A wild weekend in England saw Liverpool and Norwich exchange nine goals – and Jurgen Klopp lose his glasses – while Leicester retook the top slot at Arsenal’s expense. Manchester United looked dead, Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker saw red while Spurs surged ahead. These are the five things we learned this weekend in the Premier League – Jamie Trecker
AFP/Getty ImagesLINDSEY PARNABY
Another loss to Chelsea for the Gunners
No Mourinho? No problem for the Blues as their hoodoo continued over the would-be champions. It is now nine league games since Arsenal have managed to get the better of their London rivals, and it is the seventh game in which they have been set back by a red card. Today, it was Per Mertesacker keeping up the tradition, but if there was any solace for Arsenal fans it was that for long spells they did look the better team. This loss isn’t a killer blow – but it does reek of the same old Arsenal.
Getty ImagesCatherine Ivill - AMA
The end for van Gaal?
"The fans were right to boo me," admitted Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after the game, a dismal 1-0 home loss to Southampton that laid the Red Devils’ impotence bare for all to see. With the vitriol directed at van Gaal from the stands fiercer than ever, one now must wonder why United have not yet made a change. The team clearly isn’t playing for their current manager, and allegedly not up to its potential. This game should be his Waterloo.
Man Utd via Getty ImagesMatthew Peters
Dmitri Payet, player of the year?
Easily the signing of the season, Payet again showed his value with a buccaneering show against Manchester City as West Ham got a hard fought 2-2 draw. One of the league’s best playmakers, Payet gives speed and craft to the Hammers, and it is not too far to suggest that he alone has turned them into a top-tier side this season. What a difference he was today – especially in contrast to the sulking, sullen figure City’s Yaya Toure cut. One man is likely to take his team to new heights. The other is likely to be out of his club at the end of the year.
Getty ImagesPaul Gilham
Foxes make it look easy – but a test looms
Stoke are no pushovers, but Saturday at the King Power, they were distinctly second best to a Leicester side that continues to astonish. Returning to the top of the table behind a well-deserved 3-0 win that saw Jamie Vardy return to his goal-scoring ways, it’s easy to start dreaming that Leicester can win the league. The real test is yet to come as the Foxes must now face Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City in a series of season-defining fixtures. Do the Foxes have the horses? I don’t think so – but it would be nice to be proved wrong.
Getty ImagesMichael Regan
No comforts of home for Everton
Everton are on course for the bottom of the table after a miserable ten-game run that has seen them win just once. But what is worse is that they seem to be unable to win at home: in their past 14 games, they have come away with full points just three times. Manager Roberto Martinez claims his team are “fearful” of playing at home; the truth is his side is wildly unbalanced, with a dreadful defense. Martinez has some tough choices to make: he should start by dropping some of his underperformers in the back and in the net.