The weekend’s main event may not have lived up to the entertainment levels that some expected but a 1-0 win for Manchester United over table-toppers Arsenal will have made David Moyes a very satisfied man this evening.
Having already lost out to Manchester City and Liverpool as well as the upset caused by West Brom, another defeat would have seen the current champions slip to ninth in the table — 11 points off the top.
As it panned out, Robin van Persie’s early header and a dogged display in the second half (when the Gunners piled on the pressure) means they move up to fifth and are within five points of the top.
2. City’s woes on the road continue
They may look formidable going forward at times but Manchester City’s away form is simply not good enough right now.
12 goals in the previous two games should have seen them come into this afternoon’s meeting with struggling Sunderland full of confidence. Instead, ex-Man United pair Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley combined to score what turned out to be the winner midway through the first half.
Manuel Pellegrini expressed his concern at their inability to pick up points on the road and with just one win and one draw from six away trips this term, he needs to find a solution soon.
3. Krul day for Spurs
It beggars belief how Newcastle managed to come away from White Hart Lane with a clean sheet this afternoon.
Tottenham had the chance to draw level on points with Liverpool when they hosted the Magpies and, without first choice Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel was asked to deputise.
It was his opposite number Tim Krul who stole the show, however. After Loic Remy scored his seventh goal of the season to fire the visitors in front on 13 minutes, Spurs laid siege on the Newcastle goal — but Dutch stopper Krul was equal to all 14 shots that came his way.
Goals have been hard to come in the league for AVB’s side and he may have to rethink his system in order to get the most out of Roberto Soldado.
4. Liverpool back on track
After the set-back that was last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Liverpool showed their ability to dominate a game from start to finish yesterday.
Holding 68% possession against Fulham, the Reds recorded a whopping 32 shots with ten on target and four finding the back of the net. Luis Suarez will have made the headlines with his brace but evergreen captain Steve Gerrard was sensational on the day.
While Brendan Rodgers must be pleased with how the opening three months have gone, opposite number Martin Jol will no doubt be feeling the pressure as the Cottagers are lingering uncomfortably close to the drop zone.
5. Lallana personifies Saints’ rise
All three featured prominently in yesterday’s 4-1 win over Hull and although Lambert scored his sixth league goal of the campaign from the spot, Lallana was undoubtedly the key man.
Having come through the Saints’ renowned youth system, the 25-year-old, now club captain, is really beginning to shine and capped off the “best” week of his life with an excellent individual goal.
Currently third in the league, Mauricio Pochettino deserves huge credit for building a solid yet exciting side since arriving at St Mary’s.