Premier League winners and losers as David De Gea inspires Man Utd to victory

Abdullah Mulla - Writer 00:28 18/01/2019
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After a week of some brilliant FA Cup and Carabao Cup action, the Premier League was back for the 22nd round of fixtures.

Liverpool bounced back from their defeat to Manchester City by grinding out a 1-0 win away to Brighton, whilst City remained in touching distance of the leaders by easily beating Wolves on Monday night.

Tottenham slipped further away from the top two after losing to Manchester United at Wembley, while Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle sees them move one point behind Spurs.

Unai Emery’s Arsenal lost to London rivals West Ham at the London Stadium, leaving them level on points with United.

Burnley’s third successive victory sees them move three points away from the relegation zone, whilst Southampton’s away victory over Leicester takes them into 16th place in the table.

Huddersfield’s draw with Cardiff City keeps the Terriers rock bottom, eight points away from safety.

Who stood out and who had a weekend to forget? Here are our winners and losers:

Marcus Rashford scores the winner for United at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford scores the winner for United at Wembley.

WINNERS

Jeff Hendrick – Burnley

Burnley knew that three points against fellow relegation strugglers Fulham would give them a massive boost and Hendrick was the one who inspired the Clarets to victory.

His two drilled crosses caused havoc in the penalty area, resulting in two Fulham players diverting the ball into their own net.

Sean Dyche’s side got a lot of luck in this match, but Hendrick’s desire to get the ball into the danger area paid off.

David De Gea – Manchester United

Spurs simply could not get the ball past the Spaniard at Wembley. De Gea made an incredible 11 saves in the match, which is the highest number he has made in a match where he has kept a clean sheet.

That’s two successive league clean sheets for the Red Devils, who are now looking solid in all areas of the pitch. De Gea proved on Sunday why he is one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Jesus has started 2019 in incredible goalscoring form. He found the net twice to inspire City to victory over Wolves, meaning he has scored seven times in his last three appearances for City.

He has proven to Pep Guardiola that he can fill in for Sergio Aguero when he is absent and now, the manager has a tough decision to make about who to start in the next couple of games.

LOSERS

Yan Valery – Southampton

The young full-back had a half to forget at the King Power Stadium as he was sent off for two bookable offences.

The defender can have no complaints about either caution and showed his inexperience by pulling Marc Albrighton down to receive his second yellow.

His teammates were forced to defend resolutely for the entirety of the second half but luckily for him, they managed to come away with a crucial three points.

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win at Brighton.

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win at Brighton.

Willy Boly – Wolves

The Wolves centre-back has had a very impressive season so far and even managed to score against City in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

But his evening at the Etihad was cut short as he was given a straight red card in just the 19th minute for a challenge on Bernardo Silva.

You could argue that it was a very harsh sending off and Wolves will be tempted to appeal the decision to reduce his ban from three games to one.

Huddersfield Town

The Terriers look doomed and have only picked up 11 points in 22 matches. To make matters worse, manager David Wagner announced that he is stepping down from his role as head coach, leaving the club in a dire condition.

Things only get worse for the club, as they will face free-flowing Manchester City next in the league.

Whoever the new manager is, he will need to perform a miracle to save the club from relegation this season.

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Andy Robertson eyeing huge trophy haul after penning new Liverpool deal

Press Association Sport 23:23 17/01/2019
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Andy Robertson has extended his Anfield stay.

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson wants to follow his new five-year contract with trophies after admitting extending his stay at the club was a “no-brainer”.

The Scotland captain took little time in agreeing a new long-term deal just 18 months after arriving for £8million from relegated Hull.

And, after following the example of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez, who have all signed new contracts in the last six months, Robertson now wants to bring silverware to Anfield, with the Reds currently top of the Premier League by four points and in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“I hope to achieve success as a team over the course of this new deal,” he told liverpoolfc.com

“This club demands trophies and too long has probably passed without trophies.

“So I hope to help bring another couple of trophies to this club and help push in that direction because the fans demand it and the club demands it, so that’s what we aim to give.

“We came close (reaching the Europa League and League Cup finals in 2016 and Champions League final last year) but it’s about taking that next step and hopefully getting a winner’s medal around your neck, whatever competition it is.

“That is the main aim for us.

“As soon as the club came to me, it was a no-brainer for me – I want to stay here, so as soon as they put an offer on the table it was signed as quickly as that.

“It was a pretty easy contract for me and I’m sure for the club as well. We both agreed very quickly, that’s why it’s been done so quickly.”

Robertson had a slow start to his Liverpool career, with manager Jurgen Klopp giving the 24-year-old time to adapt to a new way of working.

However, since establishing himself as the regular left-back in December 2017 the Scot is now one of the first names on the team sheet after a string of impressive performances.

In what turned out to be Jose Mourinho’s last match as Manchester United manager, the 3-1 defeat at Anfield, the Portuguese made a point of singling out the defender.

“I am still tired just looking at Robertson. He makes 100-metre sprints every minute, absolutely incredible,” he said in his post-match press conference.

Robertson, however, believes he has plenty more to give.

“I am still young enough at 24 that I hope my best is still to come, that I can get better at the things that maybe are a small weakness or whatever,” he added.

“It’s about improving on them every day and the things you think are strengths, to try to get better at.

“I feel as if I have done that – this season I have already got more assists than last season, which is massive for me because I wanted to give more in attack and make my final ball a bit better.

“This season I feel it has been better, but it can still improve. As a defence we’ve improved and of course, defensively, I feel as if I have improved under that.

“I am happy with that side of the game as well, getting better and better and I hope there is still a lot more to come.”

Klopp is delighted to have wrapped up a deal so quickly.

“I think of all the contract renewals I have been involved with, this one was done in almost record time,” he said.

“He might be from Glasgow originally, but everything about him screams Liverpool.

“It has been fantastic to see him grow, develop and improve.

“Everyone knows about his personality, on and off the pitch, but maybe we are guilty at times of overlooking his quality.”

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Marco Silva hints at a couple of winter departures from Everton

Press Association Sport 22:27 17/01/2019
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Marco Silva

Everton manager Marco Silva admits there will be more departures than arrivals this month as he has been told by the club’s board that finances are not available for new signings.

Out-of-favour striker Oumar Niasse is edging closer to a loan move to Cardiff, which would leave the Toffees boss with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cenk Tosun and winger-turned-forward Richarlison as his options up front.

The trio have just 17 goals between them – of which Richarlison has scored nine – but there will be no reinforcements coming in January.

“It is not my job to change my mind,” said Silva.

Oumar Niasse

Oumar Niasse is near to a move away from Merseyside.

“When you asked me the last few weeks the possible players coming or not in the market, I told you that you just can’t sign someone if someone leaves the club or we sell someone.

“We don’t have the financial conditions to go in the market, (that) is the feedback I have at the moment. I have to find different solutions.”

That will not prevent Niasse leaving if a deal is thrashed out with their Premier League rivals.

The 28-year-old Senegalese has had a bit-part role at the club since arriving in a £14million deal in January 2016, going out on loan to Hull two years ago.

He has made just seven appearances this season but only one start and has featured in the matchday squad just 10 times in 25 games.

“Strong interest coming from Cardiff. But nothing is done yet,” Silva added.

“We have to wait to see if the teams go this way or not but I can tell you the interest is strong.”

Silva, however, is not planning a huge clear out and insists the likes of Phil Jagielka, currently injured, and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin still have futures at the club.

Club captain Jagielka has made just two appearances, the last in November, and has featured in the squad a total of five times.

Schneiderlin has been sub-par for Everton

Schneiderlin has been sub-par for Everton.

Schneiderlin’s record is not much better with nine appearances, all-but one of which came before November, and 11 squad selections in 25 matches.

“Their future is here with me, every day working hard like they are,” the Portuguese manager said.

“Jagielka started playing the first game, Schneiderlin played the first few games. After that it is a matter of performance.

“Their future will be here to play again and help us win matches.

“Jagielka is our captain and is an important player in our dressing room. Morgan is a senior player also.

Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka is out injured at the moment.

“I can only put 18 in the squad list. If you look at other squads in the Premier League and they play with two central defenders, most of them, one on the bench and the other one will be out.

“I think it is not just us.”

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