Each week, ‘In On Goal’ co-hosts Colin Murray and Dion Dublin give your their expert reaction and analysis from the weekend’s Premier League football. Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.
As the fans streamed towards the exits inside an eerily quiet Goodison Park yesterday afternoon, the conversation between Bill Kenwright and Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri will have been priceless.
Moshiri had flown in from Monaco after giving manager Ronald Koeman the dreaded vote of confidence a couple of weeks ago. As he sat next to Kenwright in the directors box, both will have been hoping for some signs of improvement from Koeman’s squad. Instead, all they saw was further proof that they’re not coming and that the manager is scrambling around for answers.
“Write what you want to write”, said the defiant Dutchman to the assembled hacks in the post match press conference. They have done that very thing this morning and it’s far from complimentary.
Ronald Koeman can count himself lucky that so many fans had already left the ground before the final whistle, as the levels of derision would surely have been far higher than the quiet acceptance of yet another humiliation for the Goodison faithful.
In fact, had it not been for the heroics of Jordan Pickford, Arsenal could have reached double figures, such was the superiority of the visitors. Despite Rooney’s early goal, we clearly weren’t going to see a repeat of this fixture last season which acted as a catalyst for Everton’s campaign.
Arsenal are known for not travelling well and not being fans of getting roughed up. But Everton gave a toothless and insipid performance and showcased everything the fans are afraid of.
At Wembley, the other half of Merseyside were facing the other half of North London. While the situation for Klopp’s Liverpool squad is nowhere near as severe as Everton’s, Liverpool are certainly not without their problems as the 4-1 scoreline demonstrates.
Liverpool do have goals in them, which is just as well, because they need to score 4 or 5 in games to counterbalance the 3 or 4 they’re likely to leak at the back. The back four and goalkeeper simply aren’t good enough as Spurs exposed yesterday with ruthless abandon.
In all honesty, the scoreline flattered Liverpool as it could have been much more. Under the watchful eye of a premier league record crowd of 80,000, including a certain Diego Maradona, his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino has built a Spurs side who are lovely to watch.
Yes, they have had their inconsistencies this season, and no they probably won’t have quite enough to push Manchester City all the way this year, but the Harry Kane team won’t be far away come May.
Kane inspired his side to a well deserved and comfortable victory, which is why there will have been concern as he appeared to be holding his hamstring as he was substituted in the 88th minute.
Pochettino maintains that Kane’s fitness is nothing to worry about, but it does highlight the fact that a few injuries to key players could really put a dent in Tottenham’s season, as they perhaps don’t have the strength in depth of some of their rivals.
Manchester City continued to impress against Sean Dyche’s Burnley who put up more resistance than many of their opponents this season. City’s class prevailed and the 3-0 scoreline reaffirmed them as clear title favourites, especially with Manchester United slipping up at Huddersfield.
Jose Mourinho and his players made no excuses for United who admitted that the better side won on Saturday, and all credit must go to David Wagner and his Huddersfield players who were simply better in every department than Manchester United at the John Smith’s stadium.
The much underrated Chris Hughton inspired his Brighton side to a comprehensive 3-0 victory at West Ham, to lift them up to twelfth and in turn increase the pressure on West Ham manager Slaven Bilic who will once again be under the spotlight in the current sack race.
One manager who has quite rightly attracted the admiration and plaudits of many this season is Watford’s Marco Silva, who must be wondering how his side lost at Stamford Bridge.
The 4-2 scoreline certainly doesn’t tell the full story, and had his side not missed a succession of gilt edged chances, most notably two sitters from Richarlison, they would have come away with all the points rather than none on Saturday.
Antonio Conte must be thinking the same when he watches the game back, but the fact is that Chelsea still sit 4th in the league, above Arsenal on goal difference, but still 9 points behind Manchester City who have widened the gap to 5 points on their nearest rivals of Manchester United and Tottenham.
The bookies don’t often get it wrong, and the only thing that appears more likely than the Premier League trophy going to the Etihad and tomorrow being Tuesday, is Ronald Koeman’s departure from Everton, which now must be a certainty after this weekend.
Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.