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5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action

Liverpool’s winless league run stretched to four games after an Anfield stalemate but in contrast Manchester City were back to their ruthless best.

At the other end of the table there was good news for West Brom, but safety for Sheffield United looks an increasingly unlikely prospect.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action.

Toothless Reds

Liverpool's front three struggled to find form and test goalkeeper David De Gea
Liverpool’s front three struggled to test Manchester United’s defence (Paul Ellis/PA)

Thiago Alcantara’s long-awaited Anfield debut fell a little flat and served as a reminder to Reds fans that there is no fast-track to retaining their Premier League crown. It is now three games without a goal for Jurgen Klopp’s men and for all the riches at his disposal in the shape of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, Klopp’s concerns in front of goal are increasing.

Still tight at the top

Manchester City edge towards the top spot leaving a number of clubs fighting for Champions League places
Manchester City were at their ruthless best against Palace (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Manchester United’s revival might have rightly hogged the headlines, while Liverpool’s relative struggles are also providing plenty of scope for conjecture. Meanwhile, Manchester City are easing back towards the ascendency, their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace taking them onto the shoulder of their closest rivals, and in prime position to push to reclaim their crown.

Pressure eases slightly on Lampard

Frank Lampard has come under criticism this season, but his side returned to winning ways against 10-man Fulham
Frank Lampard’s side returned to winning ways against 10-man Fulham (Andy Rain/PA)

Chelsea’s three-match winless run in the Premier League had stretched back to before Christmas before their narrow 1-0 victory over 10-man Fulham on Saturday. Hopes were high heading into the season, and with £220million-worth of summer recruits still settling in at Stamford Bridge – Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were among the substitutes at Craven Cottage – Blues fans will be hopeful the best is yet to come from Frank Lampard’s side, who ended the weekend in seventh spot.

Boost for Baggies

West Brom recorded their second win of the season to edge closer to safetywich Albion – Premier League – Molineux Stadium
West Brom recorded their second win of the season (Carl Recine/PA)

West Brom’s 3-2 derby success at Wolves could have breathed new life into the relegation battle. Prior to the weekend it seemed the Baggies, along with Fulham and Sheffield United, were in danger of being cut adrift. And while the outlook remains bleak for the latter pair, Sam Allardyce will justifiably boast renewed confidence this week – and leave the likes of Burnley looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Blades back to losing ways

Sheffield United's poor start to the season continued despite thier victory over Newcastle on Tuesday
Sheffield United’s poor start to the season continued (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Although manager Chris Wilder said he feels there is no pressure on Sheffield United, they have made the worst start to a season in the history of English top-flight football. Their wait for the first victory of the season ended on Tuesday night at the expense of Newcastle, following 15 defeats in 17 matches, but Tottenham showed no mercy at Bramall Lane and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners on Sunday, leaving the Blades 11 points from safety and with an increasingly bigger task ahead to retain their Premier League status.

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