The dust has – almost – settled on another riveting bout of Premier League football.
The big players all won (bar Tottenham Hotspur) while plenty of sides struggling to form continued to lose their way.
North London is Red
The action began with the first North London derby of the season, and it proved to be an excellent day for the red half of it.
Arsenal fully deserved their 2-0 victory, and though Mauricio Pochettino could claim neither Harry Kane or Dele Alli were fully fight, Spurs’ away record in the big games is dire.
It was a classic Arsenal performance in that every player turned up for the occasion. But will that be the case next weekend when they head to high-flying Burnley?
Man United are Pog-back
When Paul Pogba’s name appeared in Manchester United’s starting line-up to face Newcastle United on Saturday night, Rafa Benitez’s heart must have sunk.
The Red Devils are simply a different team when they boast the French midfielder.
A 4-1 win saw Jose Mourinho’s men return to form and maintain their slim hopes of catching Manchester City.
In Pogba’s absence United averaged 1.57 goals per Premier League game this season. But with the 24-year-old in the team that ratio more than doubles to 3.2. ‘Nuff said.
Who next for WBA?
That was the question following West Bromwich Albion’s dismal 4-0 drubbing at home to Chelsea.
And the answer came on Monday morning with the news that Tony Pulis has been sacked by the Baggies.
The decision won’t surprise anyone, although a run of two wins from 21 league games suggests the Hawthorns chiefs could have moved sooner.
The next question then, is who do WBA turn to?
Is Kevin king of the Prem?
There’s a growing argument that Kevin de Bruyne is the best player in the Premier League right now.
He brings so much attacking power and drive to Manchester City, and those attributes were again on show in their 2-0 win at Leicester City.
The Belgian had the key role in the Citizen’s crucial second, playing the through ball out wide before receiving it again on the edge of the box.
Leicester should have known better than to allow De Bruyne space in that area of the pitch. What followed was the most rocketing, rasping finish you’ll see all season.
Watford give Moyes reality check
David Moyes showed plenty of optimism before his first game as boss of West Ham United.
But in their 2-0 loss away at Watford, the Scot will have had a grim realisation of the task ahead.
The players and the quality is there. The Irons’ side is too good to go down. But it is disjointed, lacking in spirit and is now owner of the league’s worst defence.
Moyes has plenty of work to do if he is to avoid guiding a team to relegation for the second year in a row.
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