A wild afternoon in England saw Liverpool and Norwich exchange nine goals – and Jurgen Klopp lose his glasses – while Leicester retook the top slot ahead of a massive clash between Arsenal and Chelsea. Manchester City were held, Manchester United were dead and Spurs continue to forge ahead: these were the five things we learned Saturday in the Premier League -- FOXSoccer.com's Jamie Trecker
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Norwich take Liverpool's punch straight to the chin
Talking points: Pity poor Alex Neil. When he looks back on the match, he’ll be thrilled to have been part of what may go down as the game of the season in England. But right now, his Canaries must feel as if they chucked three points away in a wild, defense-free rumble that leaves Norwich perilously close to the drop zone. As absorbing as it was for neutrals, the game illustrated both teams’ frailties: Neither can defend. As Steven Naismith said glumly after the game, “if eleven men can't defend their goal for two minutes, then you will get punished.” And how.
Getty ImagesStephen Pond
The end for Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford
Talking points: “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.
AFP/Getty ImagesOLI SCARFF
Is Dmitri Payet the Premier League's POTY?
Talking points: 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 on Saturday -- 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
Leicester City make it look too easy
Talking points: Stoke are no pushovers, but Saturday at the King Power Stadium, 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.
Derby to forget at The Hawthorns
Talking points: Remember when the West Midlands derby was a cracker? Neither do we. Aston Villa continued their slide down with a dire goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion. WBA have now gone four games without a win; Villa remain so far off the pace that they probably need a periscope to keep up with the rest of the league.