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Premier League Weekend – Three Good, Three Bad

Good: Wilfred Ndidi

There is a great deal of whinging done about Claude Puel, but anyone who watched Leicester’s home performance in their 1-2 defeat to Liverpool will know that he has got his troops well and truly fired up for a fight. Wilfred Ndidi was the perfect example of this fighting spirit at The King Power.

Arguably the best performance of the weekend for a losing player, Ndidi was immense for The Foxes as they cranked up the pressure on Liverpool.  For a brief period, they had Klopp’s men on the ropes, albeit courtesy of a few meaty challenges. Ndidi was everywhere, first to every second ball and covered every blade of grass on the day. At twenty-one, he could be another one Leicester will struggle to keep hold of.

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Bad: Marcus Rashford

Bad Marcus, very, very bad! Facing an uphill challenge to get into his manager’s plans, the young forward was duly sent off as Manchester United’s win over Burnley descended into chaos. A penalty was given, missed, a mass brawl ensued with plenty of handbags and a man was sent off, all in the space of five wild minutes in Lancashire. There must be something in the water in Burnley.

In fairness to Rashford, his “headbutt” on Phil Bardsley was hardly the most violent altercation that you’re likely to see.  However, he was extremely stupid for allowing the referee no choice but to brandish a red card. Presently, it seems as though Mourinho needs no excuse to deny his talented youngsters a run out and Rashford now has an enforced three match ban to get around. He will no doubt feel the lash of his manager’s scorn over the coming weeks and fall a little further down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

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Good: Marcos Alonso

The left wing back has been immaculate for Chelsea over the past two seasons, and has started this season off in the same red hot form. He laid on an assist for Eden Hazard and now has more goals and assists than any other defender in the English top-flight since he moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016.

Plucked from relative obscurity, Alonso, had previously touched the dizzy heights of Bolton and Sunderland before Antonio Conte cast his eye on the Spaniard’s performances at Fiorentina. Already highly influential in his club’s triumphs in the Premier League and FA Cup, he looks set for another excellent season with a goal and an assist to his name already. It’s another one of football’s little oddities, that he has just one cap for Spain, while Liverpool’s absent minded, sabotage expert, Alberto Moreno has more senior appearances for his country. Expect that to change very soon.

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Bad: Alisson Becker

The man who cost a million people clean sheet bonuses on their Fantasy Football this weekend, Alisson Becker suffered one hell of a malfunction against Leicester City. We all saw the lovely bit of skill he produced against Brighton last weekend, but probably not a good idea to follow that up with the slowest Cruyff turn you’ve ever seen. The heart attack moment he gave his club, was completely preventable and unnecessary, Klopp will hope his new goalkeeper sticks to the things he’s good at.

Yes he has great feet, and yes it was stinker of a back pass, but it was an almighty mess, Alisson made of it. He will learn though and he also kept his side in front with the score at one-nil, so not all terrible.

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Good: Joe Gomez

While his goalkeeper was busy raising blood pressures, young Liverpool defender Joe Gomez was doing his best Virgil Van Dijk Impression. With Gareth Southgate watching from the stands in the late summer sun, Gomez put in the best performance of his Liverpool career so far.

Leicester were excellent in the second half and over powered Liverpool’s midfield to give the Red’s back four an awful lot of work to do. Gomez remained unflustered and composed throughout, reading the game superbly well and sniffing out danger before it became too damaging. He made one absolutely vital block at two-nil which is up there with the best you’re likely to see this season. Liverpool fans will now be sweating that their talented star comes back in one piece from international duty.

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Bad: Jonas Lossl

Huddersfield Town have looked like favourites for the title of Premier League whipping boys this season. However, on Saturday, they showed something of the immense resolve they had last season. Wagner’s men were solid at Goodison Park for the first thirty minutes or so, before clicking into gear and having a go at Silva’s Toffees.

Having got their noses in front, courtesy of a Phillip Billing header, you’d have thought they could keep it tight and dig in for a much needed, morale boosting win. Well, they at least managed to last eighty-four seconds… That was when Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed in from a Lucas Digne cross to draw his side level. It was a header though that was pretty much straight at Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, and at saving height.

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The Denmark International should be bitterly disappointed with himself for failing to save his side. It’s those kind of moments that are the difference between one point and three points. If they are going to stay up, then their key men are going to have to help them. Lossl is popular with the fans and manager but has now been at fault a few times during his time with the Terriers.  They simply cannot afford to have a dodgy keeper in a relegation dog fight.

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