Sunday 18 February 2018

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis (background) during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis (background) during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.

By Nilima Marshall

What’s going to happen to Arsene Wenger?

Top-four rivals Manchester City and Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw on Sunday to bring an end to the latest round of Premier League matches, with the competition now taking a short breather for the international break.

We look at five things we learned from this weekend’s action.

1. Blues cruise

With Diego Costa in one of his ‘moods’, it looked as though Chelsea would have to settle for a point from a fiery clash at Stoke.

But skipper Gary Cahill, who had earlier given away a penalty, scored a late winner to edge the Blues ever closer to the title and leave boss Antonio Conte swinging from the roof of his dug-out in delight.

They remain 10 points clear at the top with eight games remaining.

2. Plane crazy

Arsenal are a mess, divided off the pitch and utterly disjointed on it.

The 3-1 defeat at West Brom was a new low and heaped further pressure on manager Arsene Wenger, who afterwards revealed he has made a decision on his future – he just isn’t going to tell anyone what it is. And as for those fan-chartered planes?

Wenger in, Wenger out? All that was missing was shake it all about.

3. No Kane, no problem

Losing your 19-goal top scorer for a month to an ankle injury would be a blow to many teams.

But Harry Kane’s absence merely allowed Tottenham to show off the rest of their impressive array of firepower.

Christian Eriksen made a timely return to open the scoring against Southampton and Dele Alli won and converted a penalty in a 2-1 victory.

Alli has now scored 11 goals in his last 11 Premier League games.

4, United’s high five

For the first time since November, Manchester United haven’t finished the weekend in sixth place.

A 3-1 win at Middlesbrough, thanks to goals from Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia, coupled with Arsenal’s defeat, lifted Jose Mourinho’s side up to the heady heights of fifth.

Liverpool, who drew with Manchester City, are four points ahead in fourth.

5. Shakin’ all over

Once again Leicester proved that reports of their demise had been greatly exaggerated.

Rejuvenated under Craig Shakespeare, the Foxes raced into a 2-0 lead against West Ham, and then held off a late onslaught to secure a 3-2 win, their fourth victory on the spin.

And with two world-class saves late on, Kasper Schmeichel illustrated why he should be ranked alongside the likes of Thibaut Courtois, David De Gea and Hugo Lloris among the Premier League’s finest goalkeepers.

Press Association

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