FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester Utd’s win against Norwich in the Premier League.
After three poor performances, Manchester United couldn’t have hoped for a better fixture than bottom side Norwich at home.
Despite being faced with a yellow wall, United moved the ball faster to stretch Norwich. They knew they’d have it in wide areas for the majority of the game, so Solskjaer’s decision to start Juan Mata was inspired; he produced two world-class deliveries for the first and third goals.
His team have been criticised for failing to break down low blocks, and relying solely on pace, particularly at Old Trafford.
But United proved on Saturday they can pull sides about and punish them centrally, without relying on the channels.
Now, United desperately need consistency. Next up? Liverpool away. So much for momentum…Gerard Brand
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Burnley in the Premier League.
On the day that Harry Kane assured the world his recent surgery was a success, Tammy Abraham was laying claim to his England starting spot with his 13th Premier League goal of the season.
Abraham has easily assuaged the pre-season fears that Chelsea, having lost three forwards over the summer and under a transfer embargo, would struggle for goals. He’s seamlessly made the transition into the first team after shining in the Championship at Bristol City and Aston Villa.
Against Burnley, he popped up in between the defenders to head home a pinpoint Reece James cross and as Frank Lampard assessed after the game, Abraham really should have nabbed his second Premier League hat-trick of the season. He missed three glorious chances in the middle of the second half – one of which was a carbon copy of his scored goal – but at 22 years old, he is from far the finished product.
His performance would surely have been noticed by England manager Gareth Southgate as he looks at his options for the March internationals and Euro 2020. Abraham is the most obvious choice to replace Kane – who is sidelined until April – and the upcoming games represent the perfect opportunity for the Chelsea striker to stake his claim to a starting spot, especially if he continues performing in the same vein.Charlotte Marsh
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Aston Villa in the Premier League.
If Liverpool are the best team in Europe, Manchester City must be second. They’ve won nine of their last 10, scoring 32 goals in the process.
It’s easy to forget this, given Liverpool’s dominance, but in most other seasons, City would be flying. Yes, their defence has looked leaky, and they may have work to do in the market at centre-back, but in nine out of the 11 positions, they are staggeringly impressive.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Crystal Palace and Arsenal in the Premier League.
Judging by Wilfried Zaha’s two performances against Arsenal this season, the Gunners were absolutely correct not to stump up £80m for his services in the summer.
They offered £40m for the winger, with Palace valuing their star player at something close to double that price.
In both fixtures this campaign against the side that wanted him, Zaha has been on the edge of the game, partly, it must be said, due to the service from his team-mates and his manager’s defensive focused game-plan.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s win over Bournemouth in the Premier League.
While the Hornets deserve immense credit for their blend of craft and power which helped them to this emphatic win, Bournemouth looked a side so badly devoid of confidence it was almost painful to watch.
Eddie Howe can be under no illusions after his side’s latest dire performance in a very long list – the Bournemouth boss faces a huge task to keep the Cherries up.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League.
Tottenham are going through a tough time. Jose Mourinho was all too quick to highlight his injury-plagued side’s “great difficulties” to come up with solutions in Saturday’s defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Spurs, there were plenty of positives in defeat for Mourinho’s men because a fixture that would usually be banished from memory will be remembered for the day that Japhet Tanganga introduced himself to the Premier League.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win against Brighton in the Premier League.
Carlo Ancelotti can breathe a sigh of relief after beating Brighton. After the humiliating FA Cup exit to Liverpool’s second string, a small group of fans turned up at Finch Farm to vent their frustrations, before midfielder Fabian Delph became embroiled in an argument with supporters on social media.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Sheffield United’s victory against West Ham in the Premier League.
Sheffield United have taken 32 points from their first 22 matches back in the Premier League. This phenomenal achievement should have Chris Wilder reaching for the party poppers but he’s constantly striving for more.
It’s a philosophy that has got the Blades to where they are and it’s one of the reasons why the club have shrewdly decided to reward his quite staggering work with a new contract until 2024.
The Blades weren’t at their best for large parts against West Ham, something Wilder referenced post-match, but such is their belief within the camp, they still ran out relatively comfortable winners at Bramall Lane, despite the last-gasp VAR drama.
“There’s still a load of work to be done, we’re quite a distance off on a lot of things as a newly-promoted side,” Wilder said.
“We are not up to speed with a lot of the Premier League clubs, if not all of them, in certain aspects, whether it is academy or whether it is the training ground or investment into players.”Lewis Jones
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ draw against Newcastle in the Premier League.
They are not playing free-flowing football or fighting for a European place, and are most certainly still in the relegation battle, but Newcastle are showing plenty of spirit in difficult circumstances.
A 1-1 draw against Wolves on Saturday snapped a three-match losing run, but again there was a cost as names were added to the substantial injury list, which is in double figures.
The situation appeared to be easing as Newcastle welcomed back Jetro Willems, Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark from injury against Wolves, only for Dummett, as well as Dwight Gayle, to be forced off in the first half.
Steve Bruce said afterwards that he hasn’t seen an injury situation this bad in his 40 years in management, and believes the cause is fatigue after playing too many games.
However, amid the frustration, it must be noted that Newcastle are already eight points better off than they were at this stage under Rafa Benitez last season.