United Kingdom - Liverpool wasted a chance to cement their stranglehold on
the title race on Wednesday after Manchester City's shock slip.
Chelsea suffered their worst defeat for 23 years, while
Mesut Ozil came in from the cold at Arsenal.
Here are five things we learned from the Premier League's
action-packed midweek programme:
Liverpool suffer power failure
With the destiny of the title race in Liverpool's hands
after Manchester City's shock loss at Newcastle 24 hours earlier, there was a
mounting feeling of celebration around Anfield when Sadio Mane opened the
scoring in the third minute against Leicester.
A Liverpool win would have moved them seven points clear of
second-placed Manchester City and put the Reds well on course for their first
English title since 1990.
But, as Jurgen Klopp's side lost their way in the first
half, that warm sense of imminent success melted away like the snow that dusted
the Anfield pitch.
Poor marking from Virgil van Dijk allowed Harry Maguire to
equalise for Leicester and it could have been even worse in a patchy second
Klopp felt Liverpool should have had a penalty, but in the end,
they had to settle for moving five points ahead of City, who now have renewed
hope of catching the leaders.
'Fergie time' not enough for United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's winning run since taking over as
caretaker manager of Manchester United has brought memories flooding back of
Alex Ferguson's golden years in charge at Old Trafford when the Norwegian was a
To add to the daring, attacking brand of football, United's
current crop have now also shown the ability to fight back at the death that
characterised Ferguson's title-winning sides, most notably when Solskjaer
scored the second of two goals in stoppage time to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in
the 1999 Champions League final.
Yet, even two goals in the final minutes were not enough for
a ninth straight victory under Solskjaer in a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday,
although Chelsea's 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth means United are now just two
points off a top-four place.
Is complacency costing City?
Pep Guardiola vehemently insisted the champions had not
underestimated Newcastle in a shock 2-1 defeat, but just as they did in
similarly surprising December losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester, City took
their foot off the gas after going 1-0 up early on.
Ahead inside 24 seconds at St James' Park, Guardiola did
concede his side played with nowhere near enough aggression or urgency to kill
the game off before Newcastle staged a second-half fightback.
Just as worrying for the Catalan coach will be the lack of a
response to falling behind in each of those three defeats and in losing 2-0 to
Not once have City come from behind to win a game in the
Premier League this season and have picked up just one point from a losing
position in a 1-1 draw at Wolves in August.
Son answers Pochettino's call
Tottenham were staring down the barrel with 10 minutes left
of their match against Watford, trailing 1-0 after a miserable week in which
they crashed out of two cup competitions.
They dominated possession at Wembley but badly missed the
cutting edge of the injured Harry Kane and Dele Alli's creative input.
But Son Heung-min, back from Asian Cup duty, looked sharp
throughout and got his reward in the 80th minute, driving home the equaliser
before Fernando Llorente struck the winner in a 2-1 victory.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino badly needs Son to keep
firing as Tottenham strive to keep Arsenal and Manchester United at bay in the
race for Champions League qualification, while also keeping the pressure on Man
City and Liverpool at the top.
Ozil comes in from the cold
On a freezing night in north London, Mesut Ozil's winter
exile came to an end as the Arsenal midfielder was recalled by Unai Emery for
their 2-1 win over Cardiff.
Ozil has been put into cold storage by Gunners boss Emery
for much of the season after he grew frustrated by the German's failure to
respond to his demands for a high-tempo style of play.
Although Ozil is Arsenal's highest-paid player, there has
been talk he might be sold amid reports of a training ground bust-up.
Against that backdrop, it was intriguing to see Ozil start a
game for the first time since December 26, with Emery handing him the captain's
Ozil lasted for 76 minutes, and even earned rare praise from
Emery. "He worked like we wanted. It was good," he said.