Liverpool continued their march towards the Premier League title this weekend by beating Southampton 4-0.
The chasing pack dropped points as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 while Leicester drew 2-2 with Chelsea.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth claimed a narrow 2-1 win against Aston Villa, Everton fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Watford and West Ham and Brighton played out a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Sheffield United won 1-0 at Crystal Palace, while there were goalless draws between Newcastle and Norwich and Manchester United and Wolves.
Here’s my team of the week – have a read and then select your own below.
Goalkeeper – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Hugo Lloris: Regular readers will know that I am not a huge fan of Spurs’ Hugo Lloris but credit where credit is due.
The France World Cup winner was the difference between the two teams on the day. The penalty save by Lloris was one of the many turning points in this game against a Manchester City side that seemed to be in control from start to finish. However, from the moment Lloris saved the penalty and speedily recovered to stop Raheem Sterling from getting the rebound, his performance got better and better.
His overall handling was clean and decisive while his decision-making was excellent. I’ll be very interested to see if he can retain this form and for how long.
Did you know? Lloris has saved three of the last four penalties he has faced in the Premier League.
Defenders – Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Yerry Mina (Everton), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Antonio Rudiger: Chelsea got away with this result having been let down, not on one occasion but two by Willy Caballero in the Chelsea goal. The Blues have a keeper problem having already dropped Kepa Arrizabalaga. Fortunately Antonio Rudiger was on hand to rescue Chelsea and Caballero from defeat.
Rudiger’s second goal was one of the best headed goals I’ve seen this season. Meanwhile the London club have gone from having Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois – two world-class goalkeepers – to Kepa and Caballero, who both look like they’ve only recently been introduced to the game. If Chelsea are serious about a top-four place they need to get a top-class goalkeeper. They should take a serious look at Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka.
Did you know? Rudiger became the first Chelsea centre-back to score twice in a Premier League match since John Terry against Fulham in April 2013.
Yerry Mina: It’s rather unusual to pick a defender for scoring goals rather than his team coming away with a clean sheet. Nevertheless I have decided to go with Yerry Mina simply due to his persistence. Every time the ball went into the Watford penalty area at set plays their defence fell to pieces. The sheer presence of Mina (who is a lump by the way) sent Watford into meltdown.
What a result this was. Everton scoring three goals away from home is about as crazy as Barcelona wanting to buy Richarlison for £75m! To think both happened in the space of a week suggests the Carlo Ancelotti effect is starting to work.
Did you know? Mina had taken 24 shots without scoring in the Premier League this season before putting away consecutive chances against Watford.
Nathan Ake: When Nathan Ake plays for Bournemouth things usually happen. The Dutch defender has been an excellent purchase for Bournemouth and they need him now more than ever. Ake is a defender who is not afraid to put his body on the line for his team, or afraid to get among the goals if he has to, which is just as well because Bournemouth needed this result.
Aston Villa on the other hand seem to be suffering from a Carabao Cup semi-final victory hangover. It took them far too long to get going. The Villans had better understand quickly that EFL Cup success is not a solution to Premier League survival.
Did you know? Since Ake joined Bournemouth for his first spell there in the summer of 2016, he has scored 11 Premier League goals – the most of any centre-back.
Midfielders – Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham)
Steven Bergwijn: What a start for the lad. To make your Premier League debut against the ‘outgoing’ champions and to score the goal that changes the game is one thing. To do it with such a wonderful piece of skill is something else entirely. The chest control by Steven Bergwijn and the volley that followed was the stuff of boyhood dreams.
How Manchester City didn’t put this game to bed in the first half is a complete mystery to me. However, once City went down to 10 men there was only one team that was going to win this match.
Did you know? Bergwijn became the 250th player to score on his Premier League debut, and the first Dutchman to do so.
Jordan Henderson: You can’t beat the first-time ball. Certainly not the way Jordan Henderson provided the pass for Mohamed Salah to score his second goal. In fact there aren’t many players who are prepared to deliver a pass on the run without taking a touch first.
However, Henderson is in such blistering form I think he’s capable of anything at the moment. I’ve said repeatedly in this column that the Liverpool captain is playing the football of his life and a shoo-in for Footballer of the Year.
Did you know? Henderson has both scored and assisted twice in his last three Premier League matches, as many times as he had done so in 131 games prior to this run.
Bruno Fernandes: This was a game Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want to forget in a hurry. The only glimmer of light for the beleaguered United boss was the performance of his new Portuguese signing Bruno Fernandes. The midfielder only arrived two days before they played Wolverhampton Wanderers and if this performance is a taste of what is to come from him, then things might be looking up for United.
What a pity executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward wasn’t there to see his new signing make his league debut. I can’t see what can be possibly more important than seeing your £47m purchase come through his first major test for his new club – can you? Read what I have to say about Manchester United in The Crooks of the Matter below.
Did you know? Fernandes had 110 touches of the ball against Wolves – only two players had more touches this weekend in the Premier League (Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 119 and Fernandinho, 113).
Robert Snodgrass: The Scottish international is probably playing the best football of his career at the moment. He’s certainly scoring more goals than I can remember. What a pity his team is struggling. West Ham cannot afford to let two-goal leads slip from their grasp. Such carelessness at this stage of the season could be catastrophic.
In the meantime the Hammers have to make sure Snodgrass remains fit. They have enough quality in the team not to get relegated but where have we heard that before?
Did you know? Snodgrass scored twice and provided one assist against Brighton – the last West Ham player to score at least twice while providing at least one assist in the same Premier League game was Andy Carroll against Swansea over six years ago.
Forwards – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Mohamed Salah: It looks like Mohamed Salah has got that golden scoring touch back. All those little dinks and chips over the advancing goalkeeper seem to be coming off again.
Earlier in the season he appeared to be trying too hard to score and not allowing chances to come naturally. This was the cause of a little tension between Salah and Sadio Mane in one game in particular but not anymore.
Liverpool’s second-half performance was as good as I’ve seen for some time. Much more relaxed and no longer battling the spectre of winning the Premier League title. At one stage Liverpool were just getting the job done, now it looks like they are having a party.
Did you know? Salah has scored more goals on home soil than any other player in the Premier League this season (12 goals in 12 matches at Anfield).
Roberto Firmino: The Brazilian played half this game as though the ball was stuck to his feet. The touch he displayed when he took the ball out of the sky and placed it perfectly in his path, prior to playing an inch-perfect pass for Henderson to score was pure genius.
He had just done something similar when he set up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to score moments earlier with the most gorgeous backheeled flick. Yes, Southampton should have had a penalty when Fabinho brought down Danny Ings, but Liverpool also had a claim turned down when Firmino was ‘hauled down’ by Shane Long in the box.
This was a game full of errors by referee Kevin Friend but at least he made the errors and not a sophisticated toy.
Did you know? Firmino became the fifth Liverpool player to record three assists in a single Premier League match, after (most recent first) Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alberto Aquilani, Vladimir Smicer and Stan Collymore.
Son Heung-min: If ever Tottenham needed a performance out of Son Heung-min, then this was it. In the absence of Harry Kane, Spurs are struggling up front. Son is a runner and not a natural striker with his back to goal, which leaves Spurs lacking someone who can hold and retain the ball.
Nevertheless Son ran himself into the ground against Manchester City and was rewarded with a well-deserved goal for his efforts.
Did you know? Son has scored five goals against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in all competitions – only Jamie Vardy (six) has scored more goals against them since the Spaniard took over in 2016.
Now it’s your turn
You’ve seen my selections this week. But who would you go for?
Pick your Team of the Week
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The Crooks of the Matter
Who sells Romelu Lukaku and replaces him (if only in the short term) with Odion Ighalo? Manchester United it would appear. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sold the Belgium international to Inter Milan and now finds himself in the middle of a striker crisis having lost Marcus Rashford, his most valued goalscorer, to a rather unfortunate but avoidable back injury.
Ighalo is a proven striker made very much in Solskjaer’s image. Professional, a team player and most importantly just happy to be at the club of his dreams. But the Nigerian is not in Lukaku’s class, even if he is only on loan.
This latest signing comes at a time when United fans have become increasingly frustrated by their team’s lack of impact on the Premier League title race. They are playing second fiddle to their noisy but very successful neighbours City and having their noses rubbed in it by arch enemy Liverpool, who are running away with the title. It just doesn’t get any worse than that.
Such extraordinary indifference by those who own the club to what is clearly a crisis as far as United fans are concerned is starting to grate. This perceived contempt by the owners to the concerns of fans has erupted into threatening behaviour towards executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, when in fact the Glazer family are to blame – and guess what? Solskjaer and Woodward have been left holding the baby.