This week, George Rinaldi took a look at the weekend in which a Brazilian thwarted Manchester City, Aston Villa could be Championship bound following a loss on Tyneside and there was also a case of mistaken identity at Old Trafford.
1. Coutinho’s a cracker!
He did it against Bolton in the FA Cup, he did it against Southampton last week but maybe most importantly, he did it against Manchester City this Sunday. Philippe Coutinho has had a brilliant past month for Liverpool and all thanks to his right foot.
Curlers are a speciality it seems; and his goals have guided the Reds into not only progressing in the FA Cup, but also sending them into fifth in the Premier League. The Brazilian’s form in the second half of the season has been pivotal in the resurgence of Brendan Rodgers’s team.
2. Foul play
Which former Manchester United defender should have walked during Sunderland’s 2-0 loss against the Red Devils? Well, it shouldn’t have been Wes Brown, who was unfortunate enough to be sent off for a tackle made by John O’Shea.
Referee Roger East’s decision-making went south as he mistook Brown for O’Shea as the latter fouled Radamel Falcao. According to Sunderland boss Gus Poyet, East told the players there were two fouls, and he chose to opt for Brown’s.
3. Tim misses the point
Aston Villa continued their barren run without picking up three points since last December and 13 games ago. This particular loss came at the hands of Newcastle – a Papiss Cisse strike sinking the visitors who had just three shots on target.
We all know Tim Sherwood loves percentages, having recorded a 52 per cent win record at Tottenham Hotspur. Well, Tim, you currently have a big fat zero per cent for any points gained, let alone wins.
4. Saido staying put?
Is he staying, is he going? Well, for now Saido Berahino is a West Bromwich Albion player and is proving the key factor in the Baggies staying afloat from the relegation battle ensuing below. The 21-year-old netted after just 71 seconds to defeat Southampton on Saturday.
Tony Pulis was quick to hand the plaudits in the direction of the young English forward, saying he has a big future ahead of him but he just needs direction into how to improve as a player. Is Pulis the right man to guide such a talent or will he be moved on in the summer?
5. Per Pressure
Arsene Wenger opted to drop Per Mertesacker for the clash with Everton on Sunday. The German has had a poor season, helped only by the return of Laurent Koscielny, but his performance against Monaco in midweek seemed to be the last straw.
Gabriel would be his replacement, and arguably, it was the first sign of the changing of the guard at the back of the defence. The result? A stunning tackle to deny Romelu Lukaku, a clean sheet and three points to the Gunners.
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