Another weekend of Premier League action brought surprise results and an Anfield protest, with much to debate as the season rumbles on.
Goals from Adam Johnson and Jermain Defoe put a further dampener on an emotional day at Anfield on Saturday, as flocks of supporters left the stadium in protest of the club’s new ticketing structure.
The Reds voting with their feet remains the key takeaway from this latest Premier League weekend, but in terms of results, there is much more to focus on.
Leicester City secured an invaluable 3-1 victory away to Manchester City on Saturday, further strengthening their claims to the title come May, while Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal kept up the pace with wins over Watford and Bournemouth.
In the race for the top six, Everton defeated Stoke City 3-0, while Southampton continued their resurgence in form with a 1-0 victory over West Ham United, and at the other end of the table, Aston Villa and Newcastle United both secured three priceless points.
Here are five talking points from the latest round of Premier League encounters.
Sunday’s evening clash between Chelsea and Manchester United was dominated by the looming spectre of Jose Mourinho.
For one club, his presence still hampers a muted campaign; for the other, he is the No. 1 target, with Louis van Gaal’s future still in the balance as the Red Devils push for top four.
Before the game, Van Gaal was forced to vehemently deny speculation suggesting Mourinho had been in talks with the club, but conceding a late Diego Costa goal in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, his side continue to pile on the pressure.
But is Mourinho really the right man for United?
Do United not want to move forward, and avoid the Portuguese’s toxic brand of short-term management?
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Of course, it would be great to watch them sink further, but one has to question the judgment of United’s hierarchy if Mourinho is appointed.
Leicester are another side that have discovered the value of a confident, fit and firing striker this season, and with Jamie Vardy leading the goalscoring charts with 18 goals, the Foxes have moved quick to tie him down for the long term.
The England international signed a new contract on Saturday, believed to be worth a remarkable £80,000 a week, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2018/19 season.
With the striker turning 29 last month, this is a bold move by the Foxes, but with Vardy in his prime as Claudio Ranieri’s side push for an unprecedented title success this season, it is arguably justified.
Leicester cannot afford to lose Vardy to a top-four rival in the summer, and have taken precaution by tying him down before they seal Champions League football.
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Terry Following in Gerrard’s Footsteps in Contract Saga
“I made it very clear I wanted to stay,” John Terry told Sky Sports on Sunday, when asked about his contract situation at Chelsea.
“It’s a difficult one. The club is the most important thing. There is no communication between me and the club at the moment.”
Sound familiar? Terry’s current predicament at the north London club is eerily similar to that of Steven Gerrard at Liverpool last season, with Chelsea seemingly content to move away from the Terry era.
As with Gerrard and Liverpool, Chelsea are making a sensible move by bringing an end to Terry’s long spell at Stamford Bridge—no doubt MLS will find a home for the 35-year-old next season.