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Romelu Lukaku, fewest touches in historical past, Chelsea, Harry Kane, Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, highlights, speaking factors, evaluation - Football Roof

Romelu Lukaku, fewest touches in historical past, Chelsea, Harry Kane, Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, highlights, speaking factors, evaluation

Manchester United got here up with the right reply to their many critics, a last-minute slip-up from their noisy neighbours blew the title race broad open and Chelsea formally have a $184m downside that desperately wants fixing.

Foxsports.com.au analyses all the largest points from the weekend’s motion within the newest version of Premier League Speaking Factors!

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EPL Wrap: Title race thrown broad open | 02:47

UNITED NARRATIVE SHIFTING AFTER ‘COHERENT AND SPIRITED’ WIN

It’s humorous how shortly the temper can shift throughout the house of per week.

It was solely seven days that United had been being branded as a “leaky, noisy, messy membership” by Alan Shearer and Southampton supervisor Ralph Hassenhuttl insinuated that the gamers are lazy when monitoring again.

From an outdoor perspective, they appeared as nothing wanting a workforce devoid of concord that was functioning as a fractured entire.

Hit the fast-forward button and you’ve got a workforce that’s gained two video games in a row and are contemporary off a win towards bitter rivals Leeds in blustery circumstances on the lion’s den that’s Elland Highway.

Talking after the sport, Purple Devils interim boss Ralf Rangnick declared the win as “the absolute best reply the workforce might give” to the critics.

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, by any means.

United coughed up a two-goal led early within the second half thanks to 2 targets in fast succession from Leeds’ Rodrigo and Raphinha, however the impressed substitutions of Fred and Anthony Elanga helped to safe two targets and three factors for the guests.

Has the win washed away all the criticism — which was by all accounts legitimate given their on-field woes — of the final week?

No.

However this Leeds win was very important.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Fred celebrates with Anthony Elanga and Scott McTominay of Manchester United after scoring their team's third goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road on February 20, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 20: Fred celebrates with Anthony Elanga and Scott McTominay of Manchester United after scoring their workforce’s third aim in the course of the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Highway on February 20, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photograph by Shaun Botterill/Getty Pictures)Supply: Getty Pictures

As The Guardian’sBarney Ronay writes, Rangnick’s United “had produced one thing coherent and spirited.”

“This was the actual great thing about an event that felt at occasions like a visit into some rousing and deeply stylised model of the footballing previous,” Ronay stated.

“Regardless of the systemic points, the bizarre constructions, the sharp business enamel driving this membership, the sport nonetheless will get in on the edges.

“With Sancho starting to bloom, this short-lived United workforce will really feel it has one thing that passes for momentum.”

That momentum has United with a slither of respiratory house within the coveted ultimate spot for the Champions League, with 4 factors separating them from West Ham and Arsenal, who’re positioned fifth and sixth on the ladder respectively.

However Purple Devils followers have to maintain the confetti within the cannons for now, as Arsenal have three video games in hand on the Hammers and United.

Look additional down the fixture listing and other than a house recreation towards lowly Watford, United could possibly be sweating profusely with nervousness.

Manchester Metropolis, Tottenham and Liverpool await within the following three Premier League video games.

If United can climate that storm, then the narrative surrounding the workforce can have taken a special, and extra positively phrased, flip.

‘GALACTICALLY EXPENSIVE DECOY’ MAKES UNWANTED HISTORY

Romelu Lukaku claimed a file determine in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, however it’s one that’s nothing wanting embarrassing.

Lukaku touched the ball simply seven — sure, seven — occasions all through the 90 minutes, the fewest in a single Premier League recreation for a participant since Opta started monitoring the figures in 2003.

The second fewest? Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel towards Crystal Palace in 2019, with eight.

Oh, did we overlook to say that one in every of Lukaku’s touches got here from the first-half kick off?

After the sport, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was “not so positive” if he had a solution to the Belgian’s important lack of involvement.

It have to be identified that Lukaku performed an important function in Hakim Ziyech’s winner by absorbing two Palace defenders to him to depart Ziyech unmarked on the again put up to transform a Marcos Alonso cross.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: Hakim Ziyech celebrates with teammates Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz of Chelsea after scoring their workforce’s first aim in the course of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on February 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photograph by Alex Broadway/Getty Pictures)Supply: Getty Pictures

However, as The Athletic’s Liam Twomey places it, “when Chelsea agreed to pay Inter an eye-watering $AUD184m to convey Lukaku again to Stamford Bridge final summer time, it was with a view to him being greater than a galactically costly decoy.”

The fashionable striker, as we all know, is pressured to do extra than simply targets, though it’s the first goal of their place.

They’re entrusted with dragging defenders into uncomfortable areas and forcing them to endure 90 minutes of hell.

However Lukaku didn’t provide a lot else apart from the decoy for Ziyech’s aim.

The Telegraph’s Jim White described the efficiency as “motionless, uninvolved, unconnected” and that “it’s laborious to think about this show will likely be matched anyplace this season for its full irrelevance.”

Lukaku has now failed to attain in his final eight Premier League video games.

Three wins of their final 9 has left Chelsea in third-place purgatory: all however out of the title race and don’t look horrible threatened by the fourth-place peloton.

A Champions League end is the naked minimal, however with Lukaku, who scored 24 targets final season for Inter in Serie A, it was hoped that he would have been the person to raise Chelsea as severe Premier League title contenders.

How will Tuchel unlock the sophisticated thriller that’s the Belgian and get him firing?

KANE EXPOSES CITY’S GLARING ISSUE AS TITLE RACE BLOWN WIDE OPEN

When Riyad Mahrez rocketed a penalty within the high nook within the 92nd minute, you’d have been laborious pressed to discover a punter who thought that wouldn’t be the ultimate aim of the sport.

However Spurs’ talismanic marksman Harry Kane popped with a ninety fifth minute header to reward his aspect an important three factors and handed Manchester Metropolis their first defeat of the yr.

For many of the season, it’s mainly turn out to be the overall consensus that Pep Guardiola’s aspect would once more run away with the title with little menace.

However Metropolis’s latest type, which included a 1-1 draw towards Southampton, has their legs wobbling a bit of bit.

And Liverpool, contemporary off a 3-1 win over basement boys Norwich Metropolis, odor blood within the water.

It looks like for the primary time this season, we would lastly have a title race on our fingers.

It’s value noting that Metropolis are nonetheless six factors clear, and even when Liverpool win their recreation in hand, the Manchester aspect will stay three factors forward.

Metropolis midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was bullish in a post-game interview, and reiterated “that they (Liverpool) nonetheless want to return right here to the Etihad”.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: Phil Foden of Manchester Metropolis dejected after their aspect conceded their third aim in the course of the Premier League match between Manchester Metropolis and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on February 19, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photograph by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Pictures)Supply: Getty Pictures

However pretty much as good as Metropolis has been this season, The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson factors out that there have been moments when the floorboards have loudly creaked.

“When a aspect wins 14 out of 16 video games, it feels absurd to determine flaws, however maybe on reflection there have been hints that they weren’t fairly so impermeable as they appeared,” Wilson stated.

“Leicester, in dropping 6-3 to them, confirmed within the second half that Metropolis might nonetheless be weak to counter-attacks, that these balls performed in behind the line of defense which have all the time been a possible vulnerability might nonetheless trigger issues.”

Kane once more shone a highlight on Metropolis’s backline points, as he always dropped brief to obtain balls and allowed himself house to show and run at defenders or lay it off to the fast Heung-Min Son or Dejan Kulusevski.

Liverpool followers have Kane’s brow to thank for protecting the title door ajar, however as Gundogan appropriately identified, all roads result in April 10 when Jurgen Klopp’s aspect stroll on into the Etihad.

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