Belfast Telegraph

Beacom on Monday: Ronald Koeman outwits Louis van Gaal

By Steven Beacom

Main man: Ronald Koeman (Southampton): The Saints were superb at Manchester United and regardless of the one eyed rubbish spouted by Wayne Rooney post match, the visitors merited their 1-0 win. Ronald Koeman's excellent tactics outwitted old adversary Louis van Gaal.

That's rich! How city failed fans

Manchester City have been on a roll of late, but the last few days have been a little rocky.

On Saturday, City drew 1-1 at Everton allowing Chelsea to move two points clear at the top of the table.

This followed revelations that City and sister club New York City FC had misled their fans regarding Frank Lampard, who it turned out was not on loan from the Yanks, but actually under contract to the English champions.

Lampard has now signed a contract with New York and will join them in July, after City hope he has helped them win silverware this season. Uefa, who last season punished City under Financial Fair Play rules, are not best pleased. City don't seem bothered. They are paying the guts of £30 million to Swansea for Wilfried Bony in their quest for glory. How football and City have changed...not all for the better.

Not much to separate LVG and David Moyes

Louis van Gaal has won the same number of points this season as pilloried predecessor David Moyes had at the same stage last term. United are higher in the table now, though that's more because the overall quality of the Premier League has deteriorated.

Willan on song for Jose

Chelsea were struggling on Saturday against Newcastle who had beaten them a month before. Then one of Jose Mourinho's midfield men showed the presence of mind to take a quick corner, leading to a much needed goal and ultimately a vital 2-0 win. Eden Hazard? Cesc Fabregas? No, this bright play came from the underrated Willian, not to be confused with that bloke on The Voice!

Pardew up and running

The Eagle landed back at Selhurst Park and new manager Alan Pardew inspired a comeback win over Spurs 2-1. This season Pardew, who recently left Newcastle, has been in charge of more victories from losing positions than any other Premier League boss. He should prove to be a shrewd appointment.

Old on, Lennon was right

So, Neil Lennon's decision to sign veterans Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey, both 36, was not crazy after all. Heskey netted on Boxing Day and on Saturday Gudjohnsen, in his second spell at the club, was on target in Bolton's 1-1 Championship draw at home to Leeds. He last scored for Bolton in May 2000, 5,354 days ago!

QPR just hoopless

The Woeful One is the entire QPR side, who lost 2-1 at Burnley on Saturday, extending their embarrassing league record on the road to 10 games, 10 defeats. QPR players Richard Dunne and Clint Hill had the audacity to have a pop back at fuming Hoops fans who had made the long trip. They should have been hanging their heads in shame.

Tony's treble yell for NI

IT doesn't happen too often so let's celebrate the fact THREE Northern Ireland players started and finished in the same Premier League side at the weekend; Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Chris Baird in WBA's 1-0 win over Hull. Nice one, Tony Pulis.

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