Premier League: 5 talking points from the weekend’s action
Halloween weekend in the Premier League brought horror and misery for Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side, for Manchester United’s strikers, and for Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. But only one survived their ordeal and enjoyed three precious points after the dust settled.
The Champions lose again
Chelsea fans watched in dismay on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool dismantled their side at Stamford Bridge. The 3-1 defeat, Chelsea’s sixth already this season, leaves the Blues languishing in 15th place, with Mourinho continuing up a certain creek without a certain proverbial.
There were many who were surprised to see Mourinho still in the job come the morning, with his post-match interviews revealing a man in the throes of a crisis. How much longer can he last?
United’s profligacies continue
Louis Van Gaal finds himself with an altogether different problem. A 0-0 draw away to Crystal Palace made it three successive goalless draws in all competitions for the Red Devils, with their drought in front of goal extending past the five hour mark.
Anthony Martial, who arrived as a firecracker at Old Trafford in the summer, has gone quiet, while Wayne Rooney’s struggles have been well documented. Despite being fourth in the Premier League, there are clearly problems at the still very much sleeping giants.
Joe Hart in the spotlight
United’s fierce rivals, Manchester City, scraped a 2-1 win at home against newly promoted Norwich City. Yaya Toure saved goalkeeper Joe Hart’s blushes with a late penalty after the England man had inexplicably dropped a cross for Cameron Jerome to bring his side level at the Etihad.
Hart’s continued position as England’s number one is now being questioned in light of Stoke City’s Jack Butland’s continued good form.
The 22 year old kept his third clean sheet from the last four games against Newcastle on Saturday, and will be hoping his displays will have caught the eye of England boss Roy Hodgson with Euro 2016 inching ever closer.
Arsenal showing real grit
Arsene Wenger’s side notched up their fifth win on the spin at Swansea on Saturday, keeping the club second in the league on goal difference. With chances galore in the first half, it was Swansea who looked the likeliest winners.
But the Gunners weathered the storm and hit three to bag the points, with the resurgent Mesut Ozil particularly impressive. Could this be Arsenal’s year at long last?
Everton hit Sunderland for six
A rollercoaster encounter rounded off the Sunday fixtures, with Everton emerging 6-2 winners against struggling Sunderland at Goodison Park, with striker Arouna Kone scoring a hat-trick.
The Ivorian, so plagued with injuries during his two year stay at the club, also triggered a contract extension with that showing, as Everton climbed to ninth in the league, one point behind neighbours Liverpool.