Tammy Abraham makes Chelsea tick, Brighton rock the Emirates and Jose Mourinho was right about Marcus Rashford… 10 things we learned from the midweek Premier League games 

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  • Liverpool edged closer to their first Premier League title after beating Everton
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came out on top in his meeting with Jose Mourinho
  • Freddie Ljungberg is made to wait for his first win after Arsenal lose to Brighton
  • Chelsea returned to winning ways by beating Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge 

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat Jose Mourinho's Tottenham team

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham team

Xherdan Shaqiri scored against Everton on his first league start for Liverpool since January

Xherdan Shaqiri scored against Everton on his first league start for Liverpool since January

Neal Maupay (left) scored the winning goal in Brighton's 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates

Neal Maupay (left) scored the winning goal in Brighton’s 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates

Mourinho did not enjoy his return to Old Trafford as his theory on Rashford was proved right

Mourinho did not enjoy his return to Old Trafford as his theory on Rashford was proved right 

Amazon Prime broadcasted their first round of fixtures from Tuesday to Thursday

Amazon Prime broadcasted their first round of fixtures from Tuesday to Thursday

Newcastle have moved level on points with Arsenal after beating Sheffield United on Thursday

Newcastle have moved level on points with Arsenal after beating Sheffield United on Thursday

Danny Ings has scored in his last four games for Southampton, taking his league tally to eight

Danny Ings has scored in his last four games for Southampton, taking his league tally to eight

Leicester have won seven games on the bounce after easing past Watford at the King Power

Leicester have won seven games on the bounce after easing past Watford at the King Power

Tammy Abraham found space between the Villa defenders to head Chelsea into a lead

Tammy Abraham found space between the Villa defenders to head Chelsea into a lead

VAR awards Newcastle a second goal against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday

VAR awards Newcastle a second goal against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday

Manuel Pellegrini could be the next manager to face the sack following a string of poor results

Manuel Pellegrini could be the next manager to face the sack following a string of poor results

The midweek Premier League action saw yet another manager depart after Marco Silva was sacked by Everton following a horrific 5-2 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard returned to winning ways as Chelsea overcame Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer outclassed his predecessor Jose Mourinho as Manchester United beat Tottenham.

Here, Sportsmail’s SAM McEVOY takes a look at 10 things we learned from the round of midweek fixtures in the top flight.

1. LIVERPOOL’S STRENGTH IN DEPTH

Liverpool continue to go marching on at the summit of the Premier League table. 

While the Reds’ unbeaten run beat club records, Klopp will be pleased with the impact of Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Adam Lallana in their 5-2 win over rivals Everton. 

Shaqiri, who started his first game since January, scored 17 minutes into the game while Origi continued his brilliant form against the Toffees by netting a first-half brace.

Klopp was able to leave Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson on the bench while still producing yet another emphatic win.

2. BRIGHTON ROCK THE EMIRATES

Here is a visual representation of Brighton’s away record against the ‘Big Six’ clubs in the Premier League: LLLLLLLLLLLDLLLLW

The four points they’ve won in those 17 games have all come at the Emirates and it’s now worrying times for the Gunners.

Freddie Ljungberg has picked up just one point in his first two games as interim boss and their 2-1 defeat by the Seagulls on Thursday further amplified just how big a problem the Swede has taken on.

3. JOSE WAS RIGHT ABOUT RASHFORD

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was asked after his side’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford whether that was the best performance we’ve seen from Marcus Rashford, who scored both of United’s goals in the win.

It was an electric performance from the 22-year-old, who featured out on the left-hand side with Mason Greenwood playing up top on his own.

Mourinho was keen to point out that he’s been saying Rashford’s best position was on the left after coaching him during his time at Old Trafford.

Mourinho told Amazon Prime: ‘Yes I did. As I always told, from the left. Not as a nine, from the left. I knew it, I told the boys. I told him exactly the way he does things. But he was good, he was really good.’

4. PRIMED AND READY TO GO

Amazon Prime made its debut in the Premier League this week as it broadcasted all 10 games from Tuesday to Thursday.

While the streaming service did have its hiccups to begin with, it came out relatively unscathed while boasting a respectable team of pundits and presenters for each clash.

Amazon’s trial run seems to have proved that they’re ready to take on the mammoth coverage of Boxing Day’s games. 

5. NEWCASTLE ARE WINNING FANS OVER

Steve Bruce wasn’t given much of a chance at Newcastle after taking over from Rafa Benitez – who was adored by the Toon faithful.

However, Bruce appears to be winning plenty of Geordies over considering Newcastle’s form as of late.

An impressive 2-0 win over high-flyers Sheffield United means Newcastle have lost just once in five games, taking them level on points with the Blades and the Gunners in 11th.

Jonjo Shelvey scored a controversial second in the win over Chris Wilder’s side but Bruce won’t mind that one bit. 

6. INGS IS SAINTS’ SAVIOUR

Southampton came out on top against fellow relegation-strugglers Norwich on Wednesday night.

Danny Ings found the back of the net once again to break the deadlock at St Mary’s and take his tally to eight in the Premier League this season.

The Saints have been extremely poor this season but Ings has stepped up to the plate, scoring four times in Southampton’s previous five outings.

7. NINES ALL ROUND AT THE KING POWER

Leicester’s astonishing start to the season continued on Wednesday night after seeing off managerless Watford with ease.

The Foxes have now conceded just nine times in 15 games – the best defensive record in the league.

However, while Leicester refuse to concede goals, Watford are struggling to score them, having hit the back of the net nine times in the same amount of games.

Watford have also lost nine games this season – the second worst record in the league. 

8. TAMMY ABRAHAM MAKES CHELSEA TICK

The absence of Chelsea’s No 9 in the 1-0 defeat by West Ham proved to be a huge loss for Frank Lampard’s side last weekend. 

Abraham recovered from a hip injury in time to lead the line against his former club Aston Villa and quickly showed how integral he has become to Lampard’s starting XI by picking up a goal and an assist. 

The 22-year-old has now been involved in 14 goals in his 14 Premier League appearances this season.

9. VAR STRIKES AGAIN

VAR’s teething problems continued on Thursday during Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United after Andy Carroll was flagged for offside before Shelvey ran through unopposed to score.

An early flag from the linesman caused the Blades players to stop in their tracks while Shelvey played to the whistle and scored the Magpies’ second.

VAR confirmed that Carroll was indeed onside and reversed the linesman’s offside call while Wilder claimed the decision ‘sucked the life’ out of him and the supporters.

While this wasn’t necessarily a VAR issue and more a linesman not following protocol, the controversy around the new technology persists week by week. 

10. PELLEGRINI LOOKS LIKE THE NEXT TO GO

Four defeats and one win in five really isn’t good reading for Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham.

The Hammers boss saw his side lose again, this time at the hands of Wolves at Molineux.

Solskjaer has been tipped to be the next manager to face the sack but United’s win over Spurs will have eased the pressure… for now.

West Ham are now two points above the relegation zone following Wednesday’s defeat but it remains to be seen whether it will be Pellegrini or someone else who will be tasked with turning the club’s fortunes around in the near future.



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