Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Villa to play their way out of trouble garde d

Remi Garde got off to a decent start as Aston Villa manager, holding league leaders Manchester City to a goalless draw on Sunday.

The result halted a seven-match losing run but wasn’t enough to move Villa off the foot of the table.

One of the most striking things about Villa’s style of play under their new boss was their approach play in the final third. Jordan Ayew was selected as the lone striker over Rudy Gestede, and Villa’s wingers seemed unwilling to cross the ball from wide positions and instead tried to play their way into the box.

When the aerial presence of Gestede was brought on off the bench City were in complete control but couldn’t break down the home side’s resilient defence.

It remains to be seen whether Garde’s style will keep Villa in the Premier League come May, but his new side only managed three shots on Sunday with none troubling Joe Hart.

Vardy on cloud nine vardy_3207522

Jamie Vardy just can’t stop scoring at the moment – and the Leicester City striker was on target from the spot in his side’s 2-1 win over Watford this Saturday.

That was the ninth successive Premier League game the forward has scored in, the most any English forward has managed.

In fact, if the 28 year-old finds the net in next week’s game against Newcastle, he will equal former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of netting in 10 straight games.

Given Vardy’s excellent form, it is understandable that manager Claudio Ranieri has warned off the league’s bigger clubs, saying that Vardy is not for sale come January.

Klopp has huge job on his hands klopppp

Crystal Palace recorded a shock 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, inflicting a first defeat on Jurgen Klopp.

Scott Dann scored an 82nd minute header which sees the Eagles move above the Reds in the table.

Klopp admitted that he felt ‘alone’ after the centre-back’s late goal; “Eighty-two minutes – game over,” he told the BBC.

“I turned around and I felt pretty alone at this moment. We have to decide when it is over.”

Liverpool drop to 10th in the table and are seven points away from the Champions League places after 12 games of the season – surely confirmation that the new manager needs to spend, spend, spend during the January transfer window.

Gunners show character to rescue point gibbs

Kieran Gibbs came off the bench and was the unlikely hero for Arsenal in the North-London derby to extend the Gunners unbeaten Premier League run six games.

Tottenham had comprehensively outplayed their neighbours at the Emirates Stadium for around 75 minutes but held only a 1-0 lead for all their dominance, and Gibbs’ goal denied Spurs a third straight league win.

Arsenal came into the game on the back of a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich which left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League.

With injuries racking up for Arsene Wenger, attacking options to change the game on Sunday were limited, but the three-time Premier League champions fought on to claim a crucial draw.

The point keeps Arsenal level with Manchester City at the top of the table, and must certainly boost the belief within the camp that a first Premier League title since 2004 is a realistic prospect this season.

Chelsea lose again – but show improvement mourinhodejected_3409808b

Last season’s champions suffered a third straight league defeat on Saturday at the hands of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

The Blues showed signs of a return to something near their best with a much more fluent first half display than in recent weeks.

However, they succumbed to a second half Marko Arnautovic goal which condemned the Londoners to their seventh defeat of the season.

Chelsea’s title hopes for this season were already all but over before this latest defeat but the 13-point deficit to the top four is definitely recoverable, if Mourinho’s men can convert improved performances into much needed points.

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