Thursday 22 February 2018

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Pedro scored after 30 seconds to spoil Jose Mourinho's Stamford Bridge return
Pedro scored after 30 seconds to spoil Jose Mourinho's Stamford Bridge return

Liverpool were the big movers in the title race as Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal faltered. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge started badly and went downhill from there.

Here Press Association Sport looks at the things we learned from the Premier League this weekend.

1 Mourinho misery

Parking the bus is all very well but Manchester United had not even located a space when Chelsea winger Pedro opened the scoring after 30 seconds. Once they had parked, United went and left the doors wide open. When Gary Cahill swept in the second United fans could have been forgiven for getting misty-eyed about David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. Eden Hazard rubbed his old boss Jose Mourinho's nose in it with the third and even N'Golo Kante got in on the act. United are simply getting no return for the millions they spent in the summer. A chastening return to the Bridge for Mourinho, while Chelsea are a point off top spot.

2 Reds alert

Jurgen Klopp had the Kop rocking again as Liverpool beat West Brom 2-1. Had they not conceded Gareth McAuley's late consolation the Reds would have been top on Saturday night. And if Philippe Coutinho maintains this level of performance, Anfield can start dreaming of title glory again. The Brazilian's dummy to set up Sadio Mane's volley was a thing of beauty, and a genuine game-changing moment. His turn inside and near-post finish wasn't too shabby either. Keep him fit and firing and Liverpool have a real chance this season.

3 City not so slick

It's getting silly now. Manchester City gifted their opposition yet another goal. This time Pep Guardiola's pass masters helpfully knocked the ball around in their own half before John Stones eventually claimed the assist. His blind backpass towards the dozing Claudio Bravo handed Nathan Redmond Southampton's opening goal. Luckily for Pep, substitute Kelechi Iheanacho earned them a point. Meanwhile Saints, despite yet another summer of upheaval, are quietly making hay under new manager Claude Puel.

4 North London lull

Arsenal's seven-game winning run came to an end when they were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough. Indeed, the visitors could have left with all three points were it not for the heroics of Gunners keeper Petr Cech. Local rivals Tottenham fared no better in the early kick-off, drawing a blank in a stalemate at Bournemouth in another triumph for the TV schedulers. Erik Lamela came closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the crossbar during the first half. But both north London sides missed a chance to make strides in the title race.

5 Unlucky Black Cats

Having survived being tortured by West Ham's Dimitri Payet for the first half an hour, Sunderland steadied the ship and actually looked worth a valuable point at the London Stadium. But with four minutes of injury-time almost up the Premier League's basement boys conceded a corner. Payet played it short and then found an unlikely matchwinner in Winston Reid, who hit a shot in a million from the edge of the box which seem to go through virtually every other player on the field on it way into the net. The fact there was a hint of offside about it did not improve the mood of David Moyes, either.

Press Association

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