English Premiership

Three talking points from the Premier League

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Edinson Cavani celebrates. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Edinson Cavani celebrates. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho dusted off his conservative game plan as Tottenham returned to the top of the Premier League with a dour draw at Chelsea on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp unleashed a furious tirade after the Liverpool manager's frustration at their hectic fixture schedule boiled over.

Edinson Cavani showed there is life in the old dog yet as his double inspired Manchester United's fightback at Southampton.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three talking points from this weekend's Premier League action:

Mourinho parks the bus

During his first spell as Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho memorably taunted then Tottenham boss Martin Jol by claiming the Dutchman had sent out his team to "park the bus" in front of their goal during a 0-0 draw in 2004.

Mourinho's withering assessment of Jol's defensive tactics proved especially harsh as the Portuguese coach would make a habit of using a similar cautious approach to frustrate dangerous opponents in the future.

So there was an extra layer of irony when Mourinho, now in charge of Tottenham, deployed a smothering game plan to subdue his former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

It was a stark contrast to the free-scoring form that had marked Tottenham's start to the season.

But, despite Mourinho's protestations that his players weren't "happy" with the result, the end justified the means for Tottenham as they returned to the top of the table.

Klopp lets rip

Fuelled by a sense of injustice after VAR forced Liverpool to settle for a damaging 1-1 draw at Brighton, Jurgen Klopp lost his cool in a furious post-match interview.

Klopp was already angry that VAR had harshly ruled Andrew Robertson's challenge on Danny Welbeck was worthy of the stoppage-time penalty that cancelled out Diogo Jota's opener.

The Liverpool manager's simmering discontent about the way his team were forced to play in the early Saturday match after Wednesday's Champions League defeat against Atalanta boiled over when he was asked about James Milner's fitness by a television interviewer following an injury to the Reds midfielder.

Raging about the "dangers" of asking his players to play with so little rest, Klopp took aim at television broadcaster BT Sport for failing to adapt to the unique demands of the coronavirus-shortened season and labelled Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder "selfish" for not supporting a possible introduction of the five-substitutions rule.

Sitting in second place, Liverpool remain firmly in the title race, but Klopp's mood made it clear he is not satisfied.

Cavani sparkles

With Manchester United trailing 2-0 at Southampton, Edinson Cavani inspired a thrilling escape act that conjured memories of the era when the club regularly stole victories in "Fergie time".

Just like the Alex Ferguson era, United refused to accept defeat despite a dismal first half and it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to send on Uruguay striker Cavani at the break that proved the turning point.

Cavani's cross provided the assist for Bruno Fernandes to get United back into the match and the former Paris Saint-Germain star went on to equalise by alertly turning in Fernandes's shot.

The 33-year-old's predatory instincts were on full display in stoppage time when he stooped to head in Marcus Rashford's cross.

Cavani's third goal for United since his free transfer in October was a loud response to the critics who said he was a panic buy past his best.

A renowned super-sub in his own playing days for United, Solskjaer said: "Edinson made a great impact. We know he is one of the cleverest and best movers in the box, he can peel off you, get in front of you."

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Fixtures
Sun 28 Nov 21 16:00 PM (SAST)
Brentford
Everton
Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford, Middlesex
Sun 28 Nov 21 16:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
West Ham
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Sun 28 Nov 21 16:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Watford
King Power Stadium, Leicester
Results
Sat 27 Nov 21
Brighton 0
Leeds 0
Sat 27 Nov 21
Norwich City 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Sat 27 Nov 21
Liverpool 4
Southampton 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Chelsea
12
9
29
2. Liverpool
13
8
28
3. Manchester City
12
8
26
4. West Ham
12
7
23