English Premier League: Key talking points from the weekend
Manchester United was able to keep Liverpool at bay and Arsenal flew back to winning ways in the Premier League. Watford’s Troy Deeney was trolled and dragged on social media for the remarks he made the last time Arsenal faced Watford.
It has been a lively weekend in England and here are some key points to take home.
Jose Mourinho has a strategy and it works,sometimes.
As much as everyone will want to criticize Mourinho’s ‘defensive’ tactics, the Portuguese was able to prove how effective the system is. What was important was not holding back Liverpool’s front three because that is undoubtedly close to impossible. The strategy he used was cutting off the supply. As long as the ball was not getting to that impeccable front three, Manchester United was safe. Alexis Sanchez was not used to get goals really. He was used for his hard work. Being able to run back when required to. Liverpool had absolutely no idea what hit them.
Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang have a telepathic relationship
This is very evident. What these two are doing is not building a relationship because it was already there from their days at Dortmund. They are simply re-connecting. Aubameyang's goal came after he latched onto the Armenian's through ball. The £55 million signing then laid Mkhitaryan off for an easy finish to make it 3-0.
Two of Aubameyang's three Premier League goals have been provided by Mkhitaryan, so this could well be a sign of things to come.
Dele Alli and Son can shine in Harry Kane's absence
Harry Kane limped off against Bournemouth he put his plan C into action as Fernando Llorente was left on the bench, with Erik Lamela coming on to form a potent front three to provide guile, speed and movement. The upshot was that Tottenham did not miss their talisman and they came from behind to win. Dele Alli was afforded the central role from where he converted a cross like a natural No 9. In what has been a tough season for Alli, he may well be able to revel in being the focal point of a team living in Kane’s prolific shadow.
Son Heung Min reached 12 goals for the season, leaving the manager relieved and relatively optimistic, even if he needs to do without Kane for an extended period.
Jamie Vardy is still a superstar
The sight of Jamie Vardy filing a contender for goal of the season with a brilliantly executed, controlled volley provided a gentle reminder, for anyone who needed one, that the 31-year-old is still a superstar. Only Harry Kane, Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah have scored more league goals than Vardy this season. Vardy may not be everyone’s cup of tea but those who dismissed him as a one-season wonder after Leicester’s title triumph or, in Michael Owen’s case, as someone who is “not a natural finisher” could not have been more wrong. West Ham is a mess
West Ham is a mess
The question to ask about West Ham is not “How have things got this bad”, but instead “How were they ever that good”? Saturday had the proposition of having a board of directors who speak about the Champions League and then behave as though they are still running Birmingham City in the lower leagues. The Hammers are just three points away from relegation zone.