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5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
Life’s gr-eight for Reds as they extend their lead – but struggles continue for Manchester United and Tottenham.
Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to late drama at Anfield and an unexpected favour from Wolves.
The pressure continues to mount on Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino while Norwich have been given a harsh reality check since their victory over Manchester City.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend.
Luck is on Liverpool’s side
Nine wins in their last 10 matches clearly cannot be solely down to good fortune but there is no denying that things are going Liverpool’s way at the moment. The Reds needed a goalkeeping howler to beat Sheffield United, almost squandered a 3-0 lead against Salzburg in the Champions League and beat Leicester on Saturday with a last-minute penalty at Anfield. Manchester City’s defeat at home to Wolves leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side with an eight-point lead in the Premier League and the international break will allow Mo Salah to recover from the ankle injury suffered against Leicester.
City feeling the pinch?
Jose Mourinho joked earlier this season that there were four teams that could win the Premier League, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and City’s B team. However, the injury absence of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in particular is no laughing matter for City boss Pep Guardiola, who again fielded Fernandinho as a makeshift centre-half against Wolves and was also without the services of influential midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Laporte is a long-term casualty but Guardiola will hope De Bruyne and Stones can return after the international break.
Is time running out for Pochettino?
Four months after his side contested the Champions League final, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino finds himself one of the favourites to be the next Premier League manager to be given the sack. Spurs have won just one of their last seven games and followed up their Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich with an equally desperate 3-0 defeat to Brighton on Saturday. With no away wins since January and 11 Premier League defeats this calendar year, another loss in their next game against bottom side Watford could spell the end for Pochettino.
Canaries brought down to earth
It was only last month, but Norwich’s win over champions Manchester City feels like a long time ago after the Canaries suffered a third successive defeat with Saturday’s 5-1 thumping at the hands of Aston Villa at Carrow Road. Daniel Farke’s players have undoubtedly been hit by injuries but they are leaking goals at an alarming rate – only Watford have a worse goal difference after their 8-0 thrashing at the Etihad – and need to shore up their defence quickly to have any chance of survival.
United’s woes continue
Tottenham and Manchester City may have had bad weekends – but they’re not in the bottom half. Manchester United are – 12th, just two points above the bottom three. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men failed to impress in a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, with Matty Longstaff’s goal lifting the Magpies out of the drop zone and ending Steve Bruce’s miserable run as a manager at the hands of the Red Devils. When the action resumes after the international break, Liverpool are United’s next opponents.