The Barclays Premier League produced some exciting games this weekend. This is the start of that period of the English calendar where fixtures come thick and fast, a part that has often dictated the outcome for teams come the end of the season. Some of the clubs got the result they were searching for and some felt short of it.
Here are 5 things we learned from match-day 14 of the Barclays Premier League:
1. ‘Rags to Riches’ cliché still alive and well:
When Jamie Vardy took the field at the King Power Stadium against Manchester City, not many doubted his ability to break the record for the most goals in consecutive Premier League appearances. He did not disappoint as he latched on to a ball from Fuchs and put it past De Gea and the whole stadium erupted. The long record was broken and Vardy put the home side in front. He looks more confident by the game and could have easily given his team all three points against a United side that lacked any kind of penetration. The game will reach headline for the record-breaking goal but will cloud the fact that Van Gaal’s philosophy is far from effective.
2. Costa steals the show:
Pochettino’s commented that his side felt like playing a ‘small team’ in their current mindset facing Chelsea this weekend. The game ended in a dab 0-0 draw with Chelsea looking happy to defend deep all night. The Spurs were not able to break Chelsea’s resilience and as the game seemed to get boring, Diego Costa who was asked to warm up and then ended up not playing made a mockery of himself. After warming up, the striker who seemed unhappy threw his bib backwards towards Mourinho. This gesture has raised a lot of eyebrows and will push more un-rest into a team that is lacking any kind of confidence at the moment. The season is going from bad to worse for Mourinho.
3. Jurgen Klopp’s men fail to impress but get all three points:
Gary Monk will be extremely disappointed to leave Anfield without a point after his team put in a solid performance on Sunday. Liverpool started superbly and almost blew Swansea away with their game in the first half hour but the energy faded away and the visitors grew into the game. Miner and Liverpool were awarded a disputable penalty that turned out to be the only goal of the match. Klopp would have hoped for a better performance from his brigade but will be happy with all three points and will want to keep up the record of just 1 loss in 10 games at the helm of the club. However, he will also have to acknowledge the fact that his team needs loads of improvement.
4. Wenger: Arsenal’s biggest enemy?
Wenger trusted his squad from last season to deliver the goods this season and made just one buy in the summer transfer window. That decision will haunt him for a long time as his team seems to be short of personnel who can win him games. A number of first team players are already out for the club through injury and Arsenal lost their star player Alexis Sanchez in the game against Norwich after he pulled out mid-way through the game. The injury was looming over from a long time as Sanchez has been playing 3 games a week in the last month. Wenger should know better not to over use his biggest asset and will have to repent his decisions if the injury turns out to be serious. Being able to take just one point from the Carrow Road will also hurt the manager.
5. Nobody wants the title:
Chelsea, the reigning champions are practically out of the title race. Arsenal seems to be losing players every time they take the field. United and Van Gaal are going in two different directions. Klopp himself does not believe his side are title contenders and Manchester City were from a title winning team even in their victory against the Saints. No star club pose serious threat to the Barclays Premier League title as yet and this will give Claudio Ranieri and Pochettino a great chance to take their teams to Europe next season. If the League continues to unfold this way, the last month will turn into an exciting race to the top of the table.