Some fans branded them a "disgrace" but the appearance of United scarves outside Old Trafford – featuring the face of a man who is not (yet) their coach – was certainly provocative. The fans are fed up with United under Louis van Gaal and it is clear the Red Devils are not playing for him. The hawkers may have been a bit cheeky with their Special Scarves, but they are accurately reflecting the mood in Salford.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Stoke’s smash and grab shows Everton’s fragility
Few would have expected that Everton-Stoke would be the game of the season to date, but this match was one that showed how much has changed at the Britannia – and how far things have yet to go at Goodison. Everton recovered twice to lead the Potters, only to collapse late due to self-inflicted mistakes. Tim Howard was suspect on the tying goal from Joselu and when John Stones brought down Marko Arnuatovic, the jig was up. The game was brilliant but it’s hard to ignore that Everton are sinking; Stoke are rising.
Action Images via ReutersCarl Recine
Xherdan Shaqiri’s goal: strike of the season
Credit where credit is due, Shaqiri’s volleyed goal over Howard has to go up for goal of the year honors. Taken on the trot from a great long ball delivered by Bojan Krkic, Shaqiri tucked the ball on the half-volley over the keeper to the top corner. After the match, he called it “beautiful” and he was correct.
Getty ImagesDave Thompson
Wayne Rooney vanishes
A shadow of the striker he once was, Rooney missed a host of chances Monday evening at Old Trafford against Chelsea – and was fortunate not to be sent off for a high tackle on Oscar late. Before the game, the reports were that Rooney’s confidence was so low that he was considering a move to China in the close season. After the game van Gaal rightly praised his effort but the facts are stark: United have just one goal in their last four home games.
Getty ImagesMatthew Ashton - AMA
Mesut Ozil sparkles
Over in London, the player of the season is shaping up in the form of German assist machine Ozil, who set up both goals today and scored one himself. Arsenal would not be sitting pretty atop the league without him, and it is more and more apparent that his dip in form last summer was due to a grueling World Cup. If he stays healthy, Arsenal can win the title.