Premier League weekend awards: are Man Utd really an in-form team?

There was tension last season as Chelsea scored just one goal in five Premier League matches. Graham Potter’s team was as boring as they were bad. Chelsea, who sit mid-table with just four wins from 12 games, may still be bad, but at least they are no longer boring.

Thirty-eight percent of Chelsea’s goals this season came in Sunday’s 4-4 draw against Manchester City. This also applies to 31% of the goals conceded. The match at Stamford Bridge showcased the unparalleled madness of the Premier League. You have to go back as far as last Monday’s stampede between Chelsea and Tottenham to find a match this chaotic and brutal.

There was ultimately no winner between Chelsea and Manchester City, but there were plenty of winners (and losers) from Matchweek 12.

Revenge performance of the week

Cole Palmer may look like one of the cast of Superbad, but there’s something about him. No one can doubt that after his performance against his former club, Manchester City, on Sunday, when Palmer converted the equalizer in stoppage time and celebrated with a moody shrug. Palmer also mischievously tried to take part in a City tactical time-out without anyone noticing. Revenge, it turns out, is a powerful motivator.

Palmer – whose good form was rewarded with a first England call-up on Monday – was an afterthought for Chelsea in the transfer market this summer, but he has quickly become central to Pochettino’s plans. His willingness to nest outside the wing gave the Blues numerical strength against Manchester City’s midfield, while his ability to get into the half-spaces provided Chelsea with a route into transition.

Stamford Bridge has been a tough environment for new signings over the past two seasons, but Palmer is proving himself to be an exception. At 21, he has shouldered the bulk of Chelsea’s creative burden – and with it a leadership role.

Statistic of the week

Have you ever felt baffled by a statistic before? Well, you’ll notice when you hear that Manchester United are the most in-form team in the Premier League, with more points (12) in their last five games than any other side. That is the same Manchester United that has been on the brink of crisis for the past month. The same Manchester United that needed Victor Lindelöf to save them at home against Luton Town on Saturday and win 1-0. The same Manchester United that is now suddenly dependent on Harry Maguire again.

Erik ten Hag is now in the best form in the league to dispel doubts over his future at Old Trafford. Numbers, he can argue, never lie – as long as you ignore the numbers that put Manchester United in the bottom half of the table. Expected goals And Expected points this season (United are 12th in what should have happened xG table). Or those who suggest that United’s good league form is down to a favorable run of games.

Everton are fourteenth in the table, eight points ahead of the relegation zone. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

The award ‘Leonardo DiCaprio points at himself on TV’

Like Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in HollywoodBurnley fans certainly recognized the brand of football played by Everton when they saw the highlights of the match on Saturday. While Vincent Kompany tries to become the next Pep Guardiola as successfully as Steve Bruce tried to be the next Sir Alex Ferguson for years, Sean Dyche has recycled an old blueprint to turn Everton’s season around.

Long-ball tactics, second-ball battles, a general disregard for the opponent’s shins, James Tarkowski… Everton are a better Burnley than Burnley at the moment. Saturday’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace means Everton have already surpassed last season’s tally of away wins and are growing in confidence with almost every game. Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benítez, Frank Lampard – none of them gave Everton a clearer identity than a man from Northamptonshire who for some reason speaks as if he is from Yorkshire.

Player of the week

Darwin Núñez’s evolution continues. Last week the Liverpool striker posed a danger to the windows of the houses around Kenilworth Road with his wayward shooting against Luton Town. This week, however, Núñez was much more precise, hitting the target with 100% of his shots and taking care of others when he couldn’t get an effort away himself.

That last point is crucial. Signed as the Reds’ version of Erling Haaland, Núñez is not nearly as clinical in front of goal as the Manchester City striker. When you look at Núñez, you see how an athlete runs the full spectrum of inner psychology, from self-doubt to self-confidence. Haaland doesn’t do this because he’s not human.

Nevertheless, the chaos that Núñez brings allows Liverpool to unleash the full potential of their attack. The 24-year-old contributed two assists for Mohamed Salah in Liverpool’s 3-0 home win over Brentford on Sunday, with the relationship between the two strong. All seven of Núñez’s assists in the Premier League this season have been to Salah. The Chaos King and the Egyptian King make a powerful duo.

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Goal of the week

BEAUTIFUL BRIGHTON GOAL. SIMON ADINGRA with the strong series, nice one-two and shot that kisses the post. The Zerbi’s dreams became reality before our eyes. ????

— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) November 12, 2023

Despite some competition from John McGinn, Diogo Jota and Pablo Sarabia, Simon Adingra scored the most eye-catching Premier League goal of the weekend. With Kaoru Mitoma on the bench, Sheffield United might not have expected to face a dribbling threat from Brighton’s left wing, but Adingra provided that and more, combining well with Facundo Buonanotte after a strong run to finish low on the inside of the post. .

It wasn’t quite up to par Jack Wilshere’s one-touch circus goal from a decade ago, but the way Brighton cut through a crowded opposition backline made it somewhat reminiscent of that moment. It was about Buonanotte’s backheel assist as well as the dribble and shot. This was the highlight of an otherwise dull 1-1 draw.

The Eric Dier Award for Fan Relations

You must take it, but never give it back. All professional players must adhere to this golden rule and those who don’t are defined by the time they face one of their own fans. Kieran Trippier managed to hold himself back at the Vitality Stadium after Newcastle United’s dismal 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, but the image of the right-back arguing with a supporter at full-time was a reflection of how the Magpies struggle for consistency. “Aren’t the boys giving it their all?” Trippier said as he confronted his own supporters. The frustration builds. Manchester United are now above them in the table. How embarrassing.

First touch of the week

Sarabia plays Hacky Sack a lot. That’s the only way to explain how he scored Wolves’ equalizer against Tottenham Hotspur so easily in Saturday’s early kick-off. Sarabia didn’t even have to pause as he controlled a Matheus Cunha pass and set himself up for the near-post volley finish in one move. It was a moment that wouldn’t be out of place on Dennis Bergkamp’s highlights.

Premature celebration of the week

Anthony Elanga went big when he celebrated his goal to give Nottingham Forest a 2-1 lead against West Ham on Sunday. The shirt came off. So did the strappy GPS tracker that was dumped at the side of the pitch when Elanga failed to quickly turn it back on before the match resumed (I bet the Forest data analysts there were delighted were left).

However, GPS was not needed to track how many seconds Forest’s lead lasted as Elanga’s goal was canceled out just 123 seconds later. And then West Ham won 3-2. A shirt-off celebration with 27 minutes remaining proved as premature as Elanga’s predictions as Manchester United’s next big thing.

Passive-aggressive email sign-off of the week

Just a week after calling every referee in the country a useless wet wipe (to paraphrase), Mikel Arteta flipped the script after Arsenal’s 3-1 home win over Burnley, but in a ‘passive-aggressive email sign-off’ kind of way – way that made everyone nervous. the room for his post-match press conference. “VAR was right, the referee was right, really good decision, really positive from Mikel to speak about that,” the Arsenal manager said of the decision to show a red card to Fabio Vieira seven minutes before the end of the match . He was smiling, but the grin had a big ‘kind regards’ energy to it.