EPL round-up: What did we learn this weekend?

Updated: January 26, 2016

Leicester City, Spurs and Man United all feature as we digest the weekend’s footballing action.

The Foxes go marching on

It’s fair to say, we were pretty pessimistic when discussing Leicester City’s chances of sustaining a serious Premier League title challenge in the weeks leading up to Christmas. With a tough festive fixture list seeing the Foxes face the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham, we feared the worst for Claudio Ranieri’s side; and as the festive season kicked off, our fears were largely vindicated following their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool and goalless draws against Bournemouth and Man City.

But following their smash and grab 1-0 win over Spurs a fortnight ago and yesterday’s convincing 3-0 demolition of Stoke City, it appears that the Foxes are made of sterner stuff than once anticipated.

With yet more tough games on the horizon in February, including a tough clash against Man City, Jamie Vardy’s return to scoring ways on Saturday will also be of huge encouragement to Leicester fans with his form in front of goal a huge contributing factor to their side’s already remarkable season.

United hangover continues

A dramatic late goal from Southampton new boy Charlie Austin yesterday condemned Manchester United to their sixth defeat of the season, also coinciding with a dismal sequence of eleven home  games in which they have failed to find the net in the first half. Curiously, Saturday’s defeat to the Saints was a complete flip-reversal of United’s rather fortunate 1-0 win over Liverpool last week.

The Reds dominated proceedings for large periods but found themselves undone in the final 5 minutes after slack marking allowed 26-year-old Austin in an unmarked position to head in the winner from a Southampton free kick. With just a week remaining of the January transfer window, many United fans will be wondering what rabbit Louis Van Gaal can pull out of his hat in order to revive their ailing season.

Spurs serious title contenders?

Tottenham Hotspur put in what can only be described as the complete performance in their 3-1 brushing aside of Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace yesterday afternoon. Despite trailing 1-0 to the Eagles mid-way inside the first half, Mauricio Pochettino’s men showed strong resolve to put three past Palace in the second period with the highlight of the match undoubtedly being this stunning goal from 19-year-old midfielder Dele Alli.

The Lilywhites are now (at the time of writing) still an arguably generous 16/1 to win their maiden piece of Premier League silverware this season with ComeOn!, a price that one may be willing to back considering their superior goal difference (they currently have the joint highest in the league with Man City on +22) and crop of in-form English talent such as the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane currently doing the business for the North London club. With a tough Europa League clash with Fiorentina also around the corner, pragmatic squad management will be key for Spurs as they continue to juggle (albeit successfully) their European and domestic commitments week-in, week-out.

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