Premier League highlights: 10 talking points including Liverpool and Werner struggles

Read more at www.mirror.co.uk

There’s still one Premier League match to go this weekend, as Arsenal will face Newcastle tonight and look to continue their good form.

The Gunners drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace last Thursday, and the Eagles’ weekend went from bad to worse as they were beaten 4-0 by Manchester City on Sunday.

With that win, Pep Guardiola’s side leapfrogged Liverpool in the table and are now in second spot with a game in hand over Manchester United.

Liverpool were disappointing at Anfield as they failed to break down the Red Devils, with United keeping their place at the summit.

Tottenham regained their form with a 3-1 win over Sheffield United, while Leeds’ poor start to the year took another turn for the worse as they lost 1-0 to Brighton at Elland Road.

Here are Mirror Football’s 10 talking points from the weekend.

Manchester City are closing in on Manchester United

1 – Werner continues to struggle

Chelsea forward Timo Werner continues to struggle after his £53million move from RB Leipzig.

The German ace has found the net just four times in the league since joining, and was dropped for Saturday’s trip to Fulham.

He came on as a substitute in the second half, but wasted a golden opportunity late in the game when he was set through one-on-one with Alphonse Areola.

Reports on Monday morning suggest Chelsea are looking at Erling Haaland as their top target for the summer, and it seems Werner has a long road back at Stamford Bridge.

Timo Werner wasted a golden chance to seal the game against Fulham
Timo Werner wasted a golden chance to seal the game against Fulham

2 – City hit top form

Manchester City looked back to their scintillating best as they thrashed Crystal Palace at the Etihad.

City are now just two points behind Premier League leaders United, and have a game in hand.

John Stones has cemented his place as one of City’s starting centre-backs, and scored twice in the win.

City are starting to look like title contenders again, and fans will be aware that they’re doing so without a world-class striker in their ranks.

John Stones scored twice against Crystal Palace
John Stones scored twice against Crystal Palace

3 – Liverpool exposed at the back

Liverpool were forced to play Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as their two centre-backs again on Sunday after Joel Matip failed a fitness test.

The two midfielders put in solid performances as Liverpool kept a clean sheet, but it was painfully obvious that they missed Henderson in midfield.

Liverpool failed to create enough chances for their front three, with Thiago Alcantara playing a deep role in the side and looking impressive.

And it was clear to see that they missed having Henderson in the middle of the park to create chances alongside Thiago, as their decision not to sign a new centre-back looks worse by the day.

Liverpool could have done with Jordan Henderson in the middle with Thiago
Liverpool could have done with Jordan Henderson in the middle with Thiago

4 – Fabinho proves his worth again

While Liverpool were poor going forward, they were sublime at the back.

Fabinho, playing out of position yet again as a right-sided centre-back, was their standout performer.

Alisson Becker had two world-class saves, but was also kept quiet by his fellow Brazilian’s work in defence ahead of him.

Fabinho cut out numerous United chances throughout the game and made some game-saving challenges in a superb display.

Fabinho was superb for Liverpool on Sunday
Fabinho was superb for Liverpool on Sunday

5 – Maupay haunts Leeds again

Brighton picked up a valuable three points against Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday as they continued their fight against relegation.

The Seagulls are now five points above the drop, though they’ve played two games more than Fulham.

Neal Maupay fired home a penalty in the first half of the game to put Brighton ahead, and they never looked back.

The Frenchman has been a thorn in Leeds’ side in recent years, and has now scored one each of his last three games against the Whites.

Neal Maupay scored against Leeds for the third time in three games
Neal Maupay scored against Leeds for the third time in three games

6 – Tottenham back in the mix

Tottenham bounced back from their recent slump to comfortably beat Sheffield United on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho’s side showed no mercy to the Premier League strugglers as they went ahead through Serge Aurier after just two minutes.

Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele scored either side of a David McGoldrick goal just before the hour mark.

Spurs’ title race was deemed over after a poor run of results, but now they are right back in the mix.

They are just four points behind the league leaders, and just a point behind Liverpool.

Tottenham are back in contention for the Premier League title
Tottenham are back in contention for the Premier League title

7 – Big Sam turning things around

Sam Allardyce picked up the most important win of his West Brom tenure so far as the Baggies beat Wolves on Saturday.

The first Black Country Derby since 2012 saw West Brom take the lead after eight minutes, before Wolves turned the game on its head before the interval.

But the newly-promoted side refused to give up and came back through Semi Ajayi and Matheus Pereira – who opened the scoring with a penalty.

West Brom are now sat just five points behind 17th-placed Burnley and have a real chance of beating the drop.

West Brom beat Wolves 3-2 on Saturday in the Black Country Derby
West Brom beat Wolves 3-2 on Saturday in the Black Country Derby

8 – Burnley slip closer to the drop

Burnley’s fortunes seem to be getting worse all the time, having lost three of their last four league games.

They were disappointing against West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday, and registered just two shots on target.

Michail Antonio’s goal within the first 10 minutes set the Hammers on their way to three points, and Burnley failed to offer any sort of fight.

Sean Dyche’s side will now be looking behind them as they slip closer towards the drop.

Michail Antonio's goal sealed the win against Burnley
Michail Antonio’s goal sealed the win against Burnley

9 – Leeds suffering burnout?

Leeds’ attractive style of football has earned them a huge number of plaudits, with some eye-catching victories against the likes of West Brom, Newcastle and Aston Villa.

But since the turn of the year, they’ve been disappointing and haven’t scored in three games across all competitions.

Marcelo Bielsa has often faced criticism for his sides suffering from burnout in recent years, notably when they missed out on promotion in the 2018/19 season.

And their defeat against Brighton on Saturday raises that question again, with Leeds now facing a tough ask with two away games this week – against Newcastle and Leicester City.

10 – Maddison’s social distancing celebration

Premier League players were warned ahead of the weekend’s games that they must not hug each other to celebrate goals.

Instead, they have been told to maintain social distancing and keep celebrations low-key.

Most players ignored those rules to celebrate with their team-mates when they scored over the weekend, but James Maddison decided to abide by the rules against Southampton.

The midfielder fired home just before the interval to give Leicester the lead, and kept well away from his team-mates when celebrating.

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