10 talking points from the weekend action

1) The stunning duo offers a blast from the past

Fast-paced, tactically complex and dramatic to the end, Arsenal v Manchester United was a heavy match that paid the bill. It also showcased two models of the endangered striker: the old-fashioned target man and the old-fashioned poacher. Leading United’s offensive, Wout Weghorst pressed on with enthusiasm and offered a focal point for United’s free-ranging broads. It was the peel run that pulled Gabriel to his left that gave Marcus Rashford the angle to launch the opener home. Nketiah pressed with a similar intelligence, but fell deep when he needed to connect with his midfield. Both of his goals were straight from the penalty box predator’s school, ghosting into the back post to face a cross and almost stabbing a loose ball into the house from under the crossbar. In the versatile number 9 era, both these forward patterns were supposedly relegated to the past. Both players proved their worth in a match that definitely belongs today. Alex Hess

Related: ‘Like an ice rink’: Emma Hayes is smoking after Chelsea v Liverpool abandonment

2) Thiago Silva shows that it is a separate class

Mykhailo Mudryk shone in his first game at Chelsea and Liverpool’s defense improved with young Stefan Bajcetic in midfield, but a fruitless game between two expensive mid-table teams was not a game to linger on. Even Jürgen Klopp can be forgotten as a manager. He kept the press conference short after the match. A tribute to Thiago Silva then. Whether it’s passing Kai Havertz’s feet or getting Darwin Núñez where he wanted him to go, the 38-year-old defender was domineering at Anfield. With millions pouring in from Chelsea’s new owners, the free signing from Paris Saint-Germain is vital for a training session for new recruit Benoît Badiashile, who is 17 years younger than Graham Potter and Silva. “He has a football mindset above almost everyone,” said the Chelsea manager. “Benoît will benefit from playing alongside Thiago. Everyone benefits from him. He is a leader both on and off the court.” andy the hunter

3) It’s time for Ireland to act fast on Ferguson

Read Evan Ferguson for Declan Rice and Jack Grealish? Brighton’s goal-scoring ability qualifies him to play for England thanks to his mother. Could the nightmare scenario of a player go to Ireland beating his chest in Three Lions repeat itself? This time, it’s unlikely. Ferguson’s career is guided by his father Barry, a trainee in Coventry, where he met his English wife. Ferguson Senior is a former Irish international junior who plays with Damien Duff and Robbie Keane and is a development worker for the Irish Football Association. Still, the twice-bitten Irish are demanding that national manager Stephen Kenny pick Ferguson for the European qualifiers with France in March to seal any escape. A powerful late equalizer – Fergie time, next generation? – In King Power, a skill that Roberto De Zerbi acknowledged needed protection was the latest demonstration. “I want to help Ferguson grow without too much pressure,” said the Brighton boss. Good luck. John Brewin

4) Ten Hag’s total football has its downsides

That Erik ten Hag imposed his plan on this Manchester United side with extraordinary speed is evidenced not only in his results but also in their style of play. The team presses with enthusiasm, passes with imagination, and defends with resistance. But there is still one area where they seem ripe for one mistake: playing from behind. For the former Ajax coach, this is clearly a non-issue, but United don’t have the staff to handle it. David de Gea has always looked awkward with the ball at his feet, while Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are unassuming fullbacks who can keep the wingers quiet but not always swayed by the pressure. The goalkeeper and right-back gave up possession on the way to Arsenal’s first goal, and that was their minor mistake: they were acting on instruction. The players and their skills are unlikely to change for the remainder of the season. Maybe you need instructions. Alex Hess

5) Man City’s trophy fight could play a key role in the title race

Pep Guardiola took several opportunities to present the satisfaction that Manchester City have been stripped of the “happy flowers team” tag following this latest display of scoring prowess by Erling Haaland. However, no: instead the manager made it clear that there are still missing “details”. The good thing for Guardiola and City’s support is that elimination from the Carabao Cup gives the manager a clear week to work with his players. And their next trip will be the FA Cup match against Arsenal on Friday: a prelude to the Premier League games in February and April, it’s a game to be enjoyed and at the same time gives Guardiola and his team the best incentive to make up for the shortcomings. . So expect a warehouse storm match under the lights at the Etihad Stadium that will give you a fair clue as to who will take the Premier League crown this season. Jamie Jackson

6) Wöber’s answer to Leeds’ leaky defense?

Max Wöber replaced Leeds captain Liam Cooper in his Premier League debut for Brentford’s visit, a potentially tough gig for a team struggling on the defensive. Since arriving from RB Salzburg earlier this month, the Austrian has played at the heart of fullback, midfield and defense, where he started with Robin Koch on Sunday. “His greatest strengths are his intelligence, communication and ball handling,” said Jesse Marsch. “Probably the best passing defender I’ve ever had.” The 24-year-old showed why Marsch trusted him so much by keeping Ivan Toney quiet during the 90 minutes of the goalless draw. Wöber even came very close to the goal with a free kick from the corner of the penalty area. Once Captain Cooper is back in condition, the defensive performance will leave Marsch with a choice headache, but the head coach won’t mind. won’t win

7) Howe’s Magpies are built on solid foundations.

“When you spend millions of dollars, you get where you want to be faster, so of course they’re doing really well,” said Patrick Vieira in his assessment of Newcastle’s rapid progress at the table this season after Crystal Palace’s third 0-0 draw. against them in 141 days. But even after £85m that Manchester United paid Harry Maguire to include him in the Premier League’s most brutal defensive team, only conceding 11 goals at this stage of the season is still a staggering feat for Eddie Howe’s team. . Chelsea’s 2004/5 Premier League record of 15 may surpass them with 18 more games to play, and Howe hopes to add further strength to his squad to build on solid foundations. “We’re keen to do business and bring in a player that we hope can help us, but as we know at this window, there’s no guarantee that will happen,” he said. Ed Aarons

8) The animated Bowen is vital to the Hammers’ survival

West Ham is even more dangerous when Jarrod Bowen chases down lost cases and dives into goal positions. If Bowen continues to play well, David Moyes will have a much better chance of keeping his job. The winger hasn’t had an easy season but West Ham’s performance in the Everton win has returned to last year’s high standards. Bowen, who was not in England’s World Cup squad, gave the Everton defense a hard time. Confusing Vitaliy Mykolenko and James Tarkowksi, he continued to crawl down the right inner channel into the gap and the two poachers scored. This was Bowen’s reinvention of levels where he scored 18 goals last season. Unable to find the back of the nets since October 13, he was hungry and brutally punished Everton. West Ham will demand more from Bowen as they try to distance themselves from danger. Jacob Steinberg

9) Ward-Prowse plays as a one-man team

James Ward-Prowse thought he did it again. So does Nathan Jones, who punches the air with glee. However, after a VAR review, Ward-Prowse’s second-half shot was denied due to a formation foul. Inevitably, Southampton would soon fall behind and eventually lose. In Jones’ six league games, the Saints scored five goals. Ward-Prowse has four, and the other arrives with nine minutes into Jones’ reign. At Anfield at the time, Ward-Prowse provided Ché Adams. Clearly, Ward-Prowse finds the number 10 role to his liking. The relegation battle is short-term, but the line between confidence and overconfidence is thin. Ward-Prowse can lead the fight. But he cannot fight alone. Sam Dalling

10) Surridge’s hard work pays off

Sam Surridge received a round of applause in the Nottingham Forest dressing room after scoring his first Premier League goal to secure a draw at his former club Bournemouth. Unwanted by Stoke in January, Forest snatched Stoke to energize their promotion chase. Surridge’s eight goals made him look like a successful investment, but when the summer was spent recruiting more important forwards, it was forgivable to think that the former Swansea player would be shipped. He is highly respected at Forest for his hard work and demeanor, which may explain why he was on the bench at Bournemouth against Emmanuel Dennis, an expensive player from Watford struggling to get a side of Steve Cooper. He’s not considered one of the top 20 players currently available, which is an indication that talent isn’t everything. won’t win









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