Moyes beats Lampard in 'El Sackico'
Such was the abysmal form of both teams going in to the West Ham v Everton clash on Saturday that reports suggested the losing manger would lose their job, resulting in the match being subtly dubbed 'El Sackico'.
In the end, it was West Ham and David Moyes came out on top thanks to Jarrod Bowen's brace that leaves beleaguered Everton manager Frank Lampard staring down the barrel.
The Merseysiders remain off the bottom of table by goal difference only, with Everton fans again protesting against the club owners after the match.
“I really hope Everton stick with Frank,” said Moyes. “He is a top bloke from the times I've been with him, but I have to think about my position because me winning one game doesn't mean everything is fine.”
When asked whether he felt his job was on the line, Lampard said: “I can't comment. It's not my decision.”
Liverpool and Chelsea lack punch
Two supposed heavyweights headed out for battle on Saturday but there was a woeful lack of punches landed between Liverpool and Chelsea after 90 minutes.
It was a dismal games between two surprise strugglers this season, a match lacking in entertainment, quality and goals at a strangely subdued Anfield.
The result leaves both teams 10 points off a Champions League place, with eighth-placed Liverpool – two spots above Chelsea – having played a game less than the London club.
The ferocious pressing and intensity that have characterised the Jurgen Klopp years at Liverpool have disappeared of late and £45 million signing Cody Gakpo looks like he will need to time settle in.
Klopp though, is determined to turn around the club's fortunes. “My motivation is no problem,” said the German coach after his 1,000th game as a manager. “I have enough energy for another 10 years.”
Newcastle need goals boost
Newcastle United maintained their superb defensive record with a goalless draw at Crystal Palace – a result that extended their unbeaten run to a club-record 15 top-flight games,
Goalkeeper Nick Pope has now kept nine clean sheets in a row, while the Magpies boast the league's meanest defence having conceding just 11 goals in 20 games, losing just once all campaign.
But at the other end of the pitch, goals are also becoming harder to find. Against Palace, Joelinton, Callum Wilson, Alexander Isak, and Sven Botman all missed chances – and Eddie Howe's side have now scored just once in four league games.
“As a manager, you always want more options,” said Howe when asked whether the club were looking to make a signing before the transfer window closes, having allowed striker Chris Wood to join Nottingham Forest on loan last week.
Haaland back on treble trail
The goals monster that is Erling Haaland was back to his ruthless best on Sunday as the Norwegian bagged another hat-trick for Manchester City in their win against Wolves.
Haaland's first came from towering header, the second from the penalty spot and his fourth Premier League treble was a simple tap-in after a horrendous error by Wolves keeper Jose Sa.
It means Haaland has 25 goals already this season, and it's not even February yet, and that tally would have made him the sole Golden Boot winner in each of the previous four campaigns.
“That's his quality. I'm so pleased for him again. He just keeps coming up with the goals,” said teammate John Stones. “We all need to chip and we are doing but when he scores three in a game it's difficult!”
Pressure pays off for Arsenal
League leaders Arsenal restored their five-point advantage over Manchester City thanks to Eddie Nketiah's last-gasp goal.
The game's intensity and quality harked back to to the Patrick Vieira v Roy Keane era of Arsenal against Manchester United as the match played out at a frenetic pace.
The Gunners had been piling on the pressure from the moment United's Lisandro Martinez had pulled the scored level at 2-2 but it looked like they would have to settle for a point.
But Arsenal once again flashed their title credentials and Nketiah's winner was fully deserved.
Victory also kept Mikel Arteta's men on course to match the Premier League record of 100 points after taking 50 from their first 19 games.
“That's really significant. It's something we can be proud of but we have to stay humble,” said Bukayo Saka, who scored with a superb second-half strike.
“It's only halfway through the season and things can change very quickly.”