Three talking points from the Premier League

London (AFP) –


Manchester City extended their Premier League winning run to eight straight matches and saw a number of their main challengers falter over the weekend.

Pep Guardiola's men edged past Sheffield United 1-0 before Manchester United drew 0-0 against Arsenal and Leicester lost 3-1 to Leeds.

Liverpool's impressive 3-1 victory at West Ham reminded City that there is no room for complacency.

AFP Sport looks at three talking points from the weekend action.

Salah sparks Liverpool

With Liverpool labouring to break down West Ham, Mohamed Salah rode to the rescue to ensure Manchester City will feel some heat from the champions in their crucial clash next week.

Salah broke the deadlock with two superb finishes in the second half at the London Stadium, inspiring a 3-1 victory that moved Liverpool within four points of leaders City.

Salah had gone six league games without scoring, but he rediscovered his predatory instincts at just the right moment.

After a poor run, Liverpool have won their last two games and will host City on Sunday in more confident mood, assuming they beat Brighton at Anfield on Wednesday first.

That looks far more likely now Salah is back to his best and he said: "You just need to keep winning if you want to win the Premier League. It has been a good week.

"It was a good win for us today, a second game in a row. It was a tough game, they played a good game. I have scored a few goals against them, they are a tough team. We just need to carry on and keep winning."

Man Utd seek missing spark

Manchester United have come off the boil quickly, winning just one of the past four Premier League matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a deep squad and has rotated well but the impression remains that if a handful of key players do not fire, United fail to click.

Midfielder Bruno Fernandes has scored just once in the Premier League this year while forward Marcus Rashford is still waiting for his first league goal of 2021.

United have played brilliant football in patches this season, particularly away from home.

But they have rarely looked in control of games and seem unable to stamp out costly mistakes at the back, such as against lowly Sheffield United in midweek.

If Paul Pogba had scored in the closing stages against Liverpool and Edinson Cavani had taken a late chance against Arsenal, the table would look different.

But games are decided on fine margins and United are coming up short in some of the key moments.

Tuchel relaxed over blunt Werner

Thomas Tuchel had to rely on veteran defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to show his forwards how it is done as Chelsea won for the first time in his short reign.

There are some promising signs for the former Paris Saint-Germain manager, who has taken four points out of a possible six in his two matches since replacing Frank Lampard.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has impressed in both games on the right side of Chelsea's attack and Mason Mount has shown Tuchel he deserves to be in the starting line-up.

But big summer signing Timo Werner is still looking for his first Premier League goal since early November, and fluffed a chance from close range in Sunday's 2-0 win at home to Burnley.

A relaxed Tuchel has urged patience, suggesting the German forward needs a stroke of luck.

"He's not the only striker in the world that is very sensitive when he does not score, when he misses the feeling of scoring," he said.

"Maybe we need a stupid goal for him -- a deflection -- but we will continue to push him."