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Premier League talking points

TALKING points from the latest round of Premier League games.

POROUS TOTTENHAM JOIN 50 CLUB AS DEFENCES STRUGGLE

Tottenham Hotspur’s concession of three goals before halftime against Arsenal meant they became the 16th club to let in 50 in the top flight this season.

That is the most in a top-flight season consisting of 20 clubs since the 1909-10 season when 17 clubs reached that landmark and there could be more yet with Everton having shipped 48 with three games left.

The reasons are complex, however, with VAR, teams playing out from the back and a glut of top-quality strikers and attacking midfielders all factors.

Although the extended game times are clearly playing a big role with 25% of goals arriving after 75 minutes.

DYCHE DESERVES HUGE CREDIT FOR EVERTON SURVIVAL

Sean Dyche said keeping Everton in the top flight this season was his biggest managerial achievement and if anyone deserves a long summer holiday it is him.

Former Burnley boss Dyche, recruited in January 2023 to replace Frank Lampard, has managed to focus minds on the pitch against a backdrop of points deductions, ownership uncertainty, injuries and poor form.

Saturday’s win made sure they will maintain their proud residency in the English top flight and in Dyche they surely have a manager to lead the club to better times.

KLOPP’S REIGN ENDING WITH A WHIMPER AND SALAH FURY

The sight of Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah remonstrating with departing manager Juergen Klopp after West Ham United’s late equaliser on Saturday added to the Reds’ recent woes, as their season has spectacularly unravelled.

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Klopp’s attempt to speak to Salah, waiting to come on having been dropped, prompted obvious anger from the Egypt forward, who was pulled away by Darwin Nunez.

While Klopp tried to play down the incident, Salah did not get the memo and told reporters it would be “fire” if he spoke, ensuring the story rumbled on.

With the German manager leaving next month and Saudi Pro League clubs likely to renew their interest in Salah, the row could mark a sad end to two Liverpool greats’ time at the club.

ANOTHER DAMAGING WEEK FOR TEN HAG

Manchester United emerged from the last eight days unbeaten but that has done little to deflect the spotlight from under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag.

They were made to look ordinary by Championship side Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final and then by the teams ranked 19th and 20th in the Premier League.

United were held to a home 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday, having twice come from behind to beat Sheffield United in midweek, and boos were directed at the players and Ten Hag.

While United have an FA Cup final to look forward to, there is a sense that the end of the season can’t come soon enough.

FOREST HAVE PUT UP A FIGHT AGAINST TOP TEAMS

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had predicted a tough game at the City Ground on Sunday, despite the fact Nottingham Forest are fighting to stave off relegation in 17th place in the league.

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Turns out Guardiola wasn’t just being kind, as Forest missed several brilliant chances that might have made for a much different game if converted en route to City’s 2-0 victory.

As Guardiola pointed out afterwards, Forest has had some terrific home results against top teams this season, and only lost 2-1 to league leaders Arsenal in late January and 1-0 to Liverpool in March.

By The African Mirror

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