Antonio courtesy of his incredible four-goal showing against Norwich; that came from a central striker position, but his versatility allows us to push him out wide in this team.
Anthony Martial is another who did his damage at centre-forward but has to make do with an altered role in this team, with the Frenchman looking dangerous every time he came forward against Southampton. He will no doubt be gutted at missing a couple of chances, but the goal and assist he did provide were both of the highest order.
Raheem Sterling is the second hat-trick hero in this week's team as he helped himself to the matchball against Brighton & Hove Albion, scoring his side's first, third and fifth goals - the latter coming through no small slice of luck.
Sterling is joined in the XI by his Man City teammate Gabriel Jesus, who assisted the opening goal, scored the second and then set up the fourth in an individual display which would have ordinarily been more than enough to win man of the match, had it not been for Sterling's exploits alongside him.
Amid huge competition, David McGoldrick earns the second centre-forward role courtesy of his brace against Chelsea - goals which not only ended his long Premier League duck but also inspired the Blades to one of the best wins of their season.
Plenty of others can feel aggrieved not to have made this week's team, though; Trezeguet, Troy Deeney and Dominic Solanke all scored twice, Son Heung-min registered a goal and an assist in the North London derby and Riyad Mahrez and Oli McBurnie were both on the scoresheet too.
All of them deserve mentions, but the competition for forward roles in this week's team was almost unprecedented and it was impossible to leave out those who made the cut in the end. body check tags ::