I think we have to take a moment to give Arsene Wenger some proper credit for once. Not many managers would have been clever enough to take his team to Swansea City and lose to try and convince the board to give him a bit more money to spend on a last-minute signing. Also, who knows if the defeat was what made Olivier Giroud finally accept he had to move? Sure, there was the risk that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have looked at the game and thought “I am not signing for this lot” but let’s be honest, Pierre-Emerick is in London as much for the nightlife as he is the football so he wasn’t that bothered. Arsene lamented “unusual mistakes” that cost his side the game. Arsene, dear boy, have you watched Arsenal defend in the last decade? These mistakes are very usual. Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed, Petr Cech is done. Completely finished. If Arsene is actually still a genius then what does that make Carlos Carvalhal? He has taken over one of the worst sides in the Premier League and now got them out of the relegation zone. What a guy.
Liverpool needed a stress-free outing to get over their recent setbacks against Swansea and West Bromwich Albion. It was just a bit of luck that Jurgen was playing his best mate then, as Huddersfield Town rolled over and let Liverpool gently tickle their belly. Huddersfield Town haven’t won since mid-December and hadn’t won a great deal before then either, and with teams below them getting their houses in order it could be a tough Spring for the Terriers.
Jose Mourinho managed to count four errors made by Manchester United for Tottenham Hotspur’s opening goal at Wembley. Considering Christian Eriksen scored after a mere 11 seconds, that’s (a) a mistake every 2.2 seconds and (b) some very quick counting by Mourinho. Phil Jones doubled Tottenham’s lead later in the first half with a finish that Harry Kane would have been proud of. Tottenham were very, very good and Alexis Sanchez? Well, it “wasn’t the game for him” according to Jose.
Does it all feel a little bit familiar, Olivier hmmm? Giroud was unveiled as a Chelsea player as the incumbent Champions managed to make him feel completely at home. By “at home” I mean losing in a display of total incompetence, you know, just like Arsenal. Bournemouth are such a curious bunch and Eddie Howe will always make his team play like Eddie Howe wants but to come to Stamford Bridge and win 3-0 with three second-half goals suggests reminds us that Chelsea are in a very dangerous moment. Conte says he is “overachieving” and that “a top-four finish would be a great result”. Mind you, if you’d been forced to sign Ross Barkley and had been linked to Peter Crouch in the same window, you’d probably feel like that too.
Manchester City had no such drama at the Etihad. Their record signing Aymeric Laporte made his debut and was barely troubled as City beat WBA 3-0 without breaking sweat.
Theo Walcott has started his late sprint to the England World Cup squad. The winger scored twice for Everton in their 2-1 win over Leicester City in a game that saw the Leicester players flicking the V at the camera every two minutes and mouthing “I hate you Riyad”.
Stoke City and Watford’s match was as bad as a 0-0 draw between the two sides could possibly be, Newcastle United managed to grab a draw from the jaws of victory against Burnley and failed to bring in Islam Slimani on loan and Glenn Murray cannot stop scoring since being accused of fraud, netting Brighton’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Southampton.