Declan Rice put in a masterclass on and off the pitch as West Ham took a giant step towards Premier League safety with a win over Manchester United.
On it he dominated the midfield in a match where a 1-0 win didn’t exactly flatter the Hammers, even if the winner came via a terrible mistake by Man United goalkeeper David de Gea.
And after the match Rice showed his class as he made an emotional young fan’s day by giving him his shirt worn during the match.
The boy was reduced to tears as hero Rice made his way over to the boy in the stands at an empty London Stadium post-match.
Rice started: “Alright brother? You good?”
After the boy said yes, Rice said: “Why are you crying? Come here, good lad!”
Rice added: “Do you know what? I did promise I’d give it to Marcus Rashford. Don’t show them lot [points], I just told them I’m going to give it to Rashford but I’ll give him another one. Here you go.
“And I burnt my shoulder as well, so you can have that!”
After the pair embraced, Rice said: “Good boy. Love you mate, love you.”
It was a brilliant night for the boy and Rice didn’t do too badly himself, putting in one of his best performances in a West Ham shirt.
In the first half the England midfielder became the first player to reach 60+ interceptions in the Premier League this season.
He also made more ball recoveries (13), made more interceptions (four) and completed more dribbles (four) than any other player in the match.
Rice, who has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, is also making waves across the continent as he’s the only player with 30+ interceptions, clearances, completed take-ons, aerial duels won, chances created and shots in Europe’s top five leagues.
He’s also won possession 322 times, more than any other player in what’s been a fantastic season for him as an individual.
Declan Rice 2022/23
Stats courtesy of Squawka
Completed take-ons (38)
Aerial duels won (36)
Chances created (36)