Liverpool’s worst ever home top flight run continued in defeat to Fulham, while Manchester United halted Manchester City’s 21-match winning streak.
Fulham continue to be upwardly mobile, Newcastle slip into the relegation fight and Brighton’s bad luck goes on.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the weekend’s Premier League action.
Liverpool’s season descends into crisis
"It was not good enough."— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 7, 2021
Jurgen Klopp puffed out his cheeks and spent several seconds searching for any words before he began his first answer in his Sky Sports interview after Liverpool’s 1-0 home defeat to Fulham. The Reds have now lost six Premier League games on the spin at home, and all while attempting to defend their league title. Klopp’s men are at least still alive and kicking in the Champions League, with a 2-0 lead over RB Leipzig ahead of Wednesday’s last-16 second leg clash. At Anfield in the league right now though, Klopp and his players simply have no answers. Fulham deserved their win and Roy Keane was not adding any of his usual pantomime anger when branding their plight a “crisis”.
Pep’s City are human after all
𝐁𝐈𝐈𝐈𝐈𝐆 performance from the boys!— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 7, 2021
Manchester United looked tired and insipid in successive goalless draws against Chelsea and Crystal Palace. But when the derby came around, and with Pep Guardiola’s City chasing a 22nd league win on the bounce, suddenly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men came to life. Luke Shaw drilled a deserved goal to add to Bruno Fernandes’ early penalty, as City’s dazzling run came to an end. Guardiola’s side will surely still claim the title, but for once their usual poise in front of goal eluded them. Here also was another indicator of United’s progress under Solskjaer. Second and deservedly so, United have built steadily across the second half of this campaign with Solskjaer cementing his position all the while.
Fulham are heading in the right direction
Scott Parker has instilled new belief in Fulham with the 1-0 win at Liverpool meaning they are only in the bottom three on goal difference. As clubs above them have faltered the Cottagers have maintained the belief they will beat the drop. Mario Lemina’s goal and a clean sheet meant they were the latest side to leave Anfield with the points at the expense of the Premier League champions. As the season enters the business end Parker will be looking to maintain the momentum as his side look to avoid the drop back into the Championship.
Newcastle sink further into the mire
Steve Bruce surely thought he had steered Newcastle past the worst of the fallout from the training ground bust-up with Matt Richie. Newcastle might have laboured to a goalless draw at West Brom, but the point maintained United’s status quo – well, all until Fulham downed Liverpool at Anfield. Suddenly a solid but uninspiring Sunday turned into another worrisome weekend for Bruce and the Magpies. Newcastle’s final-day trip to Fulham has looked like a relegation decider for some time. On current form, however, Fulham could already be safe by that point. Right now, not too many would be predicting the same of Newcastle.
Brighton’s bad luck an even worse sign
Leicester kept their top-four bid on track with a last-gasp 2-1 win at Brighton on Saturday. Seagulls boss Graham Potter was left to bemoan yet more bad luck for his side, with Brighton sitting just above the relegation zone. Whatever the performance levels and attractive football, when it comes to the crunch too often it is the teams left cursing their luck that fall through the trap door. Brighton are now on a run of six games without a win, with their last league victory coming in the 1-0 triumph over Liverpool at Anfield on February 3.
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