Another exhilarating weekend of Premier League football saw big drama at the top and bottom of the table. As we approach the business end of the season, there was plenty at stake this weekend for pretty much every team involved.
Here’s a look at five things we learned from the best of the action.
Spurs show the grit of a truly top a side
With many predicting that the wheels would fall off for Spurs after their recent injury crisis, Pochettino’s men have dug in and kept up their excellent form this season. Despite the absences of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Spurs have now won their previous three Premier League games, after yesterday’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle.
Newcastle made Spurs work hard for their win, with Son Heung-min striking late to rob the visitors of a point and keep his side in contention at the top of the table. As things currently stand, they are now just four points behind leaders Liverpool, albeit after playing an extra game.
Pochettino should be delighted with the character his side has shown this season, despite a chronic lack of investment in the transfer market. Spurs deserve immense credit for their returns this season and continue to punch above their financial weight in the top six.
Cardiff City show their class amidst Sala anguish
Football took a back seat in the Welsh capital on Saturday evening as The Bluebirds played their first home game since the disappearance of their new signing Emiliano Sala. With a state of shock still very much gripping the entire the club, it must have been with some effort that they took to the field to take on Bournemouth.
The fans, manager, and players rallied amongst themselves though to deliver a stoic 2-0 win as the ground reverberated with tributes to the Argentine footballer. An emotional Neil Warnock said he was proud of the club after the match; as well he should be after such a dignified response to the tragedy. The shock of this is still sinking in at Cardiff, whether they will have enough to survive this season remains to be seen, but this weekend their relegation fight was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things.
Silva on the rocks with Everton
The fans who had remained in Goodison Park until full time on Saturday afternoon, made their thoughts perfectly clear to Marco Silva, following a painful 1-3 defeat to Wolves. It was a defective and shoddy display from the Toffees who saw their opponents attack with more purpose and hunger on the day.
That’s now 10 defeats in the league for Silva this season, and the 34th, 35th and 36th goals conceded in what is turning out to be a bit of a let down maiden campaign for the Portuguese manager. With such heavy investment last summer, expectations were raised significantly this season, as it stands though, Silva is falling very short.
They are lifeless and floating aimlessly around mid-table with all semblance of their once mighty home strength on Merseyside all but gone. It could just be a confidence issue, as the club struggles to find a run of wins to rouse their beleaguered fan base.
Cheslea’s attack bears fruit as Sarri’s players react
Maurizio Sarri must be as frustrated as many of the Chelsea supporters this season. His side are developing a reliable habit of bouncing back strongly from shocking defeats, with flurries of lovely football and big results. The Italian desperately needed something to ease the pain of the latest blip in the humiliating 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth earlier in the week.
It was the turn of whipping boys Huddersfield Town to feel the backlash of Chelsea’s quality on Saturday as the Terriers were on the receiving end of a pasting. With Gonzaolo Higuain making his home bow, and forming the tip of his side’s attack, Chelsea were in deadly form as they scored five times to wrestle their top four spot back from Arsenal.
It is hard to know whether a poor Huddersfield were just outclassed, or whether Sarri has genuinely solved a big problem with Higuain’s arrival, but Chelsea’s attack was so much more lethal with Eden Hazard freed up to play in his natural deeper role behind a recognised striker. The Stamford Bridge faithful will now hope their side can cease the need to bounce back from costly defeats and find some real form.
City bounce back with big win
It’s hard to see how Manchester City have surrendered four league defeats this season, when they are capable of such impressive performances, as they one witnessed against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
Their talisman and star marksman Sergio Aguero, was once again in white hot form with a timely hat-trick as the Gunners were put to the sword at The Etihad. The Argentine’s second goal capped off a delightful move orchestrated by the electric Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling.
After their shock defeat to Newcastle on Tuesday night, they simply couldn’t let Arsenal get anything from their afternoon’s work and duly constricted Unai Emery’s men to just two shots on target all game. It’s a win that shifts pressure back on to Liverpool as the title race roars in to life.