10 talking points from the weekend’s football

Kane delivers in the Derby once again

Harry Kane missed a great chance in the first half after his header went over the bar but he made amends in the second half. In the 49th minute, Kane’s header from inside the box found the back of the net and turned out to be the winning goal for Spurs. He has now scored seven goals in seven league games against Arsenal. Only Emmanuel Adebayor (8) has scored more Premier League North London Derby goals. Kane always makes his mark when North London Derby day comes around.

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Rooney and Sigurdsson CAN play together

In January, Everton manager Sam Allardyce said Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson couldn’t play together due to their lack of pace. Allardyce stated that they cannot cover the ground because it’s not their strength so he has to chose which one starts each game rather than choosing both.

In the game against Crystal Palace, which Everton won 3-1, both Rooney and Sigurdsson started and they were both excellent. Sigurdsson scored his 17th goal from outside the box, more than any other current Premier League player since his debut in January 2012 and he was named the Man of the Match. Rooney played in a deep midfield role and completed 85% of his passes. He was composed on the ball and retained possession in key moments.

Everton have now won five out of seven Premier League games under Sam Allardyce when both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney start the game. Perhaps he should do that more often!

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Brighton or Barcelona?

Brighton’s first-half goal was a thing of beauty that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Barcelona’s Camp Nou. Jose Izquierdo started and finished an exquisite team move when he exchanged passes with both Solly March and Dale Stephens before slotting coolly into the bottom corner. He has now been directly involved in four Premier League goals for Brighton in 2018 (two goals, two assists).

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Carlos Carvalhal continues to work wonders at Swansea

What an impact Carlos Carvalhal has made in South Wales. Swansea have picked up 14 points under Carvalhal. Only Spurs (15) have more points in that time. In his 11 games, they have won six, drawn four and lost just once. Taking six points from Liverpool and Arsenal is a highlight and the players are clearly buying into his methods. Matchwinner Ki Sung-yueng gave his thoughts on Carvalhal after the 1-0 win over Burnley:

“He is a very funny and nice manager, everyone loves him and the way he has changed the team is fantastic. Everyone has improved a lot compared to when we were bottom of the league.”

The Swans have won their past three home games in the Premier League, after winning just two of their opening 11 this season. Carvalhal also surprised reporters with Pasteis de Nata, a traditional Portuguese pastry, in Thursday’s press conference for the Burnley game. His post-match analogies are unique to say the very least. There’s never a dull moment around Carlos Carvalhal.

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Arnautovic is back in the goals

Marko Arnautovic returned to action with West Ham and was immediately back in the goals. He has been directly involved in 10 Premier League goals for the Hammers this season (seven goals, three assists) and is crucial to their chances of remaining in the league beyond the current season. West Ham really struggle without him and will be hoping against hope that he can stay injury free for the rest of the campaign.

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Aguero can do it all

Long range efforts, tap-ins, penalties. There is no type of goal that Sergio Aguero can’t score. Were it not for Gabriel Jesus being injured, there’s no doubt Aguero would be on the bench. Only Man City would bench Aguero. He’s one of the best strikers to ever grace the Premier League and it still astounds me that he has never won the Footballer of the Year Award or been named in the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League team of the year. What more does he have to do?

Against Leicester, he scored his eighth Premier League hat-trick, only Alan Shearer (11) and Robbie Fowler (9) have scored more. He also became the first player to score 4+ goals in the Premier League on three occasions. That’s what you call a world-class striker.

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Huddersfield end five-match losing streak in style

Before the match, Huddersfield were in the bottom three. The Terries had collected 0 points from a possible 15 in their last five league games. They put an end to such a poor run of form with a 4-1 victory against Bournemouth. Alex Pritchard scored his first goal for the club, and his first ever Premier League goal, since joining from Norwich. Aaron Mooy provided two assists for Steve Mounié and Rajiv van la Parra added gloss to the victory when he converted a stoppage-time penalty. It was a much-needed win for Huddersfield and one they need to build on if they are to remain in the Premier League beyond this season.

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Jose Mourinho still can’t win at St James’ Park

In seven visits to St James’ Park, Jose Mourinho is yet to come away with three points. He has suffered four defeats and three draws. He has managed more away league matches at Newcastle without winning than at any other club in his managerial career.

Newcastle were 1-0 winners against Manchester United thanks to a second-half Matt Ritchie strike. The goal ended a run of 43 shots without scoring in the Premier League for Ritchie; the longest run in the division. Jonjo Shelvey was awarded Man of the Match for his excellent performance. He made four important tackles, provided two key passes and recorded his fifth win in his last 7 appearances against Man United.

Mourinho has now lost six times against Rafael Benitez in all competitions; only versus Pep Guardiola (9) has he suffered more defeats as a manager.

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Salah’s remarkable debut season continues

Mo Salah came back to the Premier League after an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea and he has been in phenomenal form for Liverpool. The Egyptian forward has scored 22 goals this season and is just one behind top scorer Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot. With his goal against Southampton, Salah equalled Robbie Fowler’s Premier League record for most left-footed goals in a season (19). He has now been directly involved in 29 league goals this season (22 goals, seven assists); the most by a Liverpool player in their debut season for the club in the competition. The Reds bought Salah for £34m last summer. Goodness knows how much he is worth now!

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The relegation battle is still providing much-needed drama

Man City have almost certainly won the league meaning the chances of a thrilling title race are non-existent. However, things are much more exciting at the other end of the table. Just 11 points separate 10th placed Bournemouth and West Brom at the bottom of the table. Any of those 11 teams can get dragged into trouble following a bad result. Newcastle found themselves in the bottom three this weekend after Huddersfield beat Bournemouth but their fantastic win over Man United saw them shoot up to 13th. With each passing week, it becomes more difficult to predict which three teams will be relegated this season.

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