Liverpool show champion spirit, Loftus-Cheek rescues Chelsea – Premier League 10 THINGS WE LEARNED
Liverpool left it late to beat Tottenham as they needed a Toby Alderweireld own-goal to ensure they strengthened their bid for the Premier League title.
Manchester City made easy work of relegation-threatened Fulham on Saturday afternoon and the pressure was on Jurgen Klopp‘s side to win and return to the summit.
Here, AMITAI WINEHOUSE assesses 10 things we learned from the latest round of Premier League fixtures…
Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City at the top of the table after beating Tottenham 2-1
Manchester United have a base on which to build
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a growing platform on which to build his Manchester United side – and one that is arguably comparable to the first great team Sir Alex Ferguson built.
After the win against Watford, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring, four players (Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba are the other two) have scored 10 or more Premier League goals.
This is the first time that has happened since the 1995-96 season, when Paul Scholes, Andy Cole, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona all hit that mark.
The Norwegian also has an awesome foursome. That is the sort of foundation United need to challenge next season.
With Marcus Rashford thriving, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a base to work with at Man United
Liverpool’s late winners show the spirit of champions
Liverpool have what champions are made of — the capacity to keep going when the going gets tough.
Their second goal against Tottenham was their third winner after the 90th minute of the season, the second-most they have posted in a single season Premier League history.
They have also picked up 79 points, their best tally at this stage of a top flight season season and enough to win them the league in three Premier League campaigns.
If they miss out it will not be bottling. They have shown the fight of champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are showing the spirit that wins a team a Premier League title
Ruben Loftus-Cheek shows capacity to emulate Frank Lampard
Ruben Loftus-Cheek must have spent a lot of his time in Chelsea’s academy watching Frank Lampard. And he has clearly learned lessons from the Blues icon.
His late header was their first 90th minute winner in the Premier League since Frank Lampard scored against Everton back in February 2014.
It paid back the faith Maurizio Sarri showed in him by bringing him on when he needed the game to turn.
Loftus-Cheek now has four Premier League goals this season, one more than he managed in the 46 appearances he made before this campaign. If this is something he is adding to his game, he could emulate Lampard.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is showing he could go on to emulate Frank Lampard in a Chelsea shirt
Roberto Firmino’s form speaks for Liverpool’s collective spirit
Mohamed Salah finally stepped up for Liverpool on Sunday with that crucial intervention — luckily for their title hopes though, others have filled in the gaps.
Roberto Firmino’s header was his seventh goal in his last six Premier League games at Anfield, as many as his previous 25 beforehand.
Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final last season was arguably driven by Salah’s individual brilliance.
This year it is the sort of collective success that Bill Shankly would have loved that is pushing them in their title challenge.
Roberto Firmino’s header on Sunday was a seventh goal in his last six league games at Anfield
Bernardo Silva is Manchester City’s marathon man… and more
Manchester City fans have taken to singing Bernardo Silva’s name to the tune of Voulez Vous by Abba and the Fulham game showed just why they love the winger so much.
He has gone from odd £43m man to bargain in his near two years at the Etihad Stadium.
He scored for a third consecutive game at Craven Cottage – the first time he has done that for City – and provided an assist while covering more ground (11.3km) than anyone on the pitch.
There will be four or five names that get more credit than him if City do the unlikely and win the quadruple, but Silva’s hard work and quality makes him as important as anyone to Pep Guardiola’s side.
With every passing week, Bernardo Silva looks more and more a bargain for Manchester City
Brendan Rodgers wins over Leicester’s old boys
A crucial part of Brendan Rodgers’ work at Leicester was bringing the old heads in the dressing room onside – something Claude Puel struggled with.
Their win against Bournemouth demonstrated the power of his man management.
Their goals were scored by Wes Morgan – bagging in consecutive Premier League games for the first time ever – and Jamie Vardy.
Vardy has hit five in his last five league games, compared to one in six prior. Rodgers has clearly won over those Puel could not.
Brendan Rodgers has managed to get Leicester’s older players on side since joining the club
Dwight McNeil will be on the radar of the big sides
Dwight McNeil is becoming the sort of player big clubs will be taking a look at in the summer after his role in Burnley’s win against Wolves.
He now has seven goal involvements this season (three goals, four assists), the same tally as Ryan Sessegnon, who has been coveted by some of the biggest clubs in the country.
No teenager has done more for his side in front of goal than McNeil in the Premier League. No teenager with those sort of figures stays off the radar for very long.
Burnley teen Dwight McNeil is becoming vital to the Clarets and will attract top club interest
Huddersfield’s lack of fun damages Premier League memories
Huddersfield go down with some terrible records to their name, but the most damning is the fact they have simply not provided much entertainment to their fans during their time in the Premier League.
They have failed to score in 38 of their 70 Premier League games – or 54.3 per cent. That’s the highest such percentage in the history of the competition.
The Terriers were never likely to stick around for long, but they could and should have done far more to make memories while they were up.
Huddersfield Town fans have had a miserable season as the side offered little entertainment
Everton’s European hopes grow amid away wins
Everton are finally seeing the benefit of Marco Silva’s work – not least in his ability to send travelling fans home happy.
Silva had a patchy start to life at Goodison Park yet his team are starting to click into gear and could yet earn a place in Europe next season. They swatted West Ham aside on Saturday.
They have now netted two or more goals in three consecutive away Premier League games for the first time since December 2016.
That sort of form at the teams around you is crucial for a team like Everton looking to push onto something better.
Everton fans finally saw the benefits of Marco Silva’s work with their 2-0 win against West Ham
Ralph Hasenhuttl getting best out of tools he has
If you want to see a demonstration of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s coaching prowess – beyond the fact he made no signings in January yet has improved his side – then look no further than Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
His strike against Brighton, the only goal in their 1-0 win, was his fourth in the Premier League this season. That’s double his tally in his last six seasons in a big five European league.
Hasenhuttl was never going to have money to throw at his Southampton project.
It is for the best, then, that he has shown his ability to do more with the tools at hand.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is bringing out the best from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg