03 Dec 5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League fixtures
Manchester duo City and United continue to set the pace in this season’s Premier League as the latest round of fixtures yielded few surprises.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what we learned over the weekend.
1. Liverpool have some clever footballers
Whatever the validity of the questions posed about Liverpool’s ability to defend, they have very few problems going forward, where pace and talent are matched by admirable footballing intelligence. Mohamed Salah’s ability to carry to ball at high speed and then either finish himself or pick out a killer final pass is hugely impressive, but the vision of Philippe Coutinho and his audacity in drilling a free-kick under Brighton’s defensive wall rather than over it are priceless.
2. Arsenal have forgotten how to defend
But for David De Gea and some last-ditch defending, Arsenal might have beaten Manchester United comfortably on Saturday evening. That they did not, however, was due only in part to the excellence of the Spanish goalkeeper and his rearguard. The kamikaze Arsenal defending allowed Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial to stretch them repeatedly on the counter and ultimately proved terminal.
3. Eden Hazard is hitting form at the right time
Chelsea may or may not eventually have a say in where the Premier League title ends up this season, but whatever they achieve collectively, Eden Hazard is showing ominous signs of entering World Cup year at the height of his powers. The Belgium international dismantled promoted Newcastle on Saturday to serve England with a timely reminder of his talent as the two nations cast one eye towards their showdown in Russia next summer.
4. Sam Allardyce in a nutshell
What you see is what you get with Sam Allardyce. The new Everton boss launched his reign against Huddersfield by ticking off the checklist he has employed to great success for most of his managerial career – be hard to beat, take the minimum of risks, keep a clean sheet, score a goal (or in this case, two) and collect three points. It may not be pretty at times, but it is effective.
5. David Moyes may have something to work with after all
David Moyes may have collected just a single point in his first four games as West Ham boss and the club does find itself inside the relegation zone, but there were signs on Sunday that their cause may not yet be forlorn. The Hammers briefly suggested they could pull off a major shock when Angelo Ogbonna headed them into the lead at Manchester City and although Pep Guardiola’s men eventually won, Moyes’ men made them look ordinary at times in a spirited display.