Sports

Premier League talking points as Rangnick watches Sancho shine for Man Utd


As temperatures drop below freezing across Britain, the Premier League title race is heating up quite nicely.

After another fascinating weekend of domestic action, just two points separate three of Europe’s best sides.

Manchester City overcame the conditions to see off West Ham and Liverpool were emphatic against Southampton.

Chelsea, meanwhile, had their profligacy to blame for being held by Michael Carrick’s Manchester United.

Elsewhere, there was another win for Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa and we had our first snow postponement of the season at Turf Moor.

Mirror Football rounds up ten key talking points from this weekend’s games.

Rangnick has major work ahead

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

Sancho’s goal was enough for a point for United at Stamford Bridge
(

Image:

Manchester United via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo was relegated to a freezing subs bench, Fred briefly thought he could imitate Eric Cantona with a lobbed winner and a defence missing Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire almost survived 24 shots on goal.

But the biggest mystery for Manchester United fans came off the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

Just who was in technical director Darren Fletcher’s ear on the touchline?

Conspiracy theorists frenzied in the belief incoming boss Ralf Rangnick was the mastermind behind the performance via Fletcher’s earpiece.

However, numerous reports this morning have stated that wasn’t the case, and that Rangnick had no communication with United’s coaching staff prior to or during the match.

Some will argue United’s point against the European Champions bordered on larceny as Jadon Sancho robbed Jorginho to slot home his second goal in five days.

But there were reasonable signs of optimism for incoming Rangnick, watching from afar.

United had a plan and stuck to it; the same couldn’t be said during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s demise.

Jorginho redemption

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

Jorginho scored the equaliser for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
(

Image:

Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“He misjudged the situation and he was heavily disturbed from the lights so did not see the ball in the end.”

That was the explanaition from Tuchel, who blamed the Stamford Bridge floodlights for Jorginho’s lapse prior to United’s goal.

But the Italian secured an unsatisfactory point in west London.

Jorginho has missed his last three penalties for the European Championship winners but was unerring after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s costly error.

Make no mistake, this was two points dropped for the dominant Blues in a title race where perfection is demanded.

However, Jorginho at least redeemed himself to prevent an untimely defeat for Tuchel’s side.

Goals galore for ruthless Liverpool

Liverpool 4-0 Southampton

Liverpool secured back-to-back 4-0 wins
(

Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool are irrepressible right now.

The Anfield crowd have been treated to two 4-0 victories in a week in an exhibition of attacking artistry.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have now managed to score at least two goals in each of their last 17 league games, a new record.

Liverpool fans are not naive to how the impending African Cup of Nations could hinder their title challenge but it was their Portuguese star who struck a double against Southampton.

Diogo Jota couldn’t miss either chance as the Saints were cut open at will, but his goal record could be crucial to the title charge on Merseyside in the coming months.

City’s job well done

Manchester City 2-1 West Ham

Pep Guardiola’s side defeated West Ham in snowy conditions
(

Image:

REUTERS)

Pep Guardiola awarded the ground staff man of the match as Manchester City defied a snowstorm to battle past West Ham.

This looked like a fixture that might not reach its conclusion at one stage after light snowfall turned into a blizzard at the Etihad.

It’s hardly conditions City thrive are known to thrive in but they adapted to claim a vital victory over the resilient Hammers.

Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho netted the decisive goals and there was even a delay during the game as the pitch lines were made visible.

After a positive result in west London, City are suddenly one point off the summit.

Winter has arrived

Burnley P-P Tottenham

Burnley’s game against Tottenham fell victim to the weather
(

Image:

REUTERS)

That Sean Dyche breezed out to the inspect the snow covered Turf Moor pitch clad in only shirt and tie was befitting of his granite reputation.

Burnley’s game against Tottenham was the first Premier League encounter of the season to succumb to adverse weather and it hardly came as a surprise despite the commendable efforts of the club’s snow shifters.

Heavy snow meant the game was called off under an hour before the 2pm kick off and a new date will be rearranged.

Frustration probably doesn’t do the Spurs fans who made the trip to Lancashire only to be sent back down the motorway justice.

Toon trouble

Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United

Howe’s first game in the dugout was a convincing defeat to Arsenal

Eddie Howe is working day and night on Tyneside to rescue Newcastle.

But he might be short of hours in the day to help save the current squad from relegation.

Newcastle were well beaten by Arsenal at the Emirates in his first game in the dugout.

They are now winless in their opening 13 Premier League games and are now six points off the drop zone.

The January window could decide Newcastle’s fate and the new mega rich Saudi owners will be under pressure to get it right.

Potter’s boo boys

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Leeds United

Graham Potter disagreed with his players being booed off against Leeds

“Well, they’re entitled to their opinion. I disagree with them. Completely.”

A manager opposing his own fans often spells danger but Graham Potter was well within his right to question his side being booed off after a draw to Leeds at the Amex.

Potter had to remind supporters that Brighton sit in the top half of the Premier League.

Frustrations at missing countless chances is natural, particularly against Marcelo Bielsa’s side who are guilty of shipping plenty of goals.

But perspective, and perhaps more gratitude, is needed for Potter, the country’s most progressive young manager doing a sterling job on the South coast.

Gerrard’s dream start

Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa

Gerrard secured his second Aston Villa win at Selhurst Park
(

Image:

Getty Images)

Who said Premier League management was challenging?

Steven Gerrard’s dream start at Aston Villa continued with an important victory at Crystal Palace.

Gerrard is already getting his message across in the Midlands and Villa’s season is already taking a very different outlook.

Matt Targett and John McGinn’s goals ensured their new boss has two wins from two and Villa are up to 13th.

Optimism for Canaries

Norwich 0-0 Wolves

Dean Smith has taken four points from six at Norwich

There is already a steeliness to this Norwich City side that was lacking under Daniel Farke.

Dean Smith is two games unbeaten after matching Wolves at Carrow Road.

Tougher tests are to come after acquiring four points at home to Southampton and Wolves.

But the Canaries are not simply going to sleep walk into relegation under Smith like some had anticipated.

Conversion of goals is still an issue Smith must contend with but there is new found hope as we enter the busy festive period.

Toffees in crisis

Brentford 1-0 Everton

Everton captain Seamus Coleman apologised to angry fans
(

Image:

Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Never has a managerial appointment been so doomed before it started but Rafa Benitez is already approaching the end days at Everton.

Everton are a side in crisis and the unpopular Spaniard does not have the answers.

The Toffees have just two points from the last available 21 and the shortcomings of the squad are being brutally exposed.

Supporters understandably voiced their disgust at full-time after their latest defeat at Brentford.

The forward line lacks vigour and Benitez is famed for creating cohesion but his side are a mess right now.

Another change looks inevitable on Merseyside.

Read More

Read More




Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button