Newcastle United have appeared doomed for the best part of the season so far. This weekend however, the Magpies finally showed signs of life as they won their first three points of the campaign. They produced a laboured performance against a strong Watford side, but they managed to hang on to secure the 1-0 victory. For a team looking to escape a third relegation in a decade, they might need a few more of such ugly wins in the coming weeks.
Both Teams to Score
Premier League teams were in the mood this weekend, as 16 of the 18 participants all found the back of the net ahead of the Monday night fixture. Watford and Cardiff City were the only two sides to fire blanks, which was good news for punters who put their money on the “Both Teams to Score” market. The bet would have won in seven of the nine featured matches.
Alvaro Morata appears to be finally putting his woes at Chelsea behind him, given his brace for the Blues against Crystal Palace on Sunday. The Spanish striker now has four goals in four games, which suggests he is eventually turning a corner following a tough few months at Stamford Bridge. At the very least, it is unlikely that Morata will find himself benched in favour of Olivier Giroud in the coming weeks. This platform will give him an opportunity to get back to the kind of form he displayed when he joined the club from Real Madrid last year.
The most baffling thing about José Mourinho’s Manchester United team this season has been their leaky defence. It is almost unheard of for a Mourinho team to be deemed inadequate at the back. The Portuguese manager has built his reputation over nearly two decades in Europe as a master organiser. He has struggled to replicate those achievements at Old Trafford this season, where United have conceded a staggering 18 goals over 11 matches so far. They conceded another in their late win over Bournemouth on Saturday, which means that they have only kept one clean sheet so far this season.
A myriad of mistakes and controversy ensured that this was not the proudest weekend for Premier League referees. Liverpool were denied a correct goal that would have put them in the lead against Arsenal in the most high profile match of the weekend. There were also questionable decisions made by officials in matches between United and Bournemouth as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham. With such incidences, the calls for the introduction of the video assistant technology (VAR) technology will only grow louder.
The stakes were extremely high in Monday night’s Premier League clash between Huddersfield Town and Fulham. Neither side could afford to lose, which is why Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanović could pay for his side’s defeat with his job. The Serbian admitted after the 1-0 loss that his future was no longer in his hands.
The Craven Cottage side have now lost six matches on the trot, five of those in the Premier League. It does not get any easier for Jokanović and his men either, as they face a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool this coming weekend.