We learnt in the EPL last week­end

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

Un­der Ed­die Howe’s as­tute eye, the player has started to im­press with the sort of qual­ity and in­tel­li­gence that marked his emer­gence onto the foot­ball scene eight years ago. With his vi­sion and tire­less com­mit­ment to the chase, Wil­shere proved vi­tal to the Cher­ries’ first away vic­tory in seven months against Stoke.

But his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and resur­gence has been a steady process, as Howe ad­mit­ted. “We worked very hard with him when he first came, in train­ing not to over­load him with work and on game-time to ease him into 90 min­utes,” the man­ager said. Foxes stuck in a rut While Le­ices­ter’s Cham­pi­ons League run con­tin­ues to keep fans ap­peased, their woe­ful do­mes­tic form took an­other turn for the worse as the side were beaten 2-1 by Wat­ford on Sun­day.

Two early goals, con­ceded within the open­ing 30 sec­onds and then 11 min­utes later, high­lighted the grow­ing cracks that are be­gin­ning to

ap­pear in the Le­ices­ter de­fence. Robert Huth looked par­tic­u­larly hes­i­tant and un­easy at times, spend­ing too much time on the ball and invit­ing un­nec­es­sary pres­sure. Kasper Sch­me­ichel’s dom­i­nant pres­ence be­tween the sticks, and the dis­ci­pline he adds to Le­ices­ter’s back­line, also re­mains sorely missed as the ‘keeper re­cov­ers from a frac­tured hand. Reds de­fence of­fers Klopp some­thing to smile about Billed as one of the games of the week­end, Liver­pool’s clash with Southamp­ton at St Mary’s ended in a dis­ap­point­ing draw as both sides failed to break the dead­lock.

For all the pos­ses­sion they en­joyed – around the 65% mark

– Jur­gen Klopp’s men lacked the flu­ency that has de­fined their pre­vi­ous per­form-an­ces. Nonethel-ess, the game marked a no­table suc­cess for the side’s de­fence who earned their sec­ond clean sheet of the sea­son. United’s fail­ure to con­vert chances will be their un­do­ing In their last three matches at Old Traf­ford, against Stoke, Burn­ley and now Arse­nal, Jose Mour­inho’s side have en­joyed the lion’s share of chances. But once again, Manch­ester United failed to con­vert this dom­i­nance into three points.

United reg­is­tered 12 shots, five of which were on goal, and en­joyed 10 cor­ners to Arse­nal’s four. If the club are to stand any chance of com­pet­ing with this year’s fron­trun­ners, the side des­per­ately needs to over­come this short­com­ing.

While they may have flashed with po­ten­tial at times this sea­son, United’s search for rhythm and flu­ency plods on. Chelsea con­tinue to thrive De­spite his best ef­forts, Antonio Conte isn’t fool­ing any­one with his in­sis­tence that Chelsea aren’t ti­tle con­tenders. The Blues coach talked down his side’s cre­den­tials af­ter their 1-0 vic­tory at the River­side Sta­dium on Sun­day, but it’s clear to see that Chelsea are in un­stop­pable form.

The vis­i­tors may have only won by one goal against Mid­dles­brough, but it is 17-0 over the past six league matches. With their 3-4-3 for­ma­tion com­ing to fruition, Chelsea have tight­ened up at the back while un­leash­ing the full po­ten­tial of Eden Haz­ard and Diego Costa up front.

Vic­tor Moses and Mar­cos Alonso have thrived in their adopted wing-back roles, while Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Ce­sar Azpilicueta have looked im­preg­nable as a back three. Af­ter un­sure be­gin­nings, Chelsea are now stamp­ing their au­thor­ity on the league. – The In­de­pen­dent

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