Here are the 5 things we learned in the English Premier League over the weekend
- Form is temporary, class is permanent (Rooney anyone)
He may very well be arguably the most polarising player to have graced the premier league, but hate him or love him we can’t deny that he is a world class player worthy of recognition for all his accomplishments…..well at least that’s what the numbers say.
While to some the jury might still be out regarding his “world class” status, statistically though, he is up there among some of the best footballers of the game.
The much maligned Manchester United forward scored a stunning last minute strike in Saturday’s match against Stoke City, a goal which not only sparred United’s blushes by earning them a draw at the Bet365 stadium but also made him the club’s all-time goal scorer.
Rooney has now scored 250 goals for the Red Devils, surpassing Sir Bobby Chalton and earning himself legendary status at the club in addition to being being England’s all-time goal scorer as well! If that feat doesn’t make him world-class then maybe we need to redefine the word.
- Chelsea still need Costa
Although much has been said about the fall-out between Diego Costa and Antonio Conte in recent times, his contribution to the Blues table-topping form cannot be understated.
Chelsea manager Conte, decided to restore his star striker back into the starting line-up against Hull and boy did he deliver.
The Spain international took his tally for the season to 15 with the opening goal and put in a performance that put to bed all the question marks regarding his commitment, at least for the mean time anyway.
The striker’s form inspired the Blues to an eventual 2-0 win over Hull City and if his celebration was anything to go by, he might just remain at Chelsea longer than we expected.
- Get some real defenders, Mr Klopp sir!?
We have said it before, and we’ll say it again, Liverpool needs to invest in proper defenders.
The most disappointing result among the title hopefuls was clearly Liverpool’s home defeat to Swansea. Again it was brittleness of the Red’s defence that cost Jurgen Klopp’s side, who appeared to have repaired the damage when they recovered from two down to equalise only to allow Gylfi Sigurdsson to score the winner.
Although the uncertainty over Joel Matip’s availability has been resolved, the Red’s gaffer seems to have an uncertainty of his own in the form of his best centre back pairing.
Liverpool have been virtually crying out for a dominant figure to straighten up that backline since the beginning of the season but whether those cries are falling on deaf ears, only time will tell as the winter transfer window slowly comes to a close.
- Kane and Ali, the future of Tottenham Hotspurs
Those two are a delight to watch and they appear to be forming one of the deadliest combinations in the premier league this season.
In the first half, they both had 11 touches each. And although Manchester City scored twice at the start of the second half Pochettino’s tinkering with Tottenham’s system made a world of difference, resulting in both players getting on the ball more, particularly Dele Alli.
They are a terrific combination, a great pairing who have a telepathic understanding and it’s really quite simple: these two make Spurs play.
Needless to say, Alli scored – he’s on fire at the moment – and hauled Spurs back in the contest as they earned a 2-2 draw. Maybe a certain Paul Pogba could learn a thing or two from the youngster.
- Xhaka needs to enrol at the school of discipline
The behaviour of his manager may have taken some of the heat off Granit Xhaka, but the Arsenal midfielder must surely make some changes to his game if he is to stay in English football for the foreseeable future.
Xhaka’s second half red card was his third of the season for both club and country and his ninth since April 2014. Even for a man who has managed Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, Xhaka’s struggle to stay on the pitch will be a real worry for Wenger.
The midfielder now faces a four-match ban. With Mohamed Elneny on Afcon duty in Gabon and Francis Coquelin only just back from injury, this looks an immensely idiotic piece of play from the Swiss midfielder. He needs to get it together soon