5 things we learned about the Premier League this weekend

07 February 2016 06:53

It was another remarkable weekend for Leicester in the Premier League, while the relegation zone is also looking a little different.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at what was learned over the weekend.

1. Leicester are title favourites

Leicester's remarkable results and performances this year have impressed all, but Saturday's 3-1 demolition of a much-vaunted Manchester City side was something else. Claudio Rainieri's men delivered a near-perfect display and not only opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League, but also had bookmakers installing them as title favourites for the first time on Saturday night. Arsenal's win on Sunday slightly changed the odds but perceptions of Leicester have now changed, with people realising they could be the real deal. That will bring a different pressure.

2. Riyad Mahrez is in pole position for player of the year award

It is the time of year when people begin to nominate players for various awards and often those timing a run of form for this period get greater attention. Yet not only is Mahrez flying right now, but he really has been all season. The Algeria international was outstanding again in Leicester's victory at Manchester City, scoring a superb individual goal.

3. Aston Villa want to be Leicester

Every team in the Premier League would trade places with Leicester right now but Aston Villa will be looking at the Foxes with more envy than most. In recent weeks it has been rammed down their throats how starkly their dismal position at the bottom of the table contrasts with that of their midlands rivals. But Leicester had to start somewhere and a year ago they were in as much relegation danger as Villa are now and there is a blueprint to follow. It may be stretching it to suggest Villa's battling win over Norwich on Saturday could spark such a dramatic upturn in fortunes they become title challengers next year, but it at least keeps hopes alive.

4. Liverpool fans make a strong point

The sight of around 10,000 Liverpool fans getting up and leaving Anfield after 77 minutes of their game against Sunderland in protest at next season's ticket prices made a powerful point. And the fact the team conceded twice after the walkout and had to settle for a draw will have reinforced it. Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has eloquently outlined the club's case, and rightly pointed out where they will be delivering better value next season, but they are losing this PR battle as increased TV cash floods in. If Liverpool's famously loyal supporters can stage such a protest, other clubs will now be thinking twice about their prices. It remains to be seen if Liverpool are prompted into a rethink.

5. Manchester United and Chelsea are a sideshow

This season's Premier League has been a compelling one, and perhaps all the more so for the absence of two its usual protagonists, Chelsea and Manchester United, at the sharp end. It is remarkable Sunday's clash between the two clubs pitted fifth against 13th. The game was entertaining enough, but the competition has a fresher feel for the presence of other sides at the top of the table.

Source: PA


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