Premier League weekend: Five talking points

Sports Mole picks out five of the main talking points to have arisen from the latest batch of Premier League matches.

Last night's entertaining 2-2 draw between Hull City and West Ham United at the KC Stadium brought down the curtain on what was yet another eventful weekend in the Premier League.

Here, Sports Mole looks back over each of the encounters and has picked out five of the biggest talking points.


1. Pardew on the brink

Alan Pardew, manager of Newcastle United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park on August 30, 2014© Getty Images

When your own supporters turn on you, there can only be one inevitable outcome. Those Newcastle United fans that made the long trip to Southampton on Saturday made it known via banners and songs that their patience with manager Alan Pardew had run out, even before a ball had been kicked.

What Pardew needed more than ever was for his players to stand up and show their commitment to him, but in his hour of need, he was deserted. The contest finished 4-0 to the hosts - a scoreline which actually ended up flattering Newcastle. The writing, as they say, is on the wall for Pardew.


2. New signings, new formation, new United?

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mates Ander Herrera (L), Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford on September 1© Getty Images

Firstly, some perspective - the Queens Park Rangers side that turned out at Old Trafford had little interest in attacking. Indeed, it appeared to be damage limitation for Harry Redknapp's men from the first whistle. However, Manchester United will, quite rightly, argue that you can only beat what is put in front of you, which they did comprehensively.

With debutants Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo all involved at some point, as well as Angel di Maria making his first appearance at Old Trafford, United dominated in a way that they had not done for some time. Playing with a 4-4-2 diamond formation, there was plenty of pace and creativity about Louis van Gaal's team. There will, of course, be much sterner tests ahead, but a degree of optimism has been somewhat restored among the United faithful.


3. Sterling's worth proven

Liverpool's English midfielder Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014© Getty Images

Publicly Brendan Rodgers has defended his decision to start Raheem Sterling among the substitutes for the clash with Aston Villa, but privately, there must be a tinge of regret where the Liverpool manager is concerned. The harsh reality is that Liverpool are not so good that they can afford to be without arguably their best player, especially with striker Daniel Sturridge sidelined through injury.

The Sterling-less Reds were far too one-paced and predictable at Anfield - a ground at which they have destroyed some teams over the last 12 months with slick performances. Plenty of credit should go to the visitors, though, who arrived on Merseyside with a gameplan that they executed to perfection to claim a 1-0 win.


4.Leaky Chelsea a worry for Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho prior to kick-off against Swansea in the Premier League match on April 13, 2014© Getty Images

Understandably, Diego Costa's exploits in front of goal have stolen the headlines for Chelsea. The summer signing from Atletico Madrid hit a hat-trick against Swansea City, taking his tally for the season to seven goals in four outings. Yet, while goals are easy to come by for the Blues, keeping them out at the other end is proving tricky.

Jose Mourinho has always prided himself on his sides being watertight, well-oiled machines. However, Chelsea under their current guise couldn't be further away from that blueprint. Swansea scored twice at Stamford Bridge and could have had more, particularly during the opening exchanges, while Everton put three past them in the match before that. Usually a solid partnership, skipper John Terry and Gary Cahill have been susceptible of late and with Manchester City and Sergio Aguero on the horizon, Mourinho may well be worried.


5. Resolute Leicester get their reward

Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City celebrates scoring the first goal with David Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp of Leicester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Britannia Stadium on September 13, 2014© Getty Images

Nigel Pearson's Leicester City impressed in their first three outings against Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal, but only had two points to show for their efforts. While those performances would have pleased Pearson, even at this early stage, he could well have been bemoaning the relatively small return of points.

It meant that the win away at Stoke City will have tasted even sweeter for Pearson and his men, mainly because it was achieved from an encounter in which they were dominated by their hosts for large parts. They rode their luck on occasions before Leonardo Ulloa continued his recent good form in front of goal by scoring the game's only goal in the 67th minute. While positive displays are always a bonus, wins are what will keep the Foxes in the Premier League.


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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mates Ander Herrera (L), Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford on September 1
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
3Liverpool27159361313054
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
7Burnley279992124-336
8Leicester CityLeicester2798103940-135
9Everton2797113246-1434
10Bournemouth2787123141-1031
11Watford2786133747-1030
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
18Southampton27511112840-1226
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
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