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Premier League: Major weekend talking points

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Harvey Elliot goal saw Liverpool claim all three points against Crystal Palce Photo Goal scaled
Harvey Elliot's goal saw Liverpool claim all three points against Crystal Palace. Photo/ Goal
  • After the most recent Premier League matches, we examine four things that we discovered from the weekend’s schedule.

After the most recent Premier League matches, we examine four things that we discovered from the weekend’s schedule.

Pochettino under pressure

Pochettino Sky Sports 1

Pochettino. Photo/Sky Sports

Todd Boehly has no problem making decisive choices. Graham Potter was hired and dismissed from Chelsea in less than seven months after Thomas Tuchel was removed, barely a season and a half after the team won the Champions League.

During the summer, the American turned to Mauricio Pochettino, a coach with a track record of nurturing youthful talent and Premier League expertise. Pochettino has persisted in emphasizing Chelsea’s long-term ambition in his sermons, but is that quickly turning into a personal appeal for more time?

With only five victories in his first 16 Premier League games in charge at Chelsea, the Argentine has had a challenging start to his Chelsea career. Following a lackluster showing at Manchester United, the West Londoners, who are now ranked 12th in the standings, suffered their seventh defeat of the season this past weekend at Everton.

Since Boehly took management, more than £1 billion has been invested in players; £435.5 million of that total came from last summer. Of course, it’s unclear who exactly is in control of Chelsea’s recruiting at the moment, but with a team this brilliant, more surely has to be anticipated. There’s growing pressure on Pochettino.

Spurs outclass Newcastle

Spurs players celebrate winning against Newcastle. Photo/ The Independent

Spurs players celebrate winning against Newcastle. Photo/ The Independent

Given that Spurs had lost their last five Premier League games, some had speculated that Ange Postecoglou’s bubble may have burst. Following the Australian’s consecutive wins as Manager of the Month, Spurs went from being the top team in the standings to fifth place during a winless streak. Postecoglou needed a reaction this weekend—and he had one—as the number of injuries increased and the results were declining.

Spurs outperformed Newcastle, displaying the flowing offensive style of play that has come to be synonymous with the North Londoners under Postecoglou. Spurs overcame the Magpies 4-1, sweeping them aside despite some significant absences. Richarlison scored a brace and assisted on another, and Son Heung-min also generated two goals to lead Spurs to a decisive victory.

Compared to previous games this season, Spurs controlled possession (57%) and won a greater number of duels (59%). In addition, Postecoglou’s club has had more touches in the opposition box than any other Premier League team this year, demonstrating the manager’s aggressive style. Spurs are entertaining to watch once more after playing some drab football in previous seasons.

Aston Villa title contenders?

John McGinns goal gave Villa a crucial win against Arsenal Photo Eurosport

John McGinn’s goal gave Villa a crucial win against Arsenal. Photo/ Eurosport

After defeating Manchester City and Arsenal in back-to-back games at Villa Park, Villa is now considered a legitimate title contender after defeating the top two teams from the previous campaign for the second time. Unai Emery’s squad has now won 15 straight games at home in the Premier League. They are currently only two points behind new leaders Liverpool in what is turning out to be an exciting title fight.

Villa have solidified their spot in the Champions League spots, and speculation of a possible championship challenge has now surfaced. Since their September loss to Liverpool, Villa has probably been the most consistent team in the Premier League, yet fans at Bodymoor Heath aren’t letting that get to them.

Players who suffered under the previous administration have flourished under Emery’s leadership, with Lucas Digne and Leon Bailey being two of the more notable examples. The team has one of the toughest midfield in the league, and Ollie Watkins and Emi Martinez have genuine talent on both sides of the field. Even if they still have a ways to go, Villa has demonstrated this week that they are fearless.

Elliott’s game-changing influence

Although Liverpool defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 to take the lead in the standings, Jurgen Klopp’s team’s effort lacked any conviction. Following Jordan Ayew’s questionable red card for two bookings, which put Palace ahead, the game shifted in favor of Liverpool.

Harvey Elliott, a 20-year-old who often makes an impact on games off the bench, scored the game’s winning goal in stoppage time. Although Elliott has only made one Premier League start this year, he has shown himself to be a valuable substitute when starting off the bench. At Selhurst Park, the England under-21 international scored his first goal of the season after late assists helped Liverpool come back from behind to clinch victories against Wolves and Luton.

Elliott is hammering home his claim to a midfield spot, but problems still exist in Liverpool’s revamped squad. Wataru Endo, the deepest of the midfield three and the replacement for the injured Alexis Mac Allister, had a bad game against Palace. The Japan international is Klopp’s lone choice for a defensive midfielder, but he struggled against Palace’s tenacity and lacked creativity while in control.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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