27 Nov 5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
Manchester City remain eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after a fortuitous finish saw them scrape past Huddersfield.
There were also narrow victories for Manchester United and Arsenal, while Tottenham dropped more points at Wembley and Crystal Palace continued their improvement under Roy Hodgson.
Here, Press Association Sport picks out five things we learned from the weekend’s matches.
1. City can scrap for wins
Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten leaders were given a stern test against Huddersfield and were lucky to leave West Yorkshire with all three points after Raheem Sterling claimed an unconventional late winner. The performance was nowhere near City’s free-flowing best but coming from behind to secure a scrappy win on the road is often a sign of champions. Guardiola’s exuberant celebrations at the end suggested he felt it was a significant success and it restored City’s eight-point cushion at the top after Manchester United beat Brighton 1-0 on Saturday. City have now won 12 of 13 league games this season and head to Old Trafford in two weeks for a mouthwatering contest.
2. Toffees remain in sticky situation
More than a month after sacking Ronald Koeman, uncertainty lingers at managerless Everton. What should have been a short-term transitional period while they hired a new boss has become a painfully drawn out affair, with little sign of improvement on the pitch. Thursday’s Europa League humiliation at the hands of Italian club Atalanta was followed by another thrashing as they lost 4-1 at Southampton on Sunday. Caretaker boss David Unsworth is struggling to steady the ship and the Goodison Park board must surely name Koeman’s permanent successor sooner rather than later.
3. Tottenham still slipping up at Wembley
Despite possessing a squad brimming with exciting, young talent and producing some exceptional European performances, Spurs are still some way off mounting a serious title bid. Harry Kane, who salvaged a 1-1 draw against struggling West Brom on Saturday, was quick to admit the performance was not good enough. No team can keep pace with unbeaten leaders City at the moment but if Tottenham – who are down to fifth – continue to drop points at home then they may also find themselves struggling to retain their Champions League place.
4. Eagles beginning to soar?
Crystal Palace ended the Premier League weekend just three points from safety. The Eagles left it late at Selhurst Park on Saturday as Mamadou Sakho’s stoppage-time winner earned a 2-1 victory over Stoke to continue the resurgence under Roy Hodgson. Palace, who failed to score in the opening seven league games of the season, face rivals Brighton on Tuesday and will go to the Amex Stadium with increased confidence having taken eight points from their last six games.
5. Watford enjoying life on the road
The Hornets’ impressive start to the campaign saw manager Marco Silva linked with the Everton job and he enhanced his CV further with Saturday’s 3-0 success at Newcastle. Former Magpies striker Alan Shearer admitted Silva’s men could have scored seven or eight during their impressive display at St James’ Park. Watford have already won four times on the road this season and their entertaining, attacking style of play has seen them score two or more goals in every away fixture.