Harry Kanes snatches point for Tottenham in thriller vs Liverpool in pivotal Premier League weekend – 10 talking points

Written by admin

A thrilling weekend of Premier League action saw Tottenham grab a point at Anfield after being awarded two controversial penalties vs Liverpool.

While Manchester United narrowed the gap at the top by beating Huddersfield after Manchester City drew with Burnley at Turf Moor.

It is the third time in six games that Pep Guardiola’s side have dropped points, could the title race be back on?

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal thrashed Everton and are back in the hunt for a top four finish.

Chelsea will have the chance to gain some breathing room inside that top four on Monday night vs Watford. But first, here are 10 talking points from this weekend’s Premier League action:

Liverpool 2-2 Spurs

1. Salah reaches a landmark

The focus has been so about Mo Salah this season, it seems difficult to find anything new to say about him. Yet the landmark of 20 league goals deserves special mention.

Here’s a statistic for you: in all the time Michael Owen was regarded as an Anfield genius and the best striker in England he never scored 20 league goals here.

It is a remarkable, quite impossible feat for a wide(ish) player, and the first goal showed why he’s achieved it.

It was a centre-forward’s finish. To have that in a wide player is so rare.

2. The game was played at 100mph

The pace of the game was incredible, and for that we had to offer thanks to Mauricio Pochettino, who refuses to take a step back in the fearsome blinking contest with Jurgen Klopp.

Virtually every opponent – including the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United – are no negative and containing when they get to Anfield, but the Spurs boss refuses to blink in the fearsome staring contest with Klopp.

He believes his side is good enough to take anyone on, even on their own patch, and it makes for such exciting football.

3. Spurs midfielders compliment each other

It helps when you have the talent of Mousa Dembele and Christian Eriksen though, because the pair can play through any midfield, no matter how congested or fierce the press is.

Dembele has emerged this season as one of the Premier League’s most commanding midfielders, and combines so well with Eriksen to give Tottenham an extra dimension.

While – worryingly for England – Eric Dier struggled with the pace of this contest, the pair subdued Liverpool’s renowned press.

Burnley 1-1 Man City

4. Six of the best

Pep Guardiola used his subs bench to continue his protest against the tackles being dished out to his players. Guardiola named just six substitutes at Turf Moor, despite having one of the biggest and costliest squads in the Premier League. City currently have seven players injured and it was Guardiola’s way of highlighting again the toll opponents’ nasty tackles are taking on his squad.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville’s was unimpressed by Guardiola’s stunt and felt he was belittling his coaching staff. Neville said: “If you’re the Academy or reserve team manager at Manchester City, you must think ‘I’m wasting my time’.

5. Sterling made to pay

Raheem Sterling had another day to forget on his boos cruise to Burnley. Sterling was targeted again by the Burnley fans at Turf Moor on his return to East Lancashire after they got to him on his last appearance here in November 2016. Although, the England winger appeared to shrug off the boos, he was guilty of a miss of the season contender in the second half.

Kyle Walker played the ball across goal from the right, yet Sterling somehow managed to direct his effort wide of the post from just a couple of yards out. Guardiola hugged and kissed him when he missed a sitter on Wednesday, but hauled him off this time.

Man United 2-0 Huddersfield

6. Sanchez shines for United

It took him a while to get going, but once he did, Alexis Sanchez showed just why United were willing to pay him such an astronomical wage to steal him from under the noses of Manchester City.

A goalbound shot after cutting inside was palmed away by Jonas Lossl, while Sanchez turned provider moments later, threading a sublime ball in behind the Huddersfield defence to Juan Mata, only for the opening to ultimately come to nothing. In a game when most of United’s creative players were found wanting, Sanchez tried to make things happen, and had the courage to get up and on the ball time and again, despite some brutal treatment from the visitors.

7. Pogba dropped after no-show against Spurs

He may be United’s club record signing at £89million, but that does not make Paul Pogba immune from being dropped, the midfielder being relegated to the bench following his hopeless performance in the midweek loss away to Spurs. It was a reminder to Pogba that he has to earn his place on merit, rather than reputation, status or price tag, and an assertion of his authority from Mourinho.

Pogba did eventually come on, in the 65 minute for Jesse Lingard, and looked far more comfortable in a more advanced role, not having any defensive duties as part of a deeper-lying midfield duo, as he did at Wembley, with Nemanja Matic and McTominay taking care of those responsibilities here.

Arsenal 5-1 Everton

8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks fantastic – and that’s bad news for Alexandre Lacazette

One record signing in, another record signing out, Arsene Wenger started with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and that will be a worrying sign for Alexandre Lacazette who was on the bench and will know the writing is on the wall.

Aubameyang showed the sort of pace and brilliant finishing – a lovely dink of a chip over Jordan Pickford – that Lacazette has been missing.

Former Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang showed pace, energy and movement which gave Everton all sorts of problems.

Make no mistake – he is the new No1. Lacazette, meanwhile, will now be the Europa League striker who will be the new Olivier Giroud and come on from the bench.

Maybe it’s the kick up the backside that Lacazette needed to get him going but Aubameyang’s arrival means there’s a new sheriff in town.

9. Big Sam’s team looks a long way short

Everton were an absolute mess, defensive shambles, they could have been five or six down by half time and were lucky it was only four.

Sam Allardyce hooked Michael Keane at half time as his season is going from bad o worse, hopelessly exposed again.

Everton’s unbalanced squad has not been improved enough during the January transfer window and Allardyce faces a difficult second half of the season in which he must improve results or face doubts as to whether he really is the right man for the job.

10. Arsenal’s transfer window was good – they bought a player with much to prove

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was fantastic in the first half, comfortably Arsenal’s best player and the new No7 is very different to Alexis Sanchez but immediately looked very comfortable in the shirt.

Mkhitaryan was derided by Jose Mourinho, dropped and treated badly because, apparently, he does not track back. Well, good luck with Alexis Sanchez on that one.

But what Arsenal have got is a player who is clearly determined to prove a point – and he did exactly that. Mkhitaryan glided across the pitch, picked passes and provided three assists. He looks a lovely player. A Wenger sort of player, definitely not Mourinho’s cup of tea.


About the author


Leave a Comment