Premier League: five things we have learnt from the weekend

Impressive records coming to an end, managers in real danger of receiving their P45s and new kids on the block. Here’s what we have learnt from the Premier League this weekend…

1) Soldado needs to step up

A couple of weeks ago, Andre’ Villas-Boas criticised the Tottenham fans for what he perceived to be a lack of support, but the Portuguese manager could soon be pointing the finger at his players, rather than towards those in the stands.

Spurs’ spending spree has so far failed to produce the results Daniel Levy would have hoped for, as Spurs failed to score for a second consecutive Premier League game, with Roberto Soldado looking far from being the player Spurs hoped could propel them into the top four.

AVB’s insistence to play two wingers who love to cut inside rather than delivering crosses isn’t helping Soldado, but the Spaniard needs to step up.

2) Chelsea get lucky again

All the furore surrounding Andre Marriner’s decision to award Chelsea a late penalty against West Bromwich somehow managed to distract the attention from what should have been the real talking in point.

Chelsea, whether Jose Mourinho likes it or not, are a pale imitation of the ruthless machine the Portuguese had assembled during his first spell at Stamford Bridge and while the remain in the top four, their luck could soon run out.

3) Lallana can be in Brazil next summer

It’s hard to single out a player who has shone brighter than others during Southampton’s superb first three months of the season, but Adam Lallana should probably get the nod.

The Saints midfielder’s superb solo effort against Hull on Saturday fully justified his inclusion in the England squad ahead of friendlies against Chile and Germany, as Lallana produced the sort of performance that would have made many wonder whether the Southampton midfielder should be on the plane to Brazil in June.

Should the Saints sustain their fantastic form, there’s no reason as why Lallana can’t join the England squad next summer.

4) Fulham are in serious trouble

Having become used to look ahead rather than behind them, Fulham must now face the fact that they might not be too good to avoid relegation.

Back-to-back defeats against Manchester United and Liverpool are hardly a disaster, but the way in which both results matured speaks volume for the mess Martin Jol’s men find themselves in.

Against United, Fulham found themselves 3-0 down after 24 minutes, while it took Liverpool only 13 minutes to find the net three times halfway through the first half, as the Cottagers’ back four disintegrated.

Considering that Fulham have found goals incredibly hard to come by, it’s hard to see them turning things around.

5) United are back in it

For all the criticism David Moyes and Manchester United have received in the first three months of the season, the defending champions just won’t go away. 

United extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competition with an energetic, diligent and perfectly executed performance against Arsenal yesterday, as David Moyes finally savoured a win against one of the big four.

United remain five points adrift of Arsenal but they look to be growing in confidence and could soon be force their way back into the title race.

 

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