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Premier League talking points

TALKING points from the weekend’s Premier League matches:

NEWCASTLE’S GORDON LOOKS EUROS-BOUND

Anthony Gordon was not on the scoresheet, but in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, he ran the show in attack for Newcastle United in their 4-1 success at Burnley to boost his chances of going to the Euro 2024 finals in Germany.

If Newcastle qualify for European football next season, Gordon will have played his part with 10 goals and 10 assists so far.

England has an array of attacking talents, but with UEFA having expanded squads for Euro 2024 to 26 players, the irrepressible Gordon is finding form at the right time and will be hard to leave out.

LUTON WIN FRIENDS BUT RELEGATION LOOMS

Luton Town’s Premier League stay may be a case of “one and done” as their lacklustre 1-1 draw at home to Everton on Friday edged them ever closer to the relegation trapdoor.

The 18th-placed Hatters have by no means disgraced themselves on their return to the top flight for the first time since 1992, but as against the Toffees, they have had a tendency to come up just short in crucial situations.

A flurry of stoppage-time chances suggested a team still full of desire, but again it proved too little, too late, and Nottingham Forest’s win over Sheffield United on Saturday leaves Luton with a mountain to climb if they are to survive.

READ:  Premier League talking points

With Sheffield United down already and Burnley likely to join them it would be the first time since 1998 that all three promoted clubs make an immediate return.

RAYA SIGNING GOLDEN FOR ARSENAL

When Arsenal signed David Raya on loan from Brentford last August there were raised eyebrows, especially as they already had an England international in Aaron Ramsdale.

But the Spaniard has fully vindicated Mikel Arteta’s faith and in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday he kept his 15th Premier League clean sheet of the season to secure him the Golden Gloves award — the first Arsenal keeper to have that honour since Petr Cech in 2015-16.

Strangely it is still not certain whether Raya’s deal will be made permanent but, barring the odd error like the one against Tottenham Hotspur last week, he could not have done a great deal more to convince Arsenal to retain his services.

TOTTENHAM’S SEASON RUNNING OUT OF STEAM

Tottenham began the Ange Postecoglou era impressively and were unbeaten in their opening 10 Premier League games when talk of a title bid did not look farfetched.

But they are ending his first season in a horrible run of form with Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Liverpool their fourth defeat in a row — the first time in 20 years that has happened.

Postecoglou is still very much in credit after changing the dynamic at the club, but it is clear his risk-taking style of football needs some squad upgrades in the summer to make it truly effective against the top clubs.

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HAALAND BACK IN BUSINESS

Manchester City’s goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland is rounding into form at the perfect time, with three games remaining in City’s tight title race with Arsenal.

City manager Pep Guardiola deemed the 23-year-old Haaland, who missed two months earlier this season with a foot injury, “back in business” after he struck four times in City’s 5-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday to take his tally for the season to 25 league goals.

Three of Haaland’s goals on Saturday were in the first half, making him the third different player to score two first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (also v Nottingham Forest last season), after Andrew Cole and Michael Owen.

By The African Mirror

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