5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
Liverpool and Manchester City continue to set the pace.
Manchester City made a statement of intent, and fashion, while Liverpool had a let-off in Yorkshire.
Leicester are upwardly mobile but rock-bottom Watford crashed again.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend.
They may have come dressed as Battenberg but Manchester City did not find Everton a piece of cake. For long periods at Goodison Park it seemed the reigning champions could fail to win for the third time in eight matches, handing further initiative to leaders Liverpool. Late goals from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling ensured the gap remains only five points, and meant the main talking point was not that psychedelic third kit.
Liverpool were shaken by Sheffield United’s sturdy defending and polished counter-attacks. They only made it seven straight wins when Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson let Georginio Wijnaldum’s strike squirm through his legs. A win’s a win, obviously, but Liverpool were given a fright and will need to sharpen up at both ends if they are to maintain their title challenge.
Two weeks ago Ross Barkley was Chelsea’s designated penalty taker, according to Frank Lampard, despite missing against Valencia when Willian and Jorginho wanted to take the ball off him. Yet Barkley was on the pitch when Pedro stepped up against Grimsby in midweek, and on Saturday Jorginho did the honours versus Brighton. “End of story,” said Lampard. So that’s cleared that up…
Wat’s the problem?
Even laid-back manager Quique Sanchez Flores admitted Watford are in a “mess” following the 2-0 defeat at Wolves. On paper the squad which got to last season’s FA Cup final should be nowhere near the relegation zone, but they are rock-bottom without a win so far. Just ask Newcastle, West Ham and Stoke from recent history; no team is too good to go down.
Leicester climbed up to third after dismantling a ragged Newcastle, whose problems were laid bare on Sunday afternoon. The received wisdom this season is that a place in the top four is up for grabs for one of the less established teams, but could that really be the Foxes? Well, stranger things have happened…