5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action
Manchester United cemented second place in the Premier League, while West Brom edged closer to relegation with another loss.
Manchester United took the bragging rights over rivals Liverpool after a 2-1 victory in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, with West Brom’s misery at the bottom of the table continuing with a 4-1 loss to Leicester.
Newcastle alleviated their relegation fears with a 3-0 triumph over struggling Southampton, while there were also victories for Everton, Burnley, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five things we learned from the latest round of top-flight games.
The Mourinho bus can score goals
Many pundits and rival supporters tout Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho as a defensive manager who regularly ‘parks the bus’, but the Portuguese manager provided a tactical masterclass in the victory over Liverpool. United sit five clear of their north-west rivals in second place after the win at Old Trafford and, going forward, it looks positive for Mourinho. The 55-year-old seems to have got a tune out of striker Romelu Lukaku again, while Marcus Rashford marked his first Premier League start since Boxing Day with a brace to down the Reds.
Pardew’s time could be up
Another week, another defeat for West Brom as the Baggies’ slim chances of survival became even more bleak following a 4-1 home defeat to Leicester. Boos rang around the Hawthorns after the final whistle following the Premier League basement side’s sixth successive loss and their hopes of remaining in the top-flight are fast disappearing. West Brom sit eight points from safety with eight matches remaining and still have to face Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham. Alan Pardew has masterminded just one Premier League victory since taking over in November and is set for crunch talks with the owners about his future.
West Ham get hammered again
West Ham are facing an investigation by the Football Association after the ugly scenes which occurred during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley. A more pressing concern for Hammers boss David Moyes, though, might be the lack of fight coming from his players. After a mini-revival at the turn of the year, West Ham have started to slide back towards the drop zone and, having now endured three straight Premier League defeats, off-field problems could hasten their demise.
Southampton slipped closer towards relegation on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Newcastle. Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino accused some of his players of “giving up” at St James’ Park but they will need to rally with a tough run-in to come. Southampton – who have won just once in their last 17 Premier League games – face Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City within their last eight matches. Whether Pellegrino sees out the season is another matter.
It has come to that time of the year where Arsenal fans urge Arsene Wenger to end his long reign as Gunners boss after seeing their Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup hopes end for another season. But it all seems rosy at the Emirates Stadium, for the time-being at least, after bouncing back from a demoralising 2-1 defeat at Brighton to beat AC Milan 2-0 in Italy during the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash before thumping Watford 3-0 on Sunday. Amazing what can happen inside a week in football.