Midweek Premier League: Five things we learned

The matches are coming thick and fast, with another bout of Premier League fixtures coming to a close on Wednesday night. Here’s a look at five things we learned from the action.

City offer a glimpse of vulnerability

It could have been a very frustrating night for Pep Guardiola’s men at Vicarage Road on Tuesday. Their usual exhibition of creative swagger and menace was on display against Watford, however they just couldn’t put The Hornets away, despite their best efforts.

Through a combination of wastefulness and great goalkeeping by Ben Foster, they failed to ease into the near total comfort they’ve enjoyed all season. Watford’s inevitable late goal had Man City scrambling for the final few minutes and they looked like they could nick a point. Ultimately, City held on for the win, but for a moment at least, it looked like they were mortal after all.

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Chelsea out of sorts

After bouncing back from the Spurs game in style at the weekend, Chelsea were not at the races again when they travelled to Wolves. It was only a couple of weeks ago, that we were talking about Chelsea’s title credentials. However, just three points from three games has left them staring down the barrel of fifth place.

It was not the worst display at Molineux especially during the first 45 minutes, but Wolves got a whiff of vulnerability and made the Blues pay. Sarri was left to admit afterward that he could not explain his sides lacklustre showing in the second period. It will be a concern for Chelsea that they have struggled on the road again, and the Stamford Bridge outfit will want some of their star players to up their game as the season hits a crucial period.

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West Ham getting into gear

This season’s Jekyll and Hyde team, West Ham, were in impressive form again on Tuesday. The Hammers put Cardiff away in an easy on the eye display at The London Stadium as they secured back to back wins, playing some of their best stuff under Manuel Pellegrini.

Lucas Perez did well, stepping up with Arnautovic injured, and for consecutive matches, West Ham’s quality was too much to handle.  They will need to carry on the good form and not slip back into some of their bad habits. Their last two wins have been hugely encouraging though.

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Seagulls Flying after Palace win

Chris Hughton deserves no end of praise for the work he’s done at Brighton. Despite a lack of huge investment, Hughton has got his side punching way above their weight. Their win over Palace was massive and consolidated their place in mid-table, away from the dogfight.

There has been some really good moments for Brighton since their return  to the top flight and their latest run of results have had the hallmarks of a team maturing and growing more comfortable in their surroundings. Despite being down to ten men, they controlled the game and made Palace look a distant second best. Glenn Murray continues to shine and The Amex is growing into one of the more daunting Premier League away days.

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United show some spirit

They may not have got the three points on the night, but Manchester United showed the right level of effort and commitment against Arsenal at Old Trafford. In the 100th top flight meeting between the two old foes, United showed their good and bad sides under their embattled manager.

They absorbed plenty of Arsenal pressure well enough and sprang some decent counters, but they had too many mistakes and plenty of twitchiness in their game, which led to Arsenal’s goals almost feeling inevitable. There was still plenty of fan grumbling after the final whistle, which is understandable as United failed to win again.

Mourinho said he was pleased with his team’s spirit, and with good reason. However, it was another two points squandered and they will need to pick up wins with real urgency now. If they can show that kind of mentality more often, their form will turn, it does seem a pretty big if at this stage though.

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