5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action
This weekend saw fierce complaints over fixture scheduling, Leicester move to the top of the Premier League table and a truly awful penalty cost Fulham a point.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five things we learned from the action.
Seething over scheduling
The scheduling of fixtures was in the spotlight as Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made their dissatisfaction clear. After the pressure on Solskjaer eased with United’s 3-1 win at Everton on Saturday, he branded the 12.30 kick-off time, three days after their the Champions League loss away to Istanbul Basaksehir, an “absolute joke”. Klopp, whose side drew 1-1 at Manchester City on Sunday, then pointed to his side’s 2-2 draw at Everton on October 17 – also a 12.30 Saturday kick-off – as he said “these kind of things should not happen”. He and City counterpart Pep Guardiola both criticised the Premier League clubs’ decision not to adopt the five-substitute rule this term, with Klopp, whose full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold suffed a calf injury on Sunday, accusing the competition’s chief executive Richard Masters of “a lack of leadership”.
Leicester lead again
While last season’s top two battled out the draw at the Etihad Stadium, Leicester went top as their impressive return to form continued. Having led the table in late September following a stunning 5-2 win at Manchester City, Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes then suffered two defeats on the bounce. But they have subsequently put together a winning run, the third league victory of which came on Sunday as Jamie Vardy’s penalty saw them beat Wolves 1-0 at the King Power Stadium. Certainly they are looking in decent shape ahead of a trip to Rodgers’ old club Liverpool after the international break.
Villa bounce back in style
Aston Villa demonstrated their own resilience on Sunday as they recovered from back-to-back losses by registering their latest eye-catching win, a 3-0 triumph at Arsenal. While Dean Smith’s men have had quite the mixed bag of results this term, including a 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool and 3-0 loss to promoted Leeds, they are well-placed after seven matches of their campaign, lying in sixth position, three points off the top, with a game in hand over the sides above them.
Latest landmark for Kane
Harry Kane delivered another milestone moment as he registered the winner in second-placed Tottenham’s 1-0 win at West Brom on Sunday. After reaching 200 Spurs goals earlier in the week during the 3-1 Europa League win at Ludogorets, the England captain headed in late on at The Hawthorns to make it 150 in the Premier League, bringing to the fore the question of where he might get to on the all-time list. He sits joint ninth, 110 behind leader Alan Shearer.
Lookman’s Panenka pain
Ademola Lookman served a reminder on Saturday that, while a Panenka-style penalty can be a thing of beauty, it is quite the opposite when it goes wrong. The 23-year-old fluffed his attempt from 12 yards deep into stoppage time on Saturday as Fulham lost 1-0 at West Ham, leaving an angry Cottagers manager Scott Parker to say: “You can miss a penalty but when you take one like that you have to hit the back of the net.” Certainly Lookman appeared embarrassed and he said in a tweet on Sunday: “I vow to put the next one in. I will not let one failure hold me back.”