After all, that’s what you are meant to deadpan into the camera after you’ve been beaten by Jurgen Klopp’s champions, isn’t it?
Saturday’s early kick-off was refreshing in many ways. Firstly, Liverpool were given that slot once again despite them having to play in a very important game on Wednesday night and, for once, Kloppo didn’t have a moan about it after the match – it’s amazing what a 7-0 win does for your mood. Secondly, it was great to see some goals in the 12:30 game which (traditionally, and there are probably a million recent facts that I’ve forgotten) are typically quite dull.
Dull this one was not – even before kick-off there was a mini-drama as Mo Salah was benched. The conspiracy theorists like myself wanted to believe it was because Salah had not ruled out a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona in the future in an interview with a Spanish paper. He’d also said he’d been ‘disappointed’ not to skipper the Reds a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, with that evidence it was more likely Klopp wanted to give him a rest.
Not that Liverpool needed him – they were already very home and dry by the time Salah came on to help himself to the goods on offer. Sadio Mane was absolutely gutted to be replaced and you could understand why.
Seven out of eight shots went in – and if they hadn’t all been pretty fine you’d have wondered what Palace’s keeper had been up to.
Tottenham have been labelled as the team looking to win the title by nicking games here and there and keeping it tight at the back but given they’ve not let a goal in for 628 Premier League minutes, surely it’s Man City that are most deserving of the ‘throw-back to when football was different’ mantel?
As Ralph said, Southampton played better here than when they beat City 1-0 last season and the Saints will be ruing the missed opportunity to further their worryingly-real Champions League qualification credentials.
Not a lot seems to have been made of either incident, but this very confused armchair analyst felt that Hassenhutl’s lot could have had two penalties. The first was when Ruben Dias’ boot ended up very close to Danny Ings’ eyebrows – anywhere else on the pitch, that’s given as a free-kick even if Ings was ducking into the ball ever-so-slightly. And as for the handball shout against Raheem Sterling – I’m that lost on what is and what isn’t nowadays that I’m probably wrong in thinking that was a nailed-on penalty.
City are picking up points without hitting their straps fully. And for that alone, the rest of the front-runners should be looking nervously over their shoulders.
Two of those front-runners are Jose’s Tottenham and Brendan’s Leicester City and those two got down to a game of football chess on Sunday.
Now, chess would be an absolutely terrible sport to watch on TV and the first half of this battle really wasn’t much better. The main thing I found myself pondering, as the first 45 was petering out, was how utterly Arsenal it was to go to St-Etienne for a defender and come back with William Saliba when Wesley Fofana was hiding in plain sight – and then Serge Aurier rewound the clock to his pre-Jose days.
This was the match of the weekend that certainly posed many a question – Is there a better striker playing against alleged bigger/better teams than Jamie Vardy? Probably not.
Does Gareth Bale look like someone who actually wants to play club football? Could he become the first international-only footballer? And did the best team lose this one too, Jose, eh?
If you are wondering whether I am slowly backing away from my statement that Tottenham can win the title this season – yes, yes I am. And not even that slowly.
So, here’s another question – if they don’t sack him, could Arsenal actually go down?
They are in dire straits – they will spend Christmas in the bottom six after another defeat, this time to Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton and there are rumours of a very, very divided dressing room.
Answer me this, too – when Mikel Arteta and Ancelotti took over on pretty much the same day a year ago you’d have naturally expected the two teams to be the other way round when you look at the Premier League table today, wouldn’t you?
Arsenal went into this one without their skipper, Yo-Pierre and, unfortunately for them, with Willian. The Brazilian is going some to be the biggest Brazilian waste-of-space in an Arsenal shirt given the competition David Luiz gives him, but the ex-Chelsea man is doing what he can to earn that title. No shots, no completed crosses, no successful take-ons, no tackles and no successful duels is what Willian returned in his afternoon’s work on Merseyside. Is he the worst Premier League signing based on expectation vs actual return? Quite possibly.
Scott McTominay dominating the midfield like Paul Pogba should and could wasn’t a great look for Pogba or Leeds United at Old Trafford. The Scot helped himself to a brace within the first four minutes as United waited for Leeds to expose themselves horribly, do silly things and concede goals – six of them in total. As expected, Leeds did get a couple and should have had several more – but if six wins in the last seven Premier League matches is a crisis at United then Arsenal would love that kind of crisis.
Is Callum Wilson the kind of striker that could keep Newcastle up this season? And by that, I don’t mean the kind of striker that takes a hilarious tumble the second he gets in the area despite knowing he was fouled three seconds before – because we all can see he is also that.
To be fair, he needs to be – at the moment, there are three ex-Bournemouth players who seemed to make decent moves preseason to get another stab at Premier League life and, right now, you’d do well to convince me that Wilson, Ryan Fraser and, of course, Aaron Ramsdale won’t be getting back-to-back drops.
Scott Parker was right to be ‘confused’ at how anyone can watch that replay so many times, then go back for one final look and still decide that the foul happened inside the area. But hey, you know, VAR.
If there was one team that might have a soft-enough middle for Sheffield United to pick up a win against, you’d have probably suggested Brighton (not Manchester United on Thursday…) were that team.
And when the Blades found an edge and scored, they must have thought that they might finally win a Premier League game. Yeah, not so much. Danny Welbeck is back and breaking hearts. And Brighton spectacularly contrived not to get all three deep into injury-time in the finest goalmouth scramble of the weekend.
1-0 down within five minutes and his skipper sent off before half time. Has Big Sam really missed it that much?