Is this the end at Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho? It certainly felt that way after another drab loss – their sixth this season – in the Premier League to a Liverpool side that was miles better. The players presented a united front for the cameras, but their body language – nervous and uncommitted – spoke volumes about the chaos behind the scenes in West London. While Chelsea don’t want to sack Mourinho – he is their most successful coach – the fact is neither he nor his staff seem to have figured a way out of this tailspin.
Getty ImagesIan Walton
Gegenpressing, confidence-boosting Klopp
At the other side, Jurgen Klopp was rightly delighted by his high-pressing, hunt in packs Liverpool side Saturday against what remains (on paper, anyway) a very good Chelsea team. Liverpool are nowhere near complete – Klopp needs 4 or 5 new faces to play the kind of uptempo game he made famous at Dortmund – but it does look as if the Reds have bought into his system. Today, they got a famous win that will go a long way towards repairing the confidence damaged under Brendan Rodgers.
Getty ImagesClive Rose
Arsenal’s title credentials get a polish
In the end, it seemed so easy, a 3-0 victory over Swansea with goals from all over the field. In reality, this was the kind of result many had thought Arsenal incapable of, a resilient win after a dreadful 45 minutes that saw them roundly outplayed. Missing six players including Theo Walcott, this could have been an excuse-ready day for the Gunners to mail it in. They did not, and Arsenal remain where they belong: tied atop the table with Manchester City.
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesDavid Price
Another grim, grinding draw for United
For all the money United have poured into their team, you might expect a little flair. But no. Saturday saw United’s third straight goalless draw, and the only good news from today was that they got a point. On any other day, a Palace side that was miles better might have made them pay. United look dreadful of late, with Wayne Rooney toothless and United’s midfield simply sloppy in possession. Van Gaal may be correct not to play a more open game – his players don’t look like they can defend at all – but shows like this have made for turgid watching. Can United improve? Sure. Will they? No.
Action Images via ReutersTony O'Brien
Leicester are third
Let that one sink in. 11 games done, and the Foxes, tipped by many to go down, are in third place. It’s not a fluke, either: while Leicester are shaping up as the year’s surprise package, they have genuine talent in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, and real tactical nous in manager Claudio Ranieri. The stats may be unbelievable, but they are not lying: the Foxes don’t lose games, and Vardy sits atop the league’s golden boot chase. They are just three points off the top, and if they can keep up this pace, Europe surely beckons.