Man U inspired by young star’s strike – as Chelsea stumble to 7th defeat

Manchester United's Jesse Lingard. © Jeff Haynes
Manchester United, Tottenham and Leicester were the main gainers from the weekend’s Premier League action, while pressure is building on Chelsea and Jose Mourinho after a seventh loss this season.

The last round of domestic fixtures before an international break always has significance, with a longer wait for teams to reflect on the result ahead of their next game.

This weekend’s action threw up a number of interesting results and sub-plots.

Tottenham and Arsenal both impress

North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal played out an enthralling 1-1 draw yesterday, with reason for optimism for both teams.

The visitors dominated affairs in the early exchanges, showing their new-found maturity, belief and stronger collective mentality under Mauricio Pochettino.

Arsenal have had the bigger share of the derby spoils in recent years, but will be pleased with a point given that they had to come from behind. A hallmark of a champion side is picking up points in trying situations.

Could Lingard be United’s savior?

Manchester United recorded a 2-0 win over West Brom, despite not playing at their best, with Jesse Lingard breaking the deadlock with a confident strike.

Despite the Red Devils’ investment in the transfer market in recent transfer windows, Louis van Gaal has pledged to give youth a chance.

With United not firing on all cylinders in the final third, it could well be the impressive 22-year-old that inspires the club to improved performances.

Mourinho under growing pressure

Losing away to Stoke is not the worst isolated result, but for Chelsea it is the seventh defeat in 13 outings this season.

The reigning Premier League champions are in a genuine crisis, with a seemingly insurmountable level of pressure on Jose Mourinho.

Despite the Portuguese coach’s track record, with the Blues squad not firing there is a growing case that Roman Abramovich could well look to change his manager.

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho. © Action Images / Alex Morton

Leicester and Vardy march on

Ahead of the new season, most reputable pundits had Leicester as one of the sides tipped for relegation.

However, Claudio Ranieri has taken the Foxes to a new level, with hotshot striker Jamie Vardy the attacking weapon to fire the club into the top four.

The England international was on the mark again for the ninth Premier League game, with the sprightly forward’s reputation in the game continuing to be bolstered ahead of potential participation at Euro 2016 next summer.

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