The Premier League was back this weekend after an international hiatus, and to be honest, I wish it had never gone away.
Anyway, I’m not going to use this article as another opportunity to decry the international break, especially when a wonderful footballing feast took place. Here are the studs and duds from the EPL’s return:
Banished from the first-team squad up until this point, the Ivorian hit the ground running in his first game of the season. Yaya got both goals as Manchester City overcame Crystal Palace, and Citizens fans will be utterly delighted that their dynamic midfielder is back – and seemingly back to his best.
Yaya Toure: 2 goals in 90 minutes
Paul Pogba: 2 goals in 11 games.
— ManCityPhotos (@ManCityPhotos) November 19, 2016
Boy have Tottenham missed their main centre forward. Kane may have been relatively anonymous for the majority of Saturday’s London derby with West Ham, but he turned up when it mattered. Two goals inside the last two minutes secured all three points for Spurs, and they sure did need them…
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 19, 2016
Tottenham hadn’t won in the Premier League since the beginning of October, and despite being ‘unbeaten’, they were struggling to score goals or look in any way dangerous when going forward. Fast forward to the close of this weekend, and they look very much in the title race, just four points off top spot.
Okay, so they’re still in the bottom three, but a second win on the trot makes things look a lot rosier for the Black Cats. Instead of being rooted to the bottom, they’ve got eight points, and the right sequence of results will see them move out of the drop zone next week.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) November 19, 2016
Until last week, Sunderland were the ‘gimme’ team of the Premier League – play them, and you’ll win. But things have changed rapidly after Hull were humbled by David Moyes’ side. Things are NOT good at Hull, and if something doesn’t change soon, I can see Mike Phelan being shown the door very soon – their survival may depend on it.
— Hull City (@HullCity) November 20, 2016
It may seem harsh that Jose Mourinho’s team are in the ‘not’ column, but they really should have got all three points at Old Trafford against a poor Arsenal side. They now have won just once in six Premier League games, and they’re nine points off the league summit and six points off the top four.
Jose Mourinho has got his work cut out at United, but unfortunately he doesn’t have the luxury of time. He may be the manager they always wanted, but if he doesn’t get them back into the Champions League, his position will start to look as untenable as both David Moyes’ and Louis van Gaal’s did before him.
Again, this may seem harsh, but this was Arsene Wenger’s best chance of beating a Jose Mourinho side ever. And yet his Arsenal choked once again and were incredibly lucky to escape with a draw. Champions? No chance.
Jose Mourinho’s Premier League record vs. Arsene Wenger:
Wenger’s Kryptonite. pic.twitter.com/ElUomAjx3p
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 19, 2016