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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action | Premier League

1) McTominay must develop position to take United ahead

At the begin of Scott McTominay’s United profession, his place in the crew appeared predicated in José Mourinho’s antipathy in direction of Paul Pogba, his receipt of the supervisor’s participant of the 12 months award the nearest Mourinho might get to presenting it to himself. Since then, although, McTominay has improved by a number of orders of magnitude, contributing energy, tenacity and character – abilities which have been essential in serving to United enhance from sixth to second. They nonetheless battle to dominate, nonetheless, and when Pogba is absent the entirety of the inventive burden rests with Bruno Fernandes, who had an off-day at Stamford Bridge. To take the subsequent step, they want McTominay to develop his passing – specifically round each bins, but additionally with regard to the one and two-touch play that controls video games – or they may stay a crew in a position to beat the finest when at their finest, however whose common degree stops them competing over the course of a season. Daniel Harris

• Match report: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United

2) A change at the again might liberate Blues

Chelsea are on a great run and the work completed by Thomas Tuchel is a giant a part of that. However contemplating that they had residence benefit and a six-point deficit to make up on Manchester United, he was excessively conservative, and the consequence mirrored that. Almost certainly, he doesn’t belief his defence – with good cause – however sitting N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic in entrance of three centre-backs didn’t appear like the finest option to win the recreation, and positive sufficient his crew struggled to craft probabilities. Given the state of issues when he took over, some preliminary warning was comprehensible, however now issues are settled he would possibly contemplate switching to 4 at the again in an effort to stretch the play, liberate Callum Hudson-Odoi, and make it simpler to create overloads in extensive areas. Chelsea might be virtually as exhausting to look at as they’re to beat, which ought to by no means be the case with the attacking expertise they’ve. Daniel Harris

3) Parker’s forwards want to seek out leading edge

Fulham’s lack of leading edge is all that appears to be retaining them in the relegation zone however Scott Parker is certain that his forwards are rising in confidence as the season progresses. “In match conditions we’ve not managed to kill video games off,” Parker stated after Sunday’s 0-0 draw in opposition to Crystal Palace that noticed Ademola Lookman and Josh Maja come closest to incomes victory for the guests. “However this can be a younger crew and we’ve got unbelievable high quality in that sense – it’s now attempting to get that to click on at the proper moments. I’d be extra involved if we weren’t creating probabilities.” But having managed simply 21 targets to date and with a testing set of fixtures to come back in March, they should discover their capturing boots shortly or will probably be too late. Ed Aarons

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• Match report: Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham

4) El Ghazi arrives fashionably late at Villa celebration

“You must give him time after which he’ll come to the celebration,” stated Dean Smith of Anwar El Ghazi following the Aston Villa winger’s match-winning show at Leeds. It was a line of managerial diplomacy, pertaining to a necessity for higher consistency from the 25-year-old in addition to endurance from these round him, however the winger confirmed he might be price the wait with a decisive contribution at Elland Street, the stadium the place he was wrongly dismissed on his final go to in 2019. Regardless of Marcelo Bielsa’s claims of Leeds’ dominance El Ghazi was the most potent menace on the pitch, significantly in the first half when he seized duty in the absence of Jack Grealish and examined Illan Meslier often. El Ghazi had taken recommendation from Bielsa, his former supervisor at Lille, earlier than deciding to hitch Villa. He selected an opportune second, and venue, to celebration on Saturday. Andy Hunter

• Match report: Leeds 0-1 Aston Villa

(*10*)Anwar El Ghazi scored Aston Villa’s winner against Leeds.
Anwar El Ghazi scored Aston Villa’s winner in opposition to Leeds. {Photograph}: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Photos

5) Foxes damage listing might depart them to rue quiet window

Brendan Rodgers regarded glum at full time. He regarded even glummer as the man from Radio Leicester knowledgeable him the airwaves had been already alive with callers asking if Leicester Metropolis had been about to repeat the collapsing act of final season. Rodgers pointed to accidents: right here Harvey Barnes and Jonny Evans had been added to the listing. Jamie Vardy seems drained and has one purpose since Christmas. The components of a weakened squad are being pushed to their limits. Chelsea and Liverpool will certainly push exhausting for a top-four spot. Ought to Leicester miss out on the Champions League once more will probably be exhausting to keep away from the feeling a high quality feat of administration has been let down by an unwillingness to gamble on readymade reinforcements in the switch window. Leicester have signed three gamers for a mixed £50m in the final 18 months. There’s a hazard all the high quality outcomes and the high quality soccer might add as much as little quite a lot of good recollections. Barney Ronay

• Match report: Leicester 1-3 Arsenal

6) Agüero and Metropolis drifting aside in remaining days

As Sergio Agüero enters the remaining months of his Manchester Metropolis contract the query is whether or not he shall be supplied a brand new one. The membership’s file goalscorer performed 61 minutes of this hard-fought win and regarded understandably off the tempo given his injury-blighted 12 months. In providing no ensures of future enjoying time, Pep Guardiola added to a way of drift concerning the place Agüero and Metropolis could also be heading. “He has to proceed to coach good and be constructive. It’s tough,” stated the supervisor. “I used to be injured for a 12 months and I struggled so much to come back again. We wish to assist him however at the identical time, Raheem [Sterling] and Phil [Foden] and Bernardo [Silva] didn’t [start]. I at all times choose the efficiency. Gamers performing nicely have extra probabilities to play than the different ones. That isn’t [only] for Sergio, it’s for everybody. At the finish, there shall be video games that shall be tight and tough and we are going to want Kun [Agüero].” Jamie Jackson

• Match report: Manchester Metropolis 2-1 West Ham

7) Bruce left brief in assault following accidents

Newcastle performed nicely and doubtless ought to have gained however they ended up probably dropping way over simply two points. If, as Steve Bruce fears, Miguel Almirón collected a severe, season-ending, knee damage and Allan Saint-Maximin’s hamstring drawback sidelines him for a number of weeks they may battle to flee relegation. Contemplating that the hamstrung main scorer Callum Wilson is already out for at the very least the subsequent six weeks, a crew that struggles to transform probabilities shall be left overly reliant on Joelinton and Andy Carroll in the attacking division. Bruce is aware of his job is already in jeopardy and should now someway devise game-plans able to undoing Newcastle’s subsequent three opponents – West Brom, Aston Villa and Brighton – with out his three foremost inventive abilities. On condition that outwitting West Brom’s Sam Allardyce isn’t straightforward at the better of occasions Newcastle’s supervisor desperately must find his typically elusive tactical hat. Louise Taylor

• Match report: Newcastle 1-1 Wolves

(*10*)Miguel Almirón could be out for a sustained period.
Miguel Almirón may very well be out for a sustained interval. {Photograph}: Owen Humphreys/AFP/Getty Photos

8) Blunt Blades should sharpen up for Cup

With affirmation of relegation solely a matter of time, Sheffield United don’t, realistically, have something to play for this season besides subsequent month’s FA Cup quarter-final at Chelsea, and this recreation – one other during which they had been clearly outgunned by a much bigger membership – may have supplied some observe for that. A lot of it had the air of a cup tie between a number one facet and recreation lower-league opponents. It wasn’t a rout – there’s a cause 14 of United’s 21 league defeats have been by just one purpose – and Chris Wilder’s facet gave Liverpool a recreation however they merely have to be a lot sharper up entrance to trigger an upset. As soon as once more, David McGoldrick and Oli McBurnie confirmed loads of muscular presence on the ball however lacked mobility off it and ruthlessness in entrance of purpose, the latter specifically squandering two presentable probabilities. The Blades can take coronary heart from the efficiency of their goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who saved his facet in the recreation earlier than half-time with a string of fantastic saves, however there was solely a lot he might do when confronted with opponents of a lot higher expertise and verve, and with a misfiring assault that’s unable to alleviate the stress. Tom Davies

• Match report: Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool

9) Flat Clarets threat relegation battle

Given Burnley had not gained at Spurs in the league since 1974 it was at all times a protracted shot to count on an excessive amount of from Sunday’s journey to north London. However Sean Dyche made it clear that he had hoped to take advantage of any neuroses Tottenham had been experiencing after a chastening run of type and was dissatisfied his plans went up in smoke inside two minutes. On these events when Burnley are a yard brief they’ll look very peculiar and it’s arguably Dyche’s best feat that, when that does occur, he invariably drags them again as much as the required degree. Given residence video games in opposition to Leicester and Arsenal await, an identical trick shall be required. Fulham’s uptick means the relegation battle holds far fewer certainties than appeared the case a number of weeks again; Burnley can enhance their five-point buffer over the coming days in the event that they clear their heads however they run a threat of being sucked proper again in, too. Nick Ames

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• Match report: Tottenham 4-0 Burnley

10) Guidelines and referee at fault to assist Baggies

There isn’t a good cause why a wronged crew ought to have to attend to take a free-kick. As quickly as the referee has blown for a foul, the victims ought to have the proper to restart play as shortly as they wish to, with out having to ask for permission. Too dangerous for the offending crew if they aren’t prepared. That may: (a) be extra simply (b) waste much less time, which might be a great factor taking into consideration that in final season’s Premier League, the place soccer is supposedly a recreation of 90 minutes, the ball was in play for a median of 55 minutes and 49 seconds a match and (c) referee Lee Mason may not have gotten himself into the laughable muddle that induced such confusion in Saturday’s recreation between West Brom and Brighton. Thoughts you, Brighton couldn’t complain too exhausting about the ineptitude of others after a match during which their diabolical ending reached new lows, with two missed penalties. Paul Doyle

• Match report: West Brom 1-0 Brighton

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