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10 THINGS WE LEARNED from the Premier League

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The demise of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane has been exaggerated and Ross Barkley looks like a title-winning midfielder – 10 THINGS WE LEARNED from the Premier League

  • Chris Smalling made 300th appearance for United, but mistakes are still there
  • Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are still firing despite supposed decline
  • Ross Barkley scored for the third Premier League game in a row for Chelsea  

Amitai Winehouse For Mailonline

The Premier League threw up plenty of the usual talking points and drama over the weekend.

Liverpool kept their place at the top of the tree, while both Newcastle and Huddersfield are still waiting for that elusive first victory at the foot of the table. 

Here, AMITAI WINEHOUSE assesses 10 things we learned from the 10th weekend of the Premier League season…

1. It must now be time to end the Chris Smalling experiment. This was his 300th competitive appearance for Manchester United but his foul for Everton’s penalty could have come from his first. 

There are good elements to his game but as is regularly flagged up by pundits and the like, he simply makes too many errors in crucial moments. You could see the gears turning on the foul for about a century before. 

The only saving grace for him is that he is probably the best of United’s current crop of defenders.

Chris Smalling made his 300th appearance for Manchester United against Everton on Sunday

Chris Smalling made his 300th appearance for Manchester United against Everton on Sunday

2. If Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are out of form, it’ll be great to see them play when they recover.

Their struggles always felt greatly exaggerated, especially when the Egyptian had scored three in his last two prior to the meeting with Cardiff on Saturday.

But after Mane scored two and Salah bagged his 33rd in 35 games at Anfield, it’s clear that questioning form is temporary — acknowledging class is permanent.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both got on the scoresheet against Cardiff on Saturday

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both got on the scoresheet against Cardiff on Saturday

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both got on the scoresheet against Cardiff on Saturday

3. They may not have won the game, but Arsenal are becoming kings of the second-half.

Unai Emery’s side looked limp and unimpressive before the break. That has happened often this campaign. Whatever the Spaniard said at half-time clearly worked, as they came out to score twice only to draw through a contentious penalty.

The Gunners have now hit 75 per cent of their goals after half-time. At the least under Emery, they’re halfway there.

4. Ross Barkley said Chelsea were in a title race after their win against Burnley and he would know — he’s increasingly looking like a title-winning midfielder.

This was the third game in a row that he scored, a which makes him the first Englishman to do so for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in 2013.

He was also involved in three of their four goals, providing two assists. It has to be said again — Maurizio Sarri is doing wonders with Barkley.

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley scored in his third game in a row for the Blues

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley scored in his third game in a row for the Blues

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley scored in his third game in a row for the Blues

5. If Old Trafford is a fortress then it is not strong enough to withstand Gylfi Sigurdsson’s particular brand of invasion. 

The Iceland midfielder has now scored more goals as a visiting player at United’s ground than anyone, barring Steven Gerrard. 

It is a shame the rest of his side were misfiring, because Sigurdsson is not the only Everton player who should have come away from the ground with a goal to his name.

Only Steven Gerrard has scored more away goals at Old Trafford than Gylfi Sigurdsson

Only Steven Gerrard has scored more away goals at Old Trafford than Gylfi Sigurdsson

Only Steven Gerrard has scored more away goals at Old Trafford than Gylfi Sigurdsson

6. Few would have expected Bournemouth’s recent run of form, not least their adjustment into a team that rarely concedes — they have only allowed one goal in in their last four games.

Part of that has come from the stability provided through the middle of the park by duo Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma, who have been excellent in that spell.

Throw in the dynamism of David Brooks, who has three goals in four, and Bournemouth are looking like a genuinely impressive side.

David Brooks is just one of the shining lights that are making Bournemouth an impressive side

David Brooks is just one of the shining lights that are making Bournemouth an impressive side

David Brooks is just one of the shining lights that are making Bournemouth an impressive side

7. David Wagner spent a lot of time after the Liverpool defeat discussing his side’s luck this season. And, to be fair to the Huddersfield manager, they have now hit the woodwork more times – six – than they have scored – four.

But that just speaks for the lack of both quality in attack and focus on that from the coaching staff.

They had 13 shots against Watford but an xG stat of just 0.49, which shows they are not creating quality chances. Ultimately, David, you make your own luck.

8. When you’re a team in Brighton’s position, nothing is more valuable than a clinical striker. Chris Hughton has the organisational nous, he just needs someone to pop up when opportunities arise.

Step forward Glenn Murray, who is like a 1990s football top — he just gets better with age. He converted their only shot on target of the game and now has six in his last eight starts.

It’s quite a return for a player who dropped down a division just two seasons ago because the top flight seemed to have passed him by. He’s now proven he belongs.

Glenn Murray has six goals in his last eight starts for Brighton in the Premier League

Glenn Murray has six goals in his last eight starts for Brighton in the Premier League

Glenn Murray has six goals in his last eight starts for Brighton in the Premier League

9. Mark Noble does a lot of good in the West Ham midfield, but he let his team down on Saturday evening. They were a goal up and in a position to build before he was sent off.

A two-footed lunge later and they were on the back foot for the rest of the game. In the process of picking up his fifth red card in the Premier League, he became West Ham’s biggest collector of sendings off.

There was a clear correlation between the Hammers eventually collapsing and them having to play over 50 minutes with just 10 men.

Mark Noble received his fifth red card in the Premier League against Leicester on Saturday

Mark Noble received his fifth red card in the Premier League against Leicester on Saturday

Mark Noble received his fifth red card in the Premier League against Leicester on Saturday

10. Newcastle’s players are now the history boys, but not in a way they’d like to be remembered. They have become the first Toon side in 120 years to not win in their opening 10 league games.

That’s also a bad omen for their likelihood of survival this campaign. Each of the last six sides who did not pick up a win in that 10-game block have gone down.

The only positive is that Rafa Benitez might see some money in January. Without it, there’s only one way they’re going.

Newcastle, along with Huddersfield, have failed to win any of their first 10 matches 

Newcastle, along with Huddersfield, have failed to win any of their first 10 matches 

Newcastle, along with Huddersfield, have failed to win any of their first 10 matches 

 



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