10 things we learned in the Premier League this weekend

Spurs now go into the international break a solitary point behind the Premier League leaders while West Ham, Stoke and Sunderland are in the bottom three

Dele Alli celebrates scoring

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham got the better of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester Citywith an impressive 2-0 win in the performance of the weekend.

Spurs now go into the international break a solitary point behind the Premier League leaders, who they outplayed for an impressive 90 minutes.

Over the weekend’s matches 12 of the 20 teams had to settle for a point – Burnley the most unfortunate with a controversial Arsenal winner at the death the difference.

Among them are West Ham, Stoke and Sunderland, whose draws did nothing to help in their bid to get out of the bottom three.

Now the sides have the best part of a fortnight to reflect as many head off on duty for their countries.

Here are the weekend’s results and 10 of the many things we learned…

  • Manchester United 1-1 Stoke
  • Leicester 0-0 Southampton
  • Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City
  • Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
  • Swansea 1-2 Liverpool
  • Hull 0-2 Chelsea
  • Sunderland 1-1 West Brom
  • Watford 2-2 Bournemouth
  • West Ham 1-1 Middlesbrough
  • Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

    1. Rooney’s fate is sealed (by David McDonnell)




    Wayne Rooney shows dejection after the final whistle

  • A third successive game on the bench for United skipper Wayne Rooney provided conclusive proof his time at Old Trafford is coming to an end. What happens next summer remains to be seen, but Jose Mourinho has done what David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were too weak to do and benched a once great player whose best days are clearly behind him.

    2. Saints’ Europa League changes pay off (by James Nursey)

    Riyad Mahrez in action with Oriol Romeu and Virgil van Dijk

    Saints made seven changes in their 0-0 draw against Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Thursday for the game and journey of 4,000 miles.

    Manager Claude Puel rotated and spared key players including captain and Jose Fonte and in-form striker Charlie Austin.

    Those changes looked shrewd here at Leicester where the visitors enjoyed the best of the contest and forced Kasper Schmeichel into several saves.

    3. Spurs’ title odds tumble down (by Darren Lewis)

    Dele Alli scores the second goal

    They look good, don’t they? City have the silk, the flair and the frescoing capability. But Spurs have it within them to tough out this kind of performance – industry, goals and clean sheets. They are now the only unbeaten side left in the top division.

    The likes of Liverpool and Arsenal possess fantastic firepower but they still have their weaknesses at the back.

    Spurs had the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League last season and are only getting better. They are most definitely title contenders this time around.


    4. Wenger earns fans thanks (by David Anderson)

    The Gooners respected Arsene Wenger on his big day. The ‘Arsene out’ banners from August were replaced by one saying ‘thank you’ and depicting his three titles and six FA Cups as the travelling fans paid tribute to him on his 20th anniversary.

    5. Mane is a mesmerising presence (by David Maddock)

    Sadio Mane has played better of course, but when he is on the ball opponents have no idea what is going to happen, and that gives Liverpool an extra dimension. They can pass the ball swiftly, or they can run at teams at will, and for all their defensive frailty, they do have ridiculous attacking options.

    6. Conte’s half time talk works a treat (by Adrian Kajumba)

    Action Images via ReutersAntonio Conte

    Antonio Conte called his players “spineless” at half-time last week as they trailed 3-0 at Arsenal.

    There was no fight-back at the Emirates but whatever he said at the break at Hull worked a treat.

    After a sluggish first-half display Chelsea looked transformed in the second half and played with an energy and intensity that was missing in the opening 45 minutes and simply too much for Hull.

    The two goals and three points were, in the end, fully deserved.

    7. Late strike papers over the cracks (by Simon Bird)


    There have been a few pitiful performances in the 15 seasons I’ve watched North East football. There have been record losing streaks and record low Premier League points totals, along the way.

    But the lack of heart and hope in this Sunderland show was right up there with the worst I’ve seen in recent seasons.

    Moyes’s side simply didn’t have a clue. They didn’t do the basics of competing with West Brom, who squeezed the early enthusiasm out of the home side.

    The only saving grace was the looping shot that Van Aanholt netted during West Brom’s only defensive lapse.

    Even then they ended the game hanging on after West Brom stepped up a gear.

    8. Wilshere still doesn’t have 90 in him (by Hector Nunns)

    Jack Wilshere in action with Valon Behrami

    Jack Wilshere looks to be making great strides at Bournemouth and hit the post twice yesterday, but the midfielder remains far from match-fit enough to be able to take a Premier League game by the scruff of the neck and dictate a match from start to finish.

    To work your magic, you of course have to get to the ball first, and once again Wilshere departed the field having failed to complete 90 minutes.

    9. Payet shows form is temporary, class is permanent

    Dimitri Payet

    Anyone who thought Dimitri Payet’s magic was fading, or that he would be a one-season wonder at West Ham, had better think again.

    Payet’s equaliser against Boro, cutting in off the left flank and waltzing past five defenders before slotting his finish into the far corner, was a work of art.

    Don’t just take my word for it – watch it on Match of the Day, check it out on YouTube, just enjoy it.

    10. Benteke looks like £30million well spent

    Christian Benteke celebrates scoring with James McArthur

    Christian Benteke can rediscover his faith at Palace.

    Benteke’s confidence was bruised by his unhappy season at Liverpool, but he is showing what a lethal striker he is and his header against Everton was pure quality.

    The Eagles had everything but a striker last season and in the end it wore them down, with their awful end of season form.

    In Benteke they have found the focal point they have been sorely lacking for too long and he’s not only a major threat himself, but is enhancing those around him.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply