10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 22

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What did we learn from the Premier League midweek

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Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nick Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

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Let’s get to it.


10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 22

1. Sudden Anfield anemia ahead of Liverpool – Man City (Liverpool 0-1 Brighton)

Liverpool didn’t lose at Anfield for more than two years, but the Reds have now lost to Burnley and Brighton at home inside of a month. Whoops. The injury-ravaged Reds won’t want to look to blame those ailments, though, even if Brighton is a better team than their table footing. Klopp says Liverpool is “a fatigued team” and that’s behind its worst Anfield goal drought since 1984.

It’s been 348 minutes since Anfield saw a goal from the hosts, Sadio Mane’s 12th-minute marker in a 1-1 draw with West Brom. Now the Reds will look to snap that skid in a must-win match against a Man City side which hasn’t allowed a Premier League goal in 540 minutes (and 270 more before that). NM

2. Son just a bit off early in this Kane absence (Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Chelsea)

Heung-min Son is a wonderful player and stepped up big when Kane was absent last year, but the South Korean mishit two decent chances –one early, one late — and managed just two key passes in Thursday’s home loss to Chelsea. Part of that was a great deal of respect shown to Son relative to Spurs other attackers. He was targeted like no other, fouled seven times. Spurs have been shutout in consecutive matches since Kane hurt his ankle. NM

3. Leicester’s Maddison steps up in Vardy’s absence (Fulham 0-2 Leicester City)

We all know who Leicester’s talisman is, but Jamie Vardy has been missing and James Maddison is stepping up. Big time. He grabbed the assists on both of the Foxes’ goals at Craven Cottage and everything the Foxes did went through the England international. He has talked about upping his stats with goals and assists and he’s doing that, as well as finding space to be an outlet when Leicester need him. He plays deeper than Vardy, but he’s proving he can be just as effective. JPW

Fulham - Leicester
Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City is congratulated by team mates James Maddison and James Justin after scoring the opener at Fulham (Photo by Peter Cziborra – Pool/Getty Images)

4. Man City’s supporting cast dominates ahead of Anfield test (Burnley 0-2 Man City)

From Mahrez to Jesus, Sterling to Gundogan, City’s supporting cast stepped up once again in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. We all know the four players who starred at Burnley are capable of starring in any game, but with City losing De Bruyne and Aguero to injury, this quartet needs to stand tall. They have, consistently, and that will be a key reason if City are Premier League champions this season. JPW

5.“Oh, not again,” said Saints supporters (Man Utd 9-0 Southampton)

Those anticipating a thriller like the 3-2 affair at St. Mary’s earlier this season instead got something closer to Saints’ 10-man, nine-goal loss versus Leicester City last season. The first red card came earlier than the Ryan Bertrand sending-off that preceded the Foxes’ nine-star show, as Jankewitz was done with his day within 80 seconds. The second one helped United get to nine. Again, Saints fans. Brutal. NM

6. Everton’s Olsen reacts well to defend lead (Leeds United 1-2 Everton)

It’s easy to forget that Everton’s fall deadline day signing Robin Olsen is Sweden’s first-choice goalkeeper, but a 60-second sequence after the hour mark at Elland Road served as a fine reminder. Olsen made three tough saves, one of them a show-stopper off a deflected effort and a six-save day from the Swede will give Carlo Ancelotti more to consider given Jordan Pickford’s roller-coaster season. NM

7. Luiz and Leno unlucky, sum up Arsenal’s problems (Wolves 2-1 Arsenal)

The Gunners were so comfortable heading into halftime at the Molineux. Then David Luiz clipped a clean-through Willian Jose in the box and was sent off after conceding a penalty kick. It was a little harsh on Luiz, but he didn’t make an attempt to play the ball so he was sent off. Had he slid in to stop Jose he would have only got a yellow card. Anyway, the fact Arsenal left themselves so exposed with one ball through the middle of the defense, right on halftime, will annoy Arteta. It was a massive mental lapse. As for Bernd Leno’s red card, the wet conditions saw him misjudge a bounce and that was that. Arsenal were their own worst enemies once again and missed a great chance to close the gap on those battling for the top four ahead of them. They started well but imploded. JPW

Aston Villa - Arsenal
David Luiz of Arsenal protests towards referee Craig Pawson (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

8. Blades keep on fighting, take down defense-free Baggies (Sheffield United 2-1 West Brom)

It is still a tall order for Sheffield United to stay up, but Chris Wilder will be delighted with the points they’ve picked up in recent weeks. Blades have won three of their last five games and talk of them being the ‘worst team in PL history’ is now over. We all knew Sheffield United were better than their record suggested and maybe, just maybe, they can save themselves. They have momentum now, edging tight games. JPW

9. Inspired Lingard a resurgent man for resurgent Moyes’ West Ham (Aston Villa 1-3 West Ham)

In his first 30 minutes on loan from Manchester United, West Ham’s Jesse Lingard did everything but score a goal. He was effervescent enough that you’d wonder why United would let him go, completing 20-of-21 passes and attempting four shots. He’d later, of course, score two goals in a big road win over one of the Premier League’s other top six hopefuls/upstarts. Lingard’s last PL appearance was July 26 against Leicester City. He scored in a 2-0 win over the Foxes that sealed a UEFA Champions League berth. So, yeah, if you’re wondering, he is on a PL goal-scoring march. NM

10. Magpies show possibilities in a reversal of fortune hard-luck loss (Newcastle United 1-2 Crystal Palace)

Newcastle’s failed bid to win back-to-back games showed some promise despite Steve Bruce deploying some odd weapons versus Crystal Palace. An already-controlling Newcastle saw its vise tighten when Bruce removed below-par Jeff Hendrick for Allan Saint-Maximin. The boss probably waited too long to toss on Andy Carroll, but it’s notable that the normally-conservative Bruce took off a midfielder and two defenders for three forwards in the second half. They are too talented to be relegated from this crop of PL teams if Bruce puts his best players out there and gives them a plan. NM