Sunday 17 February 2019

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Alisson’s blunder did not prove costly for Liverpool.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson acknowledges fans after the win over Leicester (Mike Egerton/PA)
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson acknowledges fans after the win over Leicester (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Manchester United eased the pressure on Jose Mourinho, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford extended their winning Premier League starts to four matches.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five talking points from the last round of top-flight fixtures before the first international break of the season.

Lukaku double is Mourinho’s tonic

Manchester United responded to back-to-back Premier League defeats with a professional display to win 2-0 at Burnley and ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho. Romelu Lukaku appeared back to his best in front of goal as he struck twice in the first half to put United in control and although Paul Pogba’s penalty was saved by Joe Hart, Mourinho’s side dealt with the second-half dismissal of Marcus Rashford with relative ease to give their fans a huge lift.

Hornets buzzing with win number four

Watford have emerged as this season’s surprise package and backed up their impressive start with a first-ever Premier League victory against Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were expected to extend their winning start but were undone by complacency after last week’s triumph at Old Trafford and instead Javi Gracia’s Hornets made it four wins from four to stay level with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table. Question marks remain over Spurs’ consistency.

Sarri says there’s more to come

Maurizio Sarri declared his side would take three months to hit top form shortly after arriving at Stamford Bridge in July and he said there was room for improvement after their fourth straight win. The Blues left it late again before seeing off Bournemouth but are dominating matches while still in third gear. Eden Hazard has hit the ground running following his exploits at Russia 2018. No top-flight player has been involved in more goals this season, with two scored and two assists.

Alisson howler serves as painful reminder

Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent start, but only after surviving another big goalkeeping blunder, this time by £65million summer signing Alisson. The Reds invested heavily in the big Brazilian following Loris Karius’ Champions League nightmare, but he looked anything like the world’s second most expensive keeper when caught dallying by Kelechi Iheanacho. Jurgen Klopp’s side were made to dig deep having cruised into a two-goal lead and Alisson’s uncharacteristic gaffe has raised doubts as to whether the club’s goalkeeping troubles are really over.

Pointless Pellegrini has plenty to ponder

Four games, four defeats. West Ham’s miserable start continued as Wolves substitute Adama Traore struck a stoppage-time winner at the London Stadium to leave Manuel Pellegrini’s side pointless and rock-bottom. The Hammers were booed off the pitch and Pellegrini, a former Premier League winner with Manchester City, faces a mammoth task to turn it around as the Londoners face Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United in their next three Premier League matches.

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