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Premier League

5 things we learned from the weekend's Premier League action

PA | 2mo
City get back to winning ways but no slips from Liverpool.

Liverpool coped impressively with their new tag as title favourites but Manchester City got back to winning ways to set up an intriguing clash with the leaders. Here, Press Association Sport looks at these and some other things we learned from the Premier League this weekend.

Going top has brought confidence, not nerves, to Anfield

Roberto Firmino's hat-trick helped Liverpool thrash Arsenal 5-1 (Peter Byrne/PA)

The title picture has changed dramatically in recent weeks with champions Manchester City slipping up and ceding the initiative to Liverpool. After going six points clear at the top with their Boxing Day win over Newcastle, Liverpool – for the first time – were being talked of as favourites, rather than as a side clinging on to the coat tails of City. From then on, games would become as much a test of nerve as ability. Yet far from shrinking under the pressure of their new status, the Reds appear to be revelling in it. Arsenal were expected to provide a stern test but Jurgen Klopp's men ruthlessly swept them aside, playing with a swagger of potential champions. Klopp continues to play down the situation, but the Merseysiders are now in a strong position.

Onus on City next Thursday

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Pep Guardiola (right) meet again next week (Martin Rickett/PA)

The eagerly-anticipated clash between City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on January 3 now has a completely different feel from how it seemed a month ago. A draw might have suited both sides had they played then and both could have tried to cancel each other out as they did at Anfield in October. But now, if they are to have hope of getting back into the chase and create doubts in the minds of Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's City really need to take the game to the visitors. Considering Liverpool enjoyed success against City last season when they met fire with fire, they might also look to attack. It sets up a potentially compelling clash.

Tottenham fluff their lines

Wolves came from behind to beat Tottenham at Wembley (John Walton/PA)

While Liverpool might not be showing signs of nerves, Tottenham stuttered as Wolves came from behind to beat them 3-1 at Wembley. Spurs had propelled themselves into the title picture by thrashing Everton and Bournemouth 6-2 and 5-0 respectively to move above City. Yet almost as soon as they were being touted as having an outside chance, they missed the chance to put any pressure on a Liverpool side playing after them on Saturday. Wolves are a dangerous side, but Spurs cannot afford to squander winning positions like this if they are to challenge.

Pogba looking like a World Cup winner again

Paul Pogba shone against Bournemouth (Martin Rickett/PA)

It is not difficult to pinpoint the start of Paul Pogba's recent resurgence – the Frenchman having excelled in Manchester United's three successive wins since the departure of Jose Mourinho. Against Bournemouth on Sunday, the midfielder looked like the dominant force that helped France to World Cup glory last summer as he scored two goals for a second game in succession. It hardly seems a coincidence that Pogba looks liberated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's management, after the earlier part of his season had been overshadowed by reports of a rift with Mourinho.

Huddersfield in big trouble

David Wagner's Huddersfield urgently need a lift (Yui Mok/PA)

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez recently suggested it might take a miracle to keep his side up, but if any side really does require such a thing it is Huddersfield. The Terriers certainly seemed down on their luck as they were sunk by a very late strike from Aleksandar Mitrovic in their bottom-of-the-table clash with Fulham. Having thought they might have escaped with a point after Fulham's Aboubakar Kamara made a mess of a penalty moments earlier, it was a confidence-shattering blow. After seven defeats in a row, David Wagner's side need an urgent lift.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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