Premier League weekend review: United turnaround continues under Solskjaer

Craig Forrest, Danny Dichio and James Sharman discuss the possibility of West Ham United losing Marko Arnautović if he leaves the team to play in China.

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

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Saturday: West Ham blanks Arsenal, Liverpool wins & more
Sunday: Man United blanks Spurs & more

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

West Ham United 1, Arsenal 0 || Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Liverpool 1 || Burnley 2, Fulham 1 || Cardiff City 0, Huddersfield Town 0 || Crystal Palace 1, Watford 2 || Leicester City 1, Southampton 2 || Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 1 || Everton 2, Bournemouth 0 || Tottenham 0, Manchester United 1

WHAT STOOD OUT

United turnaround continues under Solskjaer
Sunday’s away match against Tottenham represented the first serious test of Manchester United in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era. Since the Norwegian took over from Jose Mourinho last month, Man United has won all five of its games – four in the Premier League, and one in the FA Cup. However, the quality of its opposition has been suspect: Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Reading.

Thanks to a stellar performance by goalkeeper David de Gea, and a goal by Marcus Rashford on a fabulous setup by Paul Pogba, United won their sixth straight match under Solskjaer. In doing so, Solskjaer strengthened his bid to keep the manager’s job next season, despite recent reports linking Man United with current Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Solskjaer is the first manager in United’s history to win his first six games in charge.

A mere 25 days ago when Solskjaer took over, United was 25 points adrift of Arsenal. At the end of this weekend, they are now level with the Gunners for fifth in the standings – and a mere six points adrift of Chelsea for the fourth and final Champions League berth. The Norwegian has breathed new life into United, unleashing stars such as the ultra-talented Pogba to play their natural game, rather than taking the Mourinho approach of trying to change his players to fit into his system and style of play.

Pogba told Sky Sports after Sunday’s win: “I’m enjoying playing football. It was difficult in the system [under Mourinho], the tactics we used to play. I like to be more attacking, pressing, play high.

“Sometimes I could go but defending is not my best attribute. Where I play [at the moment] we understand each other and I’m where I feel most comfortable.”

Is Arnautovic leaving to play in China?
Craig Forrest, Danny Dichio and James Sharman discuss the possibility of West Ham United losing Marko Arnautović if he leaves the team to play in China.

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BEST GOAL

Fulham’s André Schürrle takes a long pass over his shoulder and somehow cradles it with his foot before blasting the bouncing ball into the top left hand corner of the net against Burnley.

BEST MOMENT

BEST MATCH

It only produced one goal, but Manchester United’s win over Tottenham was pretty entertaining and dramatic, mostly because of David de Gea’s heroics in net for the Red Devils.

BEST TWEET

WORTH REPEATING

“It was not the best performance of the season in a few departments but from a maturity point of view, I would say it is the most mature performance in the season. We are not the Harlem Globetrotters. We have to deliver results.” – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, after his team’s 1-0 win away to Brighton & Hove Albion.

THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME

Why was Arsenal so dreadful against West Ham on Saturday? Well, for one reason, they didn’t offer much in the final third of the pitch, and their creative players weren’t nearly as involved in the attack as they should have been.

CRISIS CLUB OF THE WEEK

Craig Forrest, Danny Dichio and James Sharman discuss just how bad Fulham has been on the defensive end.

THE BIG QUESTION

Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question:



SIX PACK OF STATS

• Watford have won 13 points from their 10 away league games this season, just one fewer than they won on the road during the entire 2017-18 campaign.

• Fulham is the first team to score two own-goals in a Premier League game since Swansea City did it against Arsenal in January 2017.

• Southampton’s Yan Valery (at 19 years and 324 days) is the youngest player to be sent off in the Premier League since Luke Shaw (19 years and 211 days) in February 2015.

• Burnley is unbeaten in its last 30 home matches against Fulham in all competitions (with 25 wins) dating back to 1951.

• Kurt Zouma is the 139th different player to score a goal for Everton in the Premier League. Only West Ham (147), Tottenham (146) and Newcastle United (141) have seen more players score in the competition.

• Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time in his career.

Stats courtesy of Opta

THREE STARS

1) David de Gea, Manchester United: The Spanish goalkeeper made 11 saves to preserve the Red Devils’ win away to Spurs.

2) Felipe Anderson, West Ham United: The Brazilian put in a man-of-the-match effort against Arsenal, creating more chances (four) and completing more tackles (three) than any other player.

3) Michael Keane, Everton: The English centre back was a defensive dynamo vs. Bournemouth, making two interceptions and 11 clearances. He also came close to scoring, hitting the woodwork.

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