Manchester United got one over Spurs, Liverpool grinded out a win and Huddersfield failed to win, again. Here are some of the things we learned during the weekend action. Bet on Premier League football on our website
The real Man United are back
Manchester United registered their sixth consecutive win since interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in December after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho. Last evening United beat Spurs 1-0 at Wembley with a battling and impressive showing to move level on points with Arsenal and six points off fourth-placed Chelsea. The performance was in stark contrast to clash earlier in the season, where Spurs beat the Red Devils 3-0 at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba, a player who struggled under Jose is now thriving and loving life under Solskjaer and his sublime pass to Marcus Rashford got United the winning goal. This game was billed as the acid test for the caretaker manager and he passed. We are seeing a United team reminiscent of the Sir Alex Ferguson days, when they swept teams away.
Liverpool show they can grind out results
A Mohammed Salah penalty was enough to stretch Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to seven points for the time being before champions Manchester City play. However, the win wasn’t as pretty as they would have liked. It was scrappy. Hosts Brighton defended doggedly and made it difficult for the leaders. Following back to back defeats against Manchester City in the league and Wolves in the FA Cup, Liverpool had to bounce back, and they did. The Reds proved that they don’t need to play their usual expansive and high-octane style of football every week to win.
Fulham need to sort defence to survive
Fulham’s defensive frailties were exposed once again this week in their 2-1 loss at fellow strugglers Burnley. To make matters worse, they conceded two own goals. In fact, Burnley won the game without having a shot on target. Claudio Ranieri’s men put up a decent performance in the second half, but their defence is still a major concern. The Whites have now conceded 49 goals in the league with only two clean sheets, the worst defensive record in England’s top flight division. The Cottagers will need to tighten up or risk an immediate return to the Championship.
Arsenal need Ozil
Arsenal lost 1-0 away to West Ham in the Saturday’s early kick-off and have now won only two of their last five games. Despite Arsenal’s dominance in possession, they couldn’t break down a stubborn Hammers defence. Without their highest paid player Mesut Ozil, the Gunners could not provide quality on the ball like the German offers. Things are not looking good for Ozil at the moment but Emery needs him to breakdown stubborn defences in the league. With tough games coming up against Chelsea and City, the time is now for the German to step up and reclaim his place in the side.
Will Huddersfield survive?
Huddersfield Town rarely get outplayed in games. However, they just can’t score goals. The Terriers 13 goals in the league is the lowest, with only five of those coming from open play. Nine consecutive defeats in all competitions has left them at the bottom of the table. During their game at Cardiff, the team was awarded a penalty before the referee reversed his decision. This will put a dent on the player’s confidence following eight straight defeats in the Premier League. However, they can still turn it around if they want to play in the top flight next season.