Premier League table | Fixtures | Analysis: Jurgen Klopp’s gamble pays off
Shaqiri had only recently returned from injury but there was no evidence of rustiness in the way he tore into Everton at one end and worked tirelessly to help his side defensively at the other.
The hope now is that his return to fitness and form will help ease the burden on Liverpool’s front three in the weeks ahead. And given the jam-packed schedule, it comes at a timely moment for Jurgen Klopp.Nick Wright
Liverpool happily exploited them. When Silva switched to a back four after half an hour, with Bernard replacing Djibril Sidibe and Mason Holgate switching to right-back, it appeared that even the Everton manager was acknowledging he had made a mistake starting with a back five.
Everton showed some fight, but, despite their two goals, they never gave the impression they felt they could really go on and get back into the game. Silva has been unlucky with injuries in midfield, but tonight raised further questions, if not action, over his future.Vinny O’Connor
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester Utd’s victory over Tottenham in the Premier League.
The headlines were already written. Jose Mourinho’s revamped Spurs were going to pile more pressure on an increasingly-beleaguered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to leave the Norwegian with one match – against champions Manchester City – to save his job. But United flat out refused to stick to that script.
From the first whistle they fought for the shirt, they fought for themselves and, most importantly, their manager. They had the bit between their teeth, Marcus Rashford produced another imperious attacking performance while the returning Scott McTominay brought a much-needed physical presence back into midfield.
There are few traits that you would associate with this Manchester United team and the era of dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson, but there is one that still rings true, and that’s write them off at your peril. Spurs were favourites on arrival at Old Trafford, but United came out fighting when their manager needed it most.Jack Wilkinson
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.
It was a cold Wednesday night 21 years ago when a young John Terry made his Chelsea debut against of all clubs Aston Villa, but on the Stamford Bridge stalwart’s return to his spiritual home, it was another fresh-faced youngster who grabbed the headlines.
Mason Mount has been one of the breakthrough stories of the 2019/20 Premier League season, and is a player who embodies the breath of fresh air sweeping through Frank Lampard’s youthful side.
There have been moments this term, as on Wednesday night, where Chelsea’s inexperience has been checked by a harsh lesson – as it was unexpectedly by West Ham in their previous home Premier League game.
But despite the slender margin of victory, Chelsea were back to their free-flowing best against Aston Villa with Mount delivering the knockout blow three minutes after the interval.
It was a tremendous strike that had shades of Lampard during his pomp about it, arriving late in the box to blast beyond Tom Heaton, and with it any lingering doubts that his early-season form had been a flash in the pan.Ben Grounds
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Burnley in the Premier League.
It has been a difficult season for Gabriel Jesus, playing second fiddle to Sergio Aguero for the most part and failing to score in his previous eight games for Manchester City before the visit to Turf Moor on Tuesday night.
At Burnley he came alive again. He showed his sharpness early in with a smart backheel flick to beat Nick Pope – which was rightly ruled out for offside – before netting two absolute, and very different, beauties either side of half-time.
Aguero is likely to remain absent for the Manchester derby on Saturday – which is live on Sky Sports Premier League – so Pep Guardiola will need Jesus at full pelt again at the Etihad.
The Brazilian is yet to score against Manchester United and has also failed to score at home since March 12, and hasn’t scored at the Etihad in the Premier League since mid-January. It would be a great time for him to end that run.Simeon Gholam
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s victory over Watford in the Premier League.
Seven wins on the spin for Leicester. Their longest winning run in the Premier League, and their joint-longest in top-flight history. Brendan Rodgers is doing a fantastic job at the King Power, and showed his side aren’t all about fancy football as they ground out a result against a Watford side who had clearly come for a point.
They owed some luck to their opener, a soft penalty awarded by Craig Pawson, but that itself may have been cancelling out his own decision to turn down what looked a very strong shout for a spot kick earlier in the game, and never stopped looking for a way through the visiting backline.
In the opposite dugout was his former team-mate and long-time pal Frank Lampard. It is tempting to wonder if, despite his warm welcome, Terry glanced over mid-match and, seeing Lampard – inexperienced but revelling in his managerial role and getting so much out of his young Chelsea players – was a little envious.
Terry wisely avoided rushing into management when he hung up his boots and has learnt valuable lessons alongside Villa boss Dean Smith. But it feels the time will soon come for Terry to spread his wings and manage a team of his own.
It will be intriguing to find out how the ultimate leader as a player fares in the unpredictable world of football management…Peter Smith
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace’s win against Bournemouth in the Premier League.
There is a lot to be said for the character of a team in football, and Crystal Palace had that in buckets on Tuesday night. They lost Mamadou Sakho and Patrick van Aanholt inside half an hour to a red card and injury respectively, but they never looked like having a hastily re-arranged defence. This may have been linked to a vastly below-par Bournemouth attack, but Crystal Palace were much the better side all over the pitch – especially in the second half – and deserved to take three points from the game.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s win over Norwich in the Premier League.
It was another vital Premier League win for Southampton, who are coming up with the big results when it matters. Admittedly, they got themselves into a relegation battle but against the teams around them, they are picking up points and that is exactly what they need to be doing.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ victory over West Ham in the Premier League.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo had plenty to be pleased about as his team saw off West Ham 2-0 at Molineux. This was Wolves’ 28th game of the season and having had to play Sheffield United on Sunday, they were going into this one with less time to prepare than the visitors. And yet, his small group of players continue to impress.
Joao Moutinho shows no signs of fatigue and once again provided the assist for the opening goal – turned home by Leander Dendoncker – but it was the second that will provide most comfort for Nuno. His substitutes combined for it with Pedro Neto’s neat lay-off expertly converted by Italy international striker Patrick Cutrone.
“I am happy for Patrick,” he said afterwards. “We need all the help we can get. This is what we want, players who come from the bench and give us solutions. We are a small squad so we need everyone.”
With Max Kilman also looking assured at the back when stepping in for his full Premier League debut at the weekend, these are encouraging signs. Nuno did not make a single substitution in that game against the Blades. The recent contributions of these fringe players should encourage him that he can now do so with confidence.
Before that though, Thursday marks a special occasion for the players. After 21 days without a break, the manager has granted his players a rest. “They deserve it,” said Nuno. With Wolves having now gone ten matches without defeat in the Premier League for the first time in almost 50 years, there’s no doubt about that one.Adam Bate
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