QPR 0 Manchester United 2 – Van Gaal Continues To Confuse, But His Subs Save The Day
Manchester United weren’t at their best at Loftus Road, but points are given based on scorelines and not how you achieve them.
The Dutchman’s formation and decisions might still baffle some (Phil Jones took a corner), but it was his substitutions which saved the day in west London, with Marouane Fellaini grabbing a crucial strike and youngster James Wilson adding a second.
Having the confidence to make such calls is what keeps the Dutchman standing apart from predecessor David Moyes, and you can bet he’ll never lose that confidence.
Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 2 – Liverpool Can Tough It Out
For the second weekend in succession, Liverpool have gone away from home, kept a clean sheet and picked up the three points.
Granted they were playing against an Aston Villa side who seem to have forgotten how to find the net, but the Reds toughed it out during a second half in which the hosts were largely the better side.
There were key contributions from Simon Mignolet – who made a great save from Christian Benteke at 1-0 – and from the goalscorers Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert too, enough to suggest that a strong second half of the campaign for them and their teammates could be possible, and that things really aren’t as bleak as many would like to make it seem.
Swansea 0 Chelsea 5 – Jose Mourinho’s ‘Campaign’ Talk Is Having The Desired Effect
Jose Mourinho knows that his recent complaints to the press have all been ridiculous. We know that too. He knows that we know that, but crucially it seems to have stirred up his players and developed something of a siege mentality.
It was a tactic that we often saw used to spectacular effect by Sir Alex Ferguson and his all-conquering Manchester United teams, and if Mourinho can keep this up then his team could well run away with the title.
In dismantling Swansea and scoring four goals before the break, the Blues – and Diego Costa in particular – were doing an impression of a ferocious animal. They were unstoppable, and it is up to the rest of the Premier League to try and prove that statement wrong.
Tottenham 2 Sunderland 1 – No Debut Goal For Defoe, But A Crucial One For Spurs
Jermain Defoe had scored on his debut for every club he’s represented, we were told before this match, but he couldn’t keep that run going back at his former home.
Sunderland looked as though they were set to pinch what would have been a huge point at White Hart Lane, only for a current Spurs hero Christian Eriksen to pop up with a winning goal.
Given last week’s loss at Crystal Palace and the possibility of slipping below Liverpool in the table, it was one of the most important strikes in Tottenham’s season.
Burnley 2 Crystal Palace 3 – Pardew’s Palace Have Lift-Off
That win over Tottenham last weekend was a great start, but in coming from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2 Alan Pardew will have instilled such huge confidence in his Crystal Palace players.
It would now be a huge surprise were Palace to be relegated (unlike Burnley), and the former Newcastle boss deserves his satisfied smile tonight.