Premier League weekend review: Ibrahimovic not slowing down

Craig Forrest and James Sharman look at Chelsea's impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal and how it may represent the direction each club is trending in.

Here’s what happened in the Premier League this weekend, in case you missed it…

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Saturday: Chelsea outclasses Arsenal, Hull stuns Liverpool and more
Sunday: Man City leaves it late, and Leicester is in trouble
Aguero on the move? Argentine’s Man City future to be decided at end of season

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Chelsea 3, Arsenal 1 || Crystal Palace 0, Sunderland 4 || Everton 6, Bournemouth 3 || Hull City 2, Liverpool 0 || Southampton 1, West Ham United 3 || Watford 2, Burnley 1 || West Bromwich Albion 1, Stoke City 0 || Tottenham 1, Middlesbrough 0 || Manchester City 2, Swansea City 1 || Leicester City 0, Manchester United 3

WHAT STOOD OUT

Age nothing but a number for Ibrahimovic
What kind of form is Zlatan Ibrahimovic in? Consider this: Only Lionel Messi scored more goals in 2016, and the Super Swede continues to find the back of the net this year. Ibrahimovic added to his tally on Sunday when he scored in Manchester United’s 3-0 win away to Leicester City, a result that allowed the Red Devils to move within two points of the top four.

Ibrahimovic’s goal in the 44th minute, which came just 88 seconds after Henrik Mkhitaryan’s opener, was a record-setter—at 35 years and 125 days, he becomes the oldest player to have scored 15 goals in a single Premier League season. So much for the suggestions prior to his arrival at Old Trafford that he might not adapt to the pace and physical nature of the Premier League.

After a laboured start to the campaign, Manchester United has rebounded with aplomb. Sunday’s win means they are now unbeaten in 15 Premier League games—it’s their longest undefeated run since Alex Ferguson retired. Ibrahimovic has played a seminal role in United’s renaissance, providing goals, leadership and inspiration. As the focal point of the team, Ibrahimovic has helped drag the Red Devils out of the doldrums and into the top-four race. Not bad for a 35-year-old, eh?

Chelsea gets revenge on Arsenal
Craig Forrest and James Sharman look at Chelsea’s impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal and how it may represent the direction each club is trending in.

Sportsnet’s Soccer Central podcast (featuring James Sharman, Thomas Dobby, Brendan Dunlop, and John Molinaro) takes an in-depth look at the beautiful game and offers timely and thoughtful analysis on the sport's biggest issues.

BEST GOAL

Eden Hazard put Chelsea up 2-0 against Arsenal on Saturday with a magnificent effort all by himself that started at midfield.

BEST GAME

Nine goals in total, a four-goal effort from Romelu Lukaku (who scored in the opening minute) and plenty of swings in momentum—Everton’s 6-3 win over Bournemouth at Goodison Park was a thriller.

BEST MOMENT

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte doing his version of the “Lambeau Leap” at Stamford Bridge after Hazard’s fantastic goal vs. Arsenal:

BEST QUOTE

“It was all about fear when the first goal went in. …Once fear takes over, the mind gets confused and we saw the players doing a lot of stuff we didn’t envisage.’ – Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce following a 4-0 loss at home to Sunderland.

BEST TWEET

THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME

How dangerous was Hazard against Arsenal? The Belgian wizard ran at and through the Gunners, continually putting the visitors under pressure:

CRISIS CLUB OF THE WEEK: ARSENAL

Craig Forrest and James Sharman look at Arsene Wenger’s struggling squad and how it’s not just the players’ fault, but issues stemming deep within the organization.

THE BIG QUESTION

Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:

SIX PACK OF STATS

• Arsenal have lost four of their last nine Premier League games, the same total they lost in their previous 35 matches in the competition.
• Chelsea have won nine consecutive Premier League home games by an aggregate score of 27-4.
• After conceding just five goals in their first eight Premier League home games under Claude Puel, Southampton have shipped nine goals in their last four.
• Pedro Obiang is the first West Ham United player to both score and assist in a Premier League game this season.
• Josh King has scored more Premier League goals (12) for Bournemouth than any other player.
• Leicester City is the first English top-flight club to fail to score in their first five league matches of a calendar year since Tottenham in 1986.
Stats courtesy of Opta

THREE STARS

1) Romelu Lukaku, Everton: Four goals. Enough said.
2) Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City: Jesus saves! The young Brazilian scored both goals for the Blues, including an injury-time winner.
3) Eden Hazard, Chelsea: He scored that fabulous solo effort goal against Arsenal, and caused plenty of problems for the Gunners with his probing runs.

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