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Premier League talking points

TALKING points from the weekend in the Premier League:

LIVELY LIVERPOOL SET UP FOR KLOPP SEND-OFF

Liverpool’s players showed against Brighton & Hove Albion they are ready and willing to do everything in their power to give coach Juergen Klopp a successful send-off as he enters his final months as manager.

Sunday’s comeback win featured everything that Klopp holds dear — suffocating pressure high up the field, quick decisions and little skill from his attacking players turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win for the home side.

The win put Liverpool back on top of the table and the display of desire suggests they will be formidable in the title run-in.

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ARSENAL SHOW STEEL TO GO WITH FLAIR

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have been rightly lauded for their free-flowing, free-scoring football this season, including 33 goals in eight successive league victories prior to playing Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.

But against his old boss and friend Pep Guardiola’s team, Arteta pulled off a defensive masterclass in a 0-0 draw that showed Arsenal had steel to match their flair. That could prove crucial in the nine-game run-in to the season.

Arsenal restricted Man City’s much-vaunted attack, led by the frightening Erling Haaland, to merely one shot on goal: a rare feat at the Etihad. In fact, it was the first time the hosts had not scored at home in two-and-a-half years.

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UNITED’S PERFORMANCE RAISES QUESTIONS FOR TEN HAG

The international break came at just the wrong time for Manchester United, who were riding high after a dramatic 4-3 win over arch-rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup.

But while that might explain a loss of momentum, it cannot excuse United’s abysmal performance at Brentford.

Had the visitors gone into the break 4-0 down, as they had in the same fixture last season, they could hardly have complained. Only profligacy from Brentford — who managed 31 shots and 85 touches in United’s box — allowed United to get an undeserved point.

Erik ten Hag avoided the question when asked how United could hope to challenge for silverware if they can be utterly dominated by a side in a relegation battle. The problem for the Dutchman is that new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe will want answers.

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By Manfred Zwecker

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