Sunday Night Takeaways: Three losses in a row for Mourinho while Palace destroy Hughes' Stoke

Plenty to talk about following today's four Premier League games

BY Jason Brennan 18:45 Sunday 18 September 2016, 18:45 18 Sep 2016

Picture by: Tim Ireland / AP/Press Association Images

As always we have a round-up of the day's biggest talking points from Sunday's Premier League fixtures. 

Before you mention it, we've left Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney's performances off the list. We can't talk about those two every week, but yes, both were poor. Very poor.

Stoke City's defence: Can they do it on a cold wet day?

Since Tony Pulis left the club in 2013, Stoke have been going through a transition, as they aimed to become a more fluid side going forward. While they seemed to have clicked in that sense last season, their defence has parted like the Red Sea this year.

Sitting rock bottom of the table in terms of points and goals conceded, Mark Hughes looks like he could be the first managerial casualty of the year. This 4-0 drubbing might legitimise Marc Wilson's comments about their defensive training in pre-season.

Martial injury: Concussion protocol rears its ugly head yet again

Picture by: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

You'd think at this stage we wouldn't be talking about this, but once more we've seen a player who seemed to have suffered a head injury re-enter the action. At one point it looked as if Anthony Martial couldn't even pass the "follow the finger" test, but wasn't substituted for four minutes after his injury.

There was a double blow for United as they conceded seconds after the incident, which has drawn debate as to whether it was even a legal tackle. That debate, however, needs to be placed in the queue firmly behind the "should be have gone back on the pitch" one.

Three losses in a row for The Special One

This is only the third time that Jose Mourinho has lost three on the bounce since 2002. Will it be just a bit of a blip as he settles in, or has the magic worn off with The Special One?

It's probably too soon to judge, but that brings his record to 14 losses in his last 32 games. Although the midweek FLC fixture with Northampton now has a hint of extra pressure, the real test is Leicester at home next week. If they defend like they did today against the champions, we could be in line for another Vardy party.

Sunderland continue to spiral

It would appear that Sunderland really have become a classic David Moyes side. Unfortunately for them, that's more of a United and Real Sociedad Moyes side than the vintage Everton one. Tottenham recorded 12 shots in the first 26 minutes of the game, but somehow the visitors held on until half-time.

Their luck finally ran out in the second half as Harry Kane broke the deadlock in the 59th minute. Spurs ended the game with 31 shots, which was higher than Sunderland's possession, a mere 26%. They've managed to escape the drop for a few seasons on the bounce, but even in these early stages of the season it would appear that the Black Cats have used up one too many lives. 

Charlie Austin's return to form

Picture by: Frank Augstein / AP/Press Association Images

Finally fit and getting a run in the side, Austin has scored three times this week, after netted twice midweek in the Europa League against Sparta Prague. Clinching the win today against Swansea, he looked like the '14/15 version of himself, finding space at will.

Coming off the bench for Shane Long, with the Irishman failing to score again, he's made a strong a claim to start next week. Fantasy teams, be warned.


State-backed Chinese group considers massive Liverpool investment

13:36 Monday 22 August 2016 0 Minute Read

Michail Antonio scored today AND was named in England's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers

20:15 Sunday 28 August 2016 0 Minute Read

Daniel Cormier says interim title fight between Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson would "make no sense"

17:00 Wednesday 14 September 2016 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week