Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

markoCity can’t deal with 4-3-3

Stoke City comprehensively outplayed Manchester City on Saturday and were unfortunate to win by only two goals to nil.

Potters boss Mark Hughes, a former City manager, sent out his players in an attacking 4-3-3 formation and Manuel Pellegrini’s men couldn’t handle it.

Marko Arnautovic bagged both goals as Stoke hit last year’s Premier League runners up with wave after wave of attack. Xherdan Shaqiri was at his brilliant best, and the Swiss combined superbly with Arnautovic and Bojan to give City’s back four nightmares.

Hughes was obviously watching last month when Liverpool went to the Etihad with a 4-3-3 formation and ran out emphatic 4-1 victors.

Pellegrini seemed to lack the ability to change the course of the game as his injury-hit squad suffered a more than uncomfortable afternoon in Staffordshire.

Captain Vincent Kompany’s absence remains the hardest felt; City have now lost five of the eight games they have played without him this season, however they are unbeaten in the Premier League when the Belgium international has featured for them.

McClaren gets response _67592248_mcclaren

The form guide suggested that Liverpool would easily defeat Newcastle on Sunday, but, in this unpredictable season, the Magpies gave boss Steve McClaren a much needed boost.

In their previous two outings, Newcastle had lost 3-0 at home to Leicester and 5-1 away at Crystal Palace, prompting McClaren to claim that nobody was happy at the club. They were cheered up immeasurably by Sunday’s performance – a solid defensive display led to a much needed 2-0 victory.

A Martin Skrtel own goal and Gino Wijnaldum strike inflicted an unlikely first defeat on Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and earned a first win in front of their own fans since mid-October.

With Newcastle still in the relegation zone, there is still a lot of work for McClaren to do at St James’ Park, but after a rough few weeks things may finally be looking up for the former England boss.

Wolves circling for Monk  GarryMonk_3107080

Poor Garry Monk can’t buy a win at the moment, and his Swansea side were picked apart by surprise table-toppers Leicester at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The Swans have now won just once since the end of August and have plummeted from 4th back then to 15th in the table.

One bookmaker has already stopped taking bets on Monk to become the next Premier League boss to face the sack.

Reports suggest that the under-pressure boss had a meeting with the club’s chairman Huw Jenkins following the recent run of form.

It’s all a far cry from last season, when Monk led Swansea to an 8th place finish – their highest ever in the club’s history.

Things don’t get any easier for the Welsh club either, as they face a daunting trip to a wounded Manchester City next time out.

Vardy draws blank – but Foxes on top  ran

Leicester’s victory over Swansea took them back to the top of the Premier League table, but Jamie Vardy’s incredible goal scoring run came to an end.

Riyad Mahrez continued his fine form by grabbing a hat-trick as Claudio Ranieri’s men continue to confound pundits this season.

England striker Vardy did have a good chance to set an all-time English football record and score for a 12th successive game but found goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski equal to him.

Things will get a whole lot tougher for the Foxes over the festive period, however, with Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City to come in their next four games.

Incredible day for Bournemouth glenn-murray-bournemouth-celebration_3385249

Glenn Murray came off the bench to score a late winner as Bournemouth beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Despite their struggles this season, Mourinho’s men were firm favourites on Saturday evening but could not break down the Cherries’ resilient defence, before conceding to Murray from a corner.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe called the result ‘the biggest in the club’s history’ as his newly promoted side picked up three points at the home of the reigning champions.

What’s more, the result keeps Bournemouth above the relegation zone on goal difference, and they are only now two points behind the Blues in the table.

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