Belfast Telegraph

Beacom on Monday

Our man's unbeatable verdict on the weekend's football action. You can't afford to miss it...

By Steven Beacom

The fantastic four... and the woeful one

There were magnificent performances all over the pitch from Manchester City yesterday when they destroyed bitter rivals Manchester United 4-1. Goalscorers Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure were exceptional, but it was the inspirational Vincent Kompany who set the tone with a dominant display. In a team bulging with talent, Kompany is City's most important player. If he stays fit, another league title beckons.

Hull enjoy a Brucie bonus

Steve Bruce grew up as a Newcastle fan, but because he was once the Sunderland boss, the Geordies booed him at St James' Park on Saturday. Bruce was to have the last laugh when the team he currently manages, Hull City, won 3-2 in front of the Toon Army. Hull, with seven points from five games, are ahead of Newcastle on goal difference.

Persistence pays off for Paulinho

After beating Stoke 3-1 top of the table Arsenal may be ahead of Spurs on goal difference, but Tottenham's 1-0 win at Cardiff was more impressive. They kept going and were rewarded with an injury time goal from new signing Paulinho to claim a 1-0 victory. It was their 24th attempt at goal.

Boruc's Anfield of dreams

Once upon a time Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc couldn't handle the intimidating atmosphere of Windsor Park. The ex-Celtic star fell apart in Belfast during an international, but he and his team-mates stood tall, stayed strong and deserved their 1-0 victory at Liverpool, secured by Dejan Lovren's header from a corner.

Di Canio just had to go

It may be early in the season, but Sunderland made the right call in sacking Paolo Di Canio. His face-off with Sunderland fans after the 3-0 defeat at West Brom was great TV, but it was all about him rather than the team. That just ain't right. The crazy Italian just had to go. Maybe the Black Cats should have kept Martin O'Neill!

Ince spot on against Schmeichel

It was Schmeichel v Ince. No, not Peter v Paul, like when they glared at each other during their Manchester United days. This was Casper v Tom and Ince junior won, smacking an injury time penalty past young Schmeichel to give Blackpool a 2-2 Championship draw against Leicester. Dad Paul was as proud as punch.

Suarez return is perfect timing

Before Liverpool's game with Southampton on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers was asked about his team being potential title contenders.

Despite the Reds being top of the table and unbeaten at the time, sensibly Rodgers did not entertain such thoughts.

The 1-0 Anfield defeat to the Saints illustrated why. Top four? Maybe. Champions? Definitely not. They still don't have the depth or quality in the squad.

The Reds really missed the guile of injured playmaker Philippe Coutinho at the weekend. After high tempo periods in their first four league games, Liverpool were flat in match number five.

They needed a spark of genius from somewhere.

With Coutinho out for over a month, the return this week of Mr Controversy himself, Luis Suarez, could not be better timed.

What's the Mata with Juan, Jose?

It came as no shock to me that Chelsea, after back-to-back defeats, beat Fulham 2-0 on Saturday night, but how come the classy Juan Mata didn't even make the squad?

Jose Mourinho clearly doesn't think he's anything special. All a little strange.

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