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Wednesday 13 November 2019

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Why Liverpool were so keen to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho, right
Why Liverpool were so keen to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho, right

Manchester duo City and United cemented their status as early-season pace-setters at the top of the Premier League table with very different victories over the weekend.

City romped to a 5-0 win over hapless Crystal Palace while United were forced to scrap their way to a 1-0 success at Southampton.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what we learned from the latest round of Premier League fixtures.

1. Why Liverpool were so keen to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona's summer-long pursuit of Brazil international Coutinho left the Merseyside club with a difficult decision to make, and they ultimately opted to hang on to him and risk the backlash from denying a player his dream move. Amid all the uncertainty, Coutinho sat out the opening weeks of the campaign, but against Leicester on Saturday, he demonstrated his prodigious talent once again, providing an inch-perfect free-kick for Mohamed Salah's opener and then curling home a superb free-kick.

2. Manchester United can still win ugly

Manchester United fans grew weary of the football their side played under former manager Louis van Gaal and have revelled in a start to the new season under successor Jose Mourinho during which they have scored freely, registering four goals in a game on four occasions already. However, the Portuguese is nothing if not pragmatic and will have been delighted with the way in which they ground out a 1-0 win at Southampton which saw them come under intense pressure for much of the second half.

3. There is life after Diego Costa

Antonio Conte has barely put a foot wrong since he walked into the manager's office at Chelsea, but eyebrows were raised when he decided the time had come for a parting of the ways with striker Diego Costa. However, the £60million the Blues paid Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata to replace him looks to have been money well spent with the Spain international plundering a hat-trick in a 4-0 romp at Stoke with his sand-wedge finish at the end of a glorious run for his second a slice of pure quality.

4. Harry Kane is the real deal

Tottenham striker Kane has established himself as one of the Premier League's most lethal marksmen in recent seasons, but having had to wait until September 9 for his first club goals of the new campaign, he has wasted little time since. He claimed a double at West Ham on Saturday to go with those he had previously scored against Swansea and Borussia Dortmund, and he might have had more had the post not twice denied him.

5. It could get worse before it gets better at Crystal Palace

New Palace boss Roy Hodgson was more than happy with his pointless team's display at Manchester City, at least the 44 minutes of it for which they held hosts Manchester City at 0-0. However, it was then that Leroy Sane sparked a goal rush which saw the Eagles concede on five occasions without reply to leave them still awaiting a first point and a first goal and with Manchester United and Chelsea waiting in the wings.

PA Media

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