Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 12
North London is red after Arsenal’s victory over Tottenham, but is Spurs’ struggles against top six club costing them a title bid? That and more in our five lessons learned from match-week 12 of the Premier League.
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Tony Pulis has become the next managerial casualty in the Premier League after being sacked by West Brom over the weekend,
His sacking came after their 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea, which left the Baggies winless in ten Premier League games and in the bottom three. Pulis is the fifth manager to be sacked this season, following Frank De Boer, Craig Shakespeare, Ronald Koeman and Slaven Bilic.
Whilst their position is rather precarious in the table, West Brom’s decision to let the Welshman go comes down to more than results. The fans were getting fed up of their rather negative style of play, with their average home attendance, and when results start going downhill, there was only one ay it was going to end.
Paul Pogba was the subject of much criticism during his first season back at Manchester United, but so far this campaign, he has proven to be a big factor in their success.
At the start of the season, the Red Devils were prolific in front of goal often shipping in four goals. But when the Frenchman got injured, the goals went down and so did the performances.
In his return against Newcastle, Pogba put in a man of the match performance, and his creativity led to a 4-1 victory on Saturday evening. The midfielder bagged on for himself, netting the third Manchester United goal.
Pogba is turning into a key player for United, and their title chances look a lot better with him in the side.
Tottenham’s struggles against the top six could be their undoing
Tottenham fell to a 2-0 defeat against local rivals Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, but as if losing to their biggest rivals was enough of a problem, their form against the top six may be even more worrying.
It is away where the major problem lies. Their last away win against a ‘Big Six’ side was against Manchester United in February 2016, and they have already tasted defeat at Old Trafford and the Emirates this year.
Apart from their win against Liverpool, Tottenham have lost to every game against fellow top six opposition, and they have not even faced Manchester City yet.
This takes nothing away from Arsenal. Yes, Tottenham were under-par, but Arsenal put in one of their best performances this season with the front three of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all playing well.
When Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah from Roma in the summer, I was sceptical he could perform for them. Not only did I think the money should be spent on a defender, I thought Salah would not make that much of a difference going forward and may struggle to adapt, I was wrong.
The Egyptian winger has had a fantastic start to life at Anfield, netting 14 goals in all competitions, more than any Premier League player. Salah has been influential for the Reds this season, including two in their most recent fixture against Southampton.
He gave Liverpool a 2-0 lead with two first half goals, before Phillipe Coutinho put the game beyond any doubt by adding a third.
Manchester City continued their winning ways with a 2-0 win away at Leicester. Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored either side of half time in another dominant performance. Is it too early to talk about Invincibles?
Burnley continued their good early season form with a 2-0 win over Swansea. The Clarets are level on points with Liverpool and Arsenal after 12 games, and if they continue their good form, then they could contend for a European place.
Bournemouth battered Huddersfield 4-0 at the Vitality stadium, with Callum Wilson bagging a hat trick for the hosts.
There were two 2-2 draws in match-week 12. Everton and Crystal Palace played out an entertaining draw on Saturday, the other came on Monday with Brighton and Stoke sharing the spoils.
Life at West Ham started poorly for David Moyes as his side were soundly beaten 2-0 by Watford on Sunday.
It was a very good week or Niall, who scored 10 points and got eight results correct in match-week 12. He also got a perfect prediction with Burnley defeating Swansea 2-0.
Neil’s match-week 12 did not go so well, scoring five points with no correct scores. He still has the lead however, with 78 points compared to Niall’s 75. It is getting close once again!
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