Breakfast Briefing: Man United's mental softness as Arsenal awaits
The fallout from Manchester United's dispiriting 2-2 draw with Fulham this morning continues, with beleaguered manager David Moyes claiming his side showed 'mental softness' as they conceded a late equaliser. The Red Devils dominated most of the game despite going behind, but two late goals were not enough to snatch three points when Darren Bent levelled with an injury-time header.
"We've got a good team and there'll be very few teams desperate to play Manchester United, that's for sure." Moyes' words have a defiant ring to it, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be an exception to the rule as the Arsenal youngster vows to set things right when they welcome Manchester United to the Emirates for their midweek encounter. The Gunners were of course handed a painful lesson over the weekend as they lost heavily to Liverpool.
Striker Luis Suarez has been hailed by his manager despite not scoring during the romp against Arsenal, as Brendan Rodgers chose to highlight his selflessness in a wider role than usual. Strike partner Daniel Sturridge scored for the seventh consecutive match, but the Liverpool manager obviously feels that Suarez's contribution was equally important to their result.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez was left ruing a second half defensive lapse that cost them dear, as Emmanuel Adebayor proved the match winner for Tottenham in a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane that will do much for their Champions League hopes. Tim Sherwood's side now move two points ahead of Everton and three points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
A Lionel Messi double helped propel Barcelona back to the top of the La Liga table as Blaugrana ran out 4-1 winners over a wasteful Sevilla. Atletico Madrid's defeat to Almeria on Saturday allowed Barca the chance to steal back top spot and they duly obliged as they moved ahead on goal difference. Coach Gerardo Martino believes Messi's performance would have effectively silenced his critics after reports all week that the Argentinian forward had lost his passion for the game.
Pepe Reina has dismissed talk of a permanent move to Spain in the summer, saying that he will wait till the end of the season to decide his next move. The Napoli goalkeeper's registration is still held by Liverpool, but he has effectively been displaced at Anfield by Simon Mignolet and might consider moves to Atletico Madrid or former club Barcelona.
The clash of the nouveau riche clubs in France ended in a draw as Paris Saint-Germain were held 1-1 by title rivals Monaco. Javier Pastore's first goal of the league season put the league leaders ahead, but Monaco battled hard and drew level after Thiago Silva's own goal 16 minutes from time.
More injury woe for Borussia Dortmund as the fashionable Bundesliga side add to their never-ending list of injuries this season. BVB have confirmed that Marco Reus and Sven Bender both picked up thigh injuries in the 5-1 demolition of Werder Bremen on Saturday, and will miss them for a fortnight and a week respectively.