5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action
Mo Salah continued his remarkable goalscoring form, while the picture at the bottom of the Premier League became clearer.
Mo Salah was in unstoppable form as Liverpool piled more pressure on second-placed Manchester United, while the relegation picture became clearer.
While both Stoke and seemingly-doomed West Brom failed to take advantage of promising positions, Crystal Palace’s resurgence continued under Roy Hodgson.
Here, Press Association Sport picks out five talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action.
Just when you thought Jose Mourinho’s week could not get any worse, up stepped Mo Salah with a reminder of what might have been during his time at Stamford Bridge. The Egyptian failed to make the grade under Mourinho at Chelsea and left to join Roma, but he has made a record-shattering return to the Premier League with his 36 goals surpassing any other Liverpool player in their debut campaign. Salah’s stunning form could yet make the difference in the race for second place.
Just when it seemed Roy Hodgson’s magic touch may have deserted him, Crystal Palace served up a 2-0 win at Huddersfield which reminded most observers why they seem a cut above the majority of their rivals in the relegation fight. The Eagles showed no ill-effects from a seven-game winless streak and it was surely no coincidence that the classy Wilfried Zaha was making his first start since a five-week injury lay-off. Provided Zaha stays fit, Palace ought to ease further clear of their still-perilous position.
Taxi for Pardew
Alan Pardew has vowed to battle on, but seemingly the same cannot be said for his players. West Brom capitulated in dismal fashion to lose 2-1 at Bournemouth, blowing a lead in the last 20 minutes for a result which surely leaves no doubt that they are heading for the Championship. Pardew too is surely living on borrowed time at the Hawthorns, with the Baggies seemingly desperate to get this sorry campaign over as soon as possible and start rebuilding for what they hope will be a promotion push next season.
Same old Stoke
Tony Pulis may be long gone while Mark Hughes also tried and failed, and now it is Paul Lambert’s turn to discover that shifting Stoke’s reputation as a bunch of no-nonsense long-ball merchants is easier said than done. Charlie Adam’s reckless two-footed challenge on Wayne Rooney earned a red card which went a long way to sealing another defeat against a distinctly average Everton team. Adam will have a lot to answer for if the Potters’ fate is finally sealed.
West Ham might have had a week off but things will hardly look any brighter for their long-suffering fans as they head into the international break. The last thing they need next is another home game – especially against their seemingly revitalised relegation rivals Southampton. Palace’s win will have done nothing to improve the mood of despair swirling around the London Stadium, with the Hammers now clinging to safety by their fingertips.