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Monday Morning Sweeper: Liverpool flop, Hazard impresses and Alan Pardew checks the terms of his contract

by Rob Dore | September 15, 2014

Manchester United haven’t made it in this Monday despite putting in an impressive looking performance against QPR. The reason being is because it was against QPR. Still it was a very positive display from Louis Van Gaal’s side and we expect to see the likes of Herrera, di Maria and Blind mentioned here on future Monday Morning Sweeps.

Here are some of the heroes and villains of a very entertaining weekend of football.

The Weekend Hero

Diego Costa took a large chunk of the plaudits for his hat-trick in Chelsea’s impressive 4-2 win over Swansea at Stamford Bridge but this isn’t FIFA 14. The clear man of the match and man of the weekend was Eden Hazard. The Belgian wideman flopped at the World Cup but he has been stellar for Chelsea this season and was involved in everything positive Jose Mourinho’s team did going forward. Jordi Amat and Jonjo Shelvey weren’t booked for fouling Diego Costa were they? I’m not sure what that proves but it definitely proves something.

Top of the Flops

Liverpool. No Sturridge, no Sterling and apparently no cutting edge without them. High on the thumping of Spurs at White Hart Lane Brendan Rodgers targeted this game as one where he could hand some of his new signings starts and rest his main attacking threat, Raheem Sterling. It didn’t work out as he hoped. Alan Hutton and Phillipe Senderos were both very fortunate to avoid punishment for some knuckle-dragging thuggery aimed at Mario Balotelli. Whatever your opinion on their tactics it worked. The Italian was put off his game and the 1/3 favourites Liverpool managed just one shot on target in the entire game, despite enjoying 75% of the possession.

One To Watch

Perhaps it’s a tad late to label him as one to watch after he knocked in his third league goal in four games but Leicester’s Leonardo Ulloa deserves a mention this Monday. His goal against Stoke handed Leicester a first win of the season and Ulloa could be the key between the Foxes staying up or not this season.

Of course he may just be enjoying an early purple patch before going on a Torres like goal-drought after Christmas but for now he’s one to keep an eye on when you’re placing your goalscorer bets over the coming weeks.

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Obligatory Manager Under Pressure

The amusing shit-show that is Newcastle Football Club continues to lurch forward under the greasy guidance of Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew. Neither man has ever really won over the Geordies, whose love for football and unbreakable optimism keeps them turning up in their loyal droves each week.

Ashley has come out and said he won’t be sacking his manager but who really believes anything he has to say? The issue of the ludicrously long contract and the threat of hefty compensation if he sacks his manager may see Pardew hang on in there until the New Year at least.

Pardew is unsurprisingly the 2/7 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked.

Get Him On The Plane

Jack Wilshere. Yes I know he’s probably going to be on the plane anyway but as a distinct non-fan of the Arsenal and England midfielder there will be many a disparaging remark leveled his way this season. So it seems only fair to at least pretend to be somewhat balanced and praise the little shit when he has a good game. I can’t help that he reminds me of Jack P Shepherd from Corrie. Despite the hyperbolism of the daily rags Wilshere wasn’t excellent throughout but he stepped up in the second half with an excellent finish for Arsenal’s first goal before turning provider for Alexis Sanchez.

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