1. United won't win the title this season
A lack of consistency is going to cost Manchester United in their quest to defend the Premier League. A 1-0 home defeat to Everton came only seven days after they crushed Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in the Champions League away from home before drawing 2-2 at Tottenham.
Both of those results were encouraging, but losing to Roberto Martinez's side at Old Trafford is not. Bryan Oviedo scored the winning goal five minutes from time. Coming against his old club, it was a sore one for United manager David Moyes. But hardly undeserved. His side are 12 points behind leaders Arsenal. They are too far behind to retain the crown. Top four and Champions League qualification is where it is at this season for United.
2. Smart money still on City to claim the title
When you have Sergio Aguero, you cannot look beyond City for the title despite Arsenal and Chelsea being above them in the table. Six points is all that separates City from top spot. Despite scoring twice, Yaya Toure was eclipsed by the in-form Argentine in a 3-2 win at West Brom.
Aguero scored in the ninth minute to put City into the lead and caused the West Brom back four endless problems all game with his running, dribbling and work ethic. He was unlucky not to get more. There is a reason why City are 13/8 favourites for the big prize. If they start to win on the road, like last night, they will fancy their prospects of usurping Arsenal and Chelsea.
3. Suarez would have been a bargain at £50 million
This bloke cannot be far behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the world game's striking stakes. He is a genuine star. His four goals in a 5-1 drubbing of Norwich had to be seen to be believed. He was apparently on the cusp of moving to Real Madrid and Arsenal for around £50 million during the summer.
What a bargain that would have been. Liverpool are without the injured Daniel Sturridge for six to eight weeks, but as long as Suarez continues this form, Brendan Rodgers's side will continue to flirt with the loftier regions of the Premier League. Perhaps not title form, but Champions League qualification must be the aim.
4. So much for the cliché of Jose Mourinho and his boring teams
A quite thrilling 4-3 victory for Chelsea over Sunderland led by the imperious Eden Hazard. Jose Mourinho's side suddenly seem to be getting their act together having recovered from trailing 1-0 against Southampton to win 3-1 on Sunday. They fell one goal behind to Sunderland, but just let their football do the talking.
That becomes easier when you start with Hazard and Juan Mata in your side. Chelsea were brilliant going forward and took the three points, but Sunderland should take heart from this game despite being bottom of the table.
5. Laudrup's Swansea project remains impressive
Newcastle have been winning at home, but Swansea on their home turf proved too hot to handle. Swansea performed well enough against Manchester City at the weekend, but somehow walked off losing 3-0. Alan Pardew's side are more at their level. Swansea didn't hand about with a comfortable 3-0 win.
You don't beat Valencia 3-0 away in the Europa League without having some class in your ranks as Michael Laudrup's side showed at the Liberty Stadium. Jonjo Shelvey was wise to get out of Liverpool for some first team action. Swansea surely have too much quality about them to consider a relegation fight.
6. AVB has not lost the dressing room
It certainly wasn’t a 90-minute performance from his side, but two long-range bolts from the blue ensured that Spurs now lie just three points from fourth place after a 2-1 win at Fulham. Question marks remain, particularly in attack – good chances were missed by Jermain Defoe, Erik Lamela and Paulinho – but this had the air of a game that might just be looked back on as a pivotal one in the context of Andre Villas-Boas’s tenure.
Especially as new Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen had managed to encourage a response from his rejuvenated side. Spurs fell behind to Fulham early in the second half. After recent goings on, they got on with the job. And got their reward.
7. Ozil and Ramsey are worth paying money to watch
These two players continue to ooze class. As long as they are in this mood, it is going to be a tough old test to hold Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side, who remain four points clear after a one-sided 2-0 win over Hull City at the Emirates Stadium.
The much-maligned Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner scored his first league goal for Arsenal in almost three years, but this night was all about Ozil and Ramsey. All of Ozil's four Arsenal goals have come at home. How the home fans relish his class. Whether or not they are strong enough to win the league is a moot point, but Arsenal are a joy to watch at the moment.
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Manchester United
- Jose Mourinho