Xenia Sports – London
There were big wins for Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea while VAR took centre stage again in the Premier League this weekend.
Meanwhile, it seems tactically fouling Fulham players in the penalty area will not prove costly.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the top-flight action this weekend.
Reds shrug off injury blues
Crisis? What crisis? Liverpool may have been without key men Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah, but they still swatted aside a Leicester outfit who previously boasted a 100 per cent record on the road this season, and who were looking to go top. Instead it is the Reds who joined Tottenham at the summit. And what a gem they have signed in Diogo Jota, who became the first player in Liverpool’s history to score in his first four home top-flight appearances.
Nice little Werner
Frank Lampard’s decision to move Timo Werner out wide in a front three is starting to pay dividends, and could play a major part in keeping Chelsea among the title challengers. Werner missed a couple of chances but still had a big hand in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle, setting up Tammy Abraham to score the visitors’ crucial second goal of the evening.
No way, Jose’s back
It seems reports of Jose Mourinho’s demise may have been premature after the perfect counter-attacking display from Tottenham saw the Portuguese get one over on rival Pep Guardiola and move to the top of the table. Manchester City had 67 per cent of possession and 22 shots to Spurs’ four. But goals in each half from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso were the only stat that mattered. It was classic Mourinho – you keep the ball, I’ll take the points.
Fulham’s spot of bother
Fulham have now missed three penalties this season after Ivan Cavaleiro became the latest addition to the spot-kick hall of shame, slipping as he skied one in the 3-2 defeat by Everton. Add in Ademola Lookman’s calamitous Panenka at West Ham and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s miss against Sheffield United and that is potentially five points dropped by Scott Parker’s side, which would have left them in a far healthier position.
Referees do change their minds
When Michael Oliver and David Coote overturned their own penalty decisions after checking the pitchside monitors, it sort of felt like a step in the right direction for VAR. However, with both decisions – Solly March catching Trezeguet after the ball and Bruno Fernandes bumping shins with Conor Gallagher – firmly in the ‘seen them given’ category, it was hard to argue there was a clear and obvious error with either. So once again we are none the wiser.