Manchester United bounced back strongly this weekend, but they face a very tough test next up. Meanwhile, are their City rivals Europe’s second best team at the moment?

Plus, Wilfried Zaha’s worries, and Tottenham unearthed a new gem. All this and more to unpack from a big weekend of Premier League action!

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Solskjaer gets the result and the reaction

After three poor performances, Manchester United couldn’t have hoped for a better fixture than bottom side Norwich at home.

Despite being faced with a yellow wall, United moved the ball faster to stretch Norwich. They knew they’d have it in wide areas for the majority of the game, so Solskjaer’s decision to start Juan Mata was inspired; he produced two world-class deliveries for the first and third goals.

His team have been criticised for failing to break down low blocks, and relying solely on pace, particularly at Old Trafford.

But United proved on Saturday they can pull sides about and punish them centrally, without relying on the channels.

Now, United desperately need consistency. Next up? Liverpool away. So much for momentum …


Abraham lays claim to Kane spot

On the day that Harry Kane assured the world his recent surgery was a success, Tammy Abraham was laying claim to his England starting spot with his 13th Premier League goal of the season.

Abraham has easily assuaged the pre-season fears that Chelsea, having lost three forwards over the summer and under a transfer embargo, would struggle for goals. He’s seamlessly made the transition into the first team after shining in the Championship at Bristol City and Aston Villa.

Against Burnley, he popped up in between the defenders to head home a pinpoint Reece James cross and as Frank Lampard assessed after the game, Abraham really should have nabbed his second Premier League hat-trick of the season.

He missed three glorious chances in the middle of the second half – one of which was a carbon copy of his scored goal – but at 22 years old, he is from far the finished product.





His performance would surely have been noticed by England manager Gareth Southgate as he looks at his options for the March internationals and Euro 2020.

Abraham is the most obvious choice to replace Kane – who is sidelined until April – and the upcoming games represent the perfect opportunity for the Chelsea striker to stake his claim to a starting spot, especially if he continues performing in the same vein.

City send out timely reminder

If Liverpool are the best team in Europe, Manchester City must be second. They’ve won nine of their last 10, scoring 32 goals in the process.

It’s easy to forget this, given Liverpool’s dominance, but in most other seasons, City would be flying. Yes, their defence has looked leaky, and they may have work to do in the market at centre-back, but in nine out of the 11 positions, they are staggeringly impressive.

Momentum is valuable going into the Champions League knockout stages, and City have it in abundance. And more importantly, they have squad depth outside of centre-half. They were able to rest Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker on Sunday, and it’s only a matter of time before the cup competitions take precedence over the league.

Pep Guardiola has refused to catastrophise over a difficult domestic season, and seems quietly confident – or is it a fiery determination to prove his doubters wrong? – that City will come away from this season with at least one trophy.

On current form, and with the Premier League “gone”, as Guardiola admits, who would bet against that?