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Antonio Conte MUST work on Tottenham’s attack … 10 THINGS WE LEARNED from the Premier League

The action in the Premier League concluded for the last time before the international break in November, and it was another exciting and dramatic weekend.

Manchester United lost the 186 derby to City, West Ham ended Liverpool’s unbeaten streak, Antonio Conte’s Premier League debut ended in stalemate, while Norwich finally clinched their first win of the season.

Here Sportsmail Pick 10 things the weekend action taught us about.

1 – United are NOT the best team in the world … and not even in Manchester (no matter what Ole says)

Speaking ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said United were the “number one club in Manchester, and probably the world.”

Given that City eloped with the Premier League last season, and have completely dominated United in terms of winning trophies for almost a decade, that claim would have seemed dubious to most of us.

However, the Norwegian manager had no qualms about making his bold statement, so he would have been somewhat embarrassed after Pep Guardiola’s team emerged victorious in derby 186.

The Red Devils were convincingly defeated at Old Trafford after an own goal by Eric Bailly and a shot by Bernardo Silva saw City win the game 2-0. In truth, that result also flattered United.

Manchester United had just four touches in the opposition area in this match, the fewest in a Premier League match since the 2008-09 season. It was also the fewest touches recorded by a home team in a Premier League game since Fulham against Arsenal in September 2020.

So maybe Solskjaer better look a little closer to home before starting to think about world domination.

Speaking ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said United were the “number one club in Manchester, and probably the world.”

2 – Rice shares are rising in West Ham

Declan Rice was key once again for West Ham in the middle of the park as they ended Liverpool’s unbeaten streak to advance third in the Premier League on Sunday night.

Rice made five crucial tackles for the Hammers in their Premier League showdown with Jurgen Klopp’s men. He also made an interception and 34 successful passes during the game.

His performances for David Moyes’ team have garnered rave reviews and have seen him linked to various clubs, including Chelsea, where Rice began his career in the youth system.

Former Chelsea star and England captain John Terry took to Twitter to praise Rice and call him the best midfielder in world football after his performance against Liverpool.

The 40-year-old wrote: ‘Declan Rice is the best in his position in world football. What a player.’

Declan Rice was key once again for West Ham United in the middle of the park as they ended Liverpool's unbeaten streak to advance third in the Premier League on Sunday night.

Declan Rice was key once again for West Ham United in the middle of the park as they ended Liverpool's unbeaten streak to advance third in the Premier League on Sunday night.

Declan Rice was key once again for West Ham United in the middle of the park as they ended Liverpool’s unbeaten streak to advance third in the Premier League on Sunday night.

3 – Arsenal have a bad streak after all

Arsenal were once considered the toughest team in the Premier League when players like Martin Keown and Patrick Vieira played for the club. However, many believed that they went soft in recent years with Arsene Wenger.

However, the Gunners have started to revert to their previous ways under Mikel Arteta. One such example was Sunday’s 1-0 win over Watford, when Emile Smith-Rowe scored what turned out to be the winning goal after his team refused to return the ball to the Hornets.

Danny Rose had kicked the ball so that an injured teammate could receive treatment, but instead of returning the ball to their opponents, Arsenal took the ball and went on to score.

Speaking after the game, Jamie Redknapp said: ‘Arsenal are not too nice anymore. You can see [Albert Samba} Lokonga goes in for a foul there. 

‘Rose sees his player’s down, he kicks the ball out. Normally you would kick the ball back, that’s the sporting thing to do.

‘But Arsenal don’t, they play on. They take it quickly and they get something from it.’ 

Emile Smith-Rowe (above) scored what proved to be the winning goal after his side had refused to return the ball to the Hornets

Emile Smith-Rowe (above) scored what proved to be the winning goal after his side had refused to return the ball to the Hornets

Emile Smith-Rowe (above) scored what proved to be the winning goal after his side had refused to return the ball to the Hornets

4 – Conte has his work cut out at shot-shy Spurs

Tottenham failed to test Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in their Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon. The likes of Harry Kane and Son failed to register a single shot on target during Antonio Conte’s second game in charge. 

Tottenham managed just eight shots in total at Stamford Bridge. This is not uncharacteristic for Spurs given they managed just nine shots against Manchester United the previous week – failing to hit the target again.   

The closest Tottenham came to a shot on target against Everton in their 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon was when left wing-back Sergio Reguilon volleyed Kane’s cross over the bar. 

As a result, Spurs have failed to register a shot on target in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since 2003-04. Spurs fans were frustrated with the team’s hesitance in front of goal under Nuno Espirito Santo but the scale of Conte’s task has now been laid out in front of him.

However, the Italian – who was given a standing ovation from Tottenham’s travelling fans – showed little frustration at his side’s lack of opportunities. The 52-year-old said he was happy with the team’s fight and vowed to work on the team’s weaknesses in the coming weeks and months. 

Conte's side failed to test Everton's Jordan Pickford in their Premier League clash on Sunday

Conte's side failed to test Everton's Jordan Pickford in their Premier League clash on Sunday

Conte’s side failed to test Everton’s Jordan Pickford in their Premier League clash on Sunday

5 – Chelsea’s forwards need a break 

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech have picked up the slack at Chelsea while Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have been out injured. 

Thomas Tuchel’s replacements have done well but they are beginning to look leggy – Chelsea managed 25 shots against Burnley on Saturday but failed to convert a single one. The last time Chelsea recorded such a high shot statistic without any return was against Crystal Palace in August 2015.    

Right back Reece James has been adding to Chelsea’s efforts up front, getting involved in seven Premier League goals this season (4 goals, 3 assists) – making a defensive player one of the most valuable attacking members of the squad this season. As it stands, only Mohamed Salah (16), Michail Antonio (9) and Jamie Vardy (8) have been involved in more goals so far this term.   

Hudson-Odoi had the most shots on target (2) and joint-most chances created (5) against Burnley. However, he missed some clear cut opportunities.

Having almost doubled the amount of minutes he is used to over the last month, the forward could be in need of some rest and recovery.  

This could explain why the Chelsea forward — who has three senior England caps — turned down the opportunity to play for Lee Carsley’s England U21 squad as they take on Czech Republic and Georgia this month. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech have picked up the slack at Chelsea while Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have been out injured

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech have picked up the slack at Chelsea while Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have been out injured

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech have picked up the slack at Chelsea while Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have been out injured

6 – Southampton have built a defensive fortress 

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are enjoying a strong run of form – having kept three clean sheets in their last four Premier League matches. 

Southampton secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Friday evening thanks to Adam Armstrong’s third-minute strike.

Southampton were able to hold on to their lead, with Alex McCarthy only having to make three saves during the game. 

Southampton can also thank Tino Livramento and Mohammed Salisu for keeping things tight at the back.  

Livramento has made 14 crucial tackles during Southampton’s last four games in the Premier League. He also made four vital tackles and four important interceptions against Aston Villa on the weekend. 

Additionally, Salisu has made 14 interceptions across Southampton’s last four games to prevent their opposition gaining a goal-scoring opportunity.  

Southampton secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Friday evening thanks to Adam Armstrong’s third-minute strike

Southampton secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Friday evening thanks to Adam Armstrong’s third-minute strike

Southampton secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Friday evening thanks to Adam Armstrong’s third-minute strike

7 – Raphinha can’t be stopped (especially in the first half)

Leeds have only lost two of their last 12 games at Elland Road in the Premier League and are now unbeaten in their last three on home soil, but who is the driving force behind their success? Raphinha. 

Raphinha has scored 45 per cent of Leeds’ goals in the Premier League this season – the highest percentage for a player whose team have scored over 10 times in the competition this season.

Four of Raphinha’s five goals for Leeds in the Premier League this term have also been the opening goal of the game – as seen on Sunday when he scored in the 26th minute against Leicester.  

Raphinha has scored 45 per cent of Leeds' goals in the Premier League this season

Raphinha has scored 45 per cent of Leeds' goals in the Premier League this season

Raphinha has scored 45 per cent of Leeds’ goals in the Premier League this season

8 – Brighton are one good forward away from securing European football 

Brighton enjoyed an exceptional start to the 2021-2022 Premier League campaign – picking up 12 points from the first five games – but have since endured a dip in form.

As it stands, Brighton are since winless in their last six Premier League matches, earning only five points. It is the Seagulls’ longest league streak without a win since January (nine games). 

The Seagulls – who sit seventh in the Premier League table on 17 points – have shown promise this season but have had little to show for it in terms of the scoresheet.

Saturday’s performance against Newcastle proved that – having missed out on all three points after throwing away their 1-0 lead to end the game 1-1. In order to rediscover their form and push for a European spot, Brighton must invest in a new striker or get their current players firing. 

Brighton have had 130 shots this season, the 12th most in the Premier League. They have also got a shot conversion rate of 9.2 per cent, which is the 13th highest this season. 

If Brighton were able add a strike partner to help their top goalscorer Neal Maupay carry the load, they would be in with a shot of pushing for Europe.  

Graham Potter's side are one good forward away from securing European football

Graham Potter's side are one good forward away from securing European football

Graham Potter’s side are one good forward away from securing European football

9 – Newcastle give too many penalties away

Brighton were awarded a first-half penalty against Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. Initially, referee David Coote did not point to the spot but after a VAR check he awarded the penalty against Ciaran Clark – who made contact with Leandro Trossard.

As a result, Brighton took an early lead in the game which eventually ended 1-1 after Isaac Hayden scored an equaliser.   

Newcastle are alarmingly vulnerable when it comes to penalties. The Magpies have conceded more goals via penalties than any other Premier League side this season, whilst in the competition’s history, only Spurs have conceded more often from the penalty spot.

Lascelles has given away two penalties so far this season, while last term saw a total of five different player conceding a spot-kick.  

Newcastle conceded more goals via penalties than any other Premier League side this season

Newcastle conceded more goals via penalties than any other Premier League side this season

Newcastle conceded more goals via penalties than any other Premier League side this season

10 – Trent Alexander-Arnold is deadly from the dead ball

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed the world what he is capable of on Sunday afternoon when he scored a sensational free-kick in Liverpool’s clash with West Ham. 

The Hammers took the lead after Alisson punched Pablo Fornals’ effort into his own net. However, Alexander-Arnold equalised with a world-class free-kick in the 41st minute of the game. 

The defender took the strike from just outside the box and curled it effortlessly into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Alexander-Arnold has now scored six of his nine Premier League goals for Liverpool from the edge of the box.

Of the 51 players with as many or more goals in the competition for the club, only Xabi Alonso (with 79 per cent) scored a higher ratio from outside the area.  

Alexander-Arnold has played a role in 46 Premier League goal for Liverpool (nine goals, 37 assists) – the most by any defender for the club in the competition. 

His strike on the weekend also saw him overtake John Arne Riise –  who had been involved in 45 goals (21 goals, 24 assists). 

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed the world what he is capable of on Sunday afternoon when he scored a sensational free-kick in Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed the world what he is capable of on Sunday afternoon when he scored a sensational free-kick in Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed the world what he is capable of on Sunday afternoon when he scored a sensational free-kick in Liverpool’s clash with West Ham

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