OPINION: Five things we have learned from the Premier League, Week 15
Ieuan Ivett casts his eye over the Premier League games in week 15 to find out what we have learned from a goal-fest weekend.
Vardy’s party is back under way
After such an impressive showing last season, fronting Leicester’s well-deserved title with 24 league goals, it seemed that Jamie Vardy had gone into hiding. The champions had a poor start to the season with Vardy’s lack of form - and that of his fellow attacker, Riyad Mahrez - a key reason.
However, a hat-trick against Manchester City on Saturday rewound the clock back to last season. Vardy’s poise and composure, mixed with aggression and pace, makes the England striker such a threat.
Three great goals has created a good foundation for the striker to build on in the coming matches, something all Leicester fans will hope is the start of another special campaign for Vardy.
Ruthless Diego keeps on scoring
Diego Costa began his Premier League campaign in goalscoring fashion and has continued the trend, scoring another goal at home to West Brom. After a shaky start, Chelsea have had an incredibly impressive run of performances, winning nine league games in a row.
The talisman is their goalscoring machine, Costa. His aggression and presence up front have been too much to handle for most of Premier League defences so far this season and he is now the league’s top goalscorer with 12 goals.
The Spain striker is averaging one goal every 110 minutes, underlining the threat he is providing for the league leaders. Only time will tell if his impressive form is just a phase or whether he is world class.
Henrikh is no bench warmer
Henrikh Mkhitaryan. A name that has oddly been in the shadows at Manchester United since his arrival in the summer. The Armenian winger has been warming the bench since the start of the season, but has proved his worth in the short glimpses he had on the field.
This weekend, Mkhitaryan made his third league appearance against in-form Tottenham and scored the only goal of the game. Besides getting on the scoresheet, he had a large pocket for his opposite number, Danny Rose, to sit in for the 80 minutes he was on the pitch.
United fans will be craving to see more of Henrikh, hoping that his injury late in the game won’t keep him sidelined for too long - manager Jose Mourihno said the winger should be back for Boxing Day.
Klopp’s keeper issues continue
There is no doubt that Liverpool are title contenders this season, with possibly their most fluid and creative attack since the formidable Suarez, Strurridge and Sterling partnership. However, the question being asked was whether they were capable of outscoring the amount they concede.
It’s safe to say their defence is not of title-winning standard and neither are their goalkeeping options. Loris Karius controversially responded in midweek to criticism from Gary Neville after a sloppy performance in their dramatic 4-3 loss to Bournemouth the previous week.
However, the German keeper was left with a red face yet again on Sunday as more blunders meant his side could only draw against a West Ham side that started the game in the relegation zone. Liverpool fans surely want a new man between the posts come the end of January?
Moyes isn’t a miracle worker
David Moyes has had a roller-coaster ride so far in charge at Sunderland, winning three of his last four games before visiting the Liberty Stadium at the weekend.
Moyes seemed to be bringing the best out of strikers Jermaine Defoe and Victor Anichebe. The manager had led his side to impressive wins over champions Leicester City and Bournemouth, victories that should stand him in good stead for his long-term position at the Black Cats.
However, Moyes found out on Saturday he can’t rely on just two players to keep his side winning, after a struggling Swansea City beat them 3-0.
The ex-Manchester United manager will need to strengthen in other areas during the January transfer window if he wants to reach the always sought-after 40 points and probable safety.