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Premier League: Huddersfield stun Man United, time up for Koeman?

North London 9-3 Merseyside. What with all the talk of the Wembley Curse and Arsenal's unparalleled ability to go arsenal-ing everything up all the time, it's fair to say that this weekend could have gone rather better for Liverpool and Everton. It could have gone better for Jose Mourinho too, after a Manchester United performance so poor that even he couldn't excuse it. That leaves Pep Guardiola as the weekend's big winner, opening up a five-point gap at the top of the table.

If we've learned anything from the opening two months of the Premier League, it's not to leap to hasty conclusions. Nevertheless, perhaps it is time for us to ask the question; are Newcastle United genuine title contenders?

Performance of the week

Huddersfield hadn't scored in four games prior to the visit of Manchester United. They hadn't won a game since August. And Manchester United are, well... Manchester United, indubitably. As such, it might be possible for us to say that it wasn't very few people who saw this one coming. No people at all saw this one coming. Not even David Wagner's mum would have put this down as a home win. And while the German coach's side certainly took advantage of the sort of individual errors we haven't seen too often from United, they were well worth their win. How do we know that? Keep reading.

Unlikely sportsman of the week

Huddersfield's stunning win over Man United earned some rare praise from Jose Mourinho.

Who would Jose Mourinho blame for this humiliation then? The referee? The pitch? Sun spots? A shadowy conspiracy of corrupt administrators who mysteriously transfer their agenda from team to team, nation to nation, following Mourinho wherever he goes in an as-yet-unexplained vendetta against him? Come on then, Jose. Let's have it.

"Huddersfield played like I like. They played with everything they have. Like it has to be. With everything: aggression, desire, motivation, sacrifice. And we didn't. So the team which deserved to win, won. Simple."

Hmmm... What's he up to?

Bad day at the office

We should never forget the human factor in football. Big-money European signings are not expensively assembled robots, ready to be dropped into action without a second thought. They are very young men in new countries and new cultures, working under enormous pressure. And yet, even with all of that in mind, this is a curiously poor start by Victor Lindelof. He'd only had one minute of Premier League action before replacing Phil Jones at Huddersfield. He may not get many more in the near future.

Goal of the weekend

Southampton's Sofiane Boufal hasn't done much yet to justify his £18 million price tag, but his match-winning late goal against West Bromwich Albion was worth a significant chunk of that fee alone. It wasn't simply the mazy run that caught the eye, and it wasn't the neat finish. It was the way he made Allan Nyom and Craig Dawson crash into each other like hapless police patrol cars in the Blues Brothers. Ideally, goals that involve moments like this should count double.

Dive of the weekend

Not for the first time this season, Sean Dyche was left fuming by a bit of amateur dramatics from an opposing player. Back in September he raged about Huddersfield's Rajiv van la Parra and this weekend it was Manchester City's Bernado Silva who felt his wrath.

"If I kicked my kid in the garden, he wouldn't fall like that," said Dyche with a certainty that we all hope was not borne out of experience. Silva, whose acrobatic movement presented a few awkward questions for the laws of physics, may get a phone call from the FA this week.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, Pt. 1

Slaven Bilic is in a lot of trouble now. Brighton at home should have been an ideal fixture for a team in West Ham's position, as Chris Hughton's side had only scored once in five away games this season. But in a despondent London Stadium that still doesn't feel like home for the Hammers, Brighton ran riot and scored three goals. Bilic has had plenty of time and plenty of backing but his team still look desperately poor. Spurs await in the cup in midweek and, while no-one would expect Bilic to win that, the clash with Crystal Palace next weekend is looking increasingly crucial.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, Pt. 2

Ronald Koeman
Koeman and Everton were ruthlessly dispatched by Arsenal on Sunday. Is he going to last much longer?

It will be a surprise if Ronald Koeman even makes it to next weekend after his Everton team were beaten so heavily at home by Arsenal. The Gunners had only picked up a single point on the road all season but this is a good time to visit the blue half of Merseyside. It's hard to see what Everton are, or even what they could be, if all the constituent parts were in place. It's hard to believe that such an unbalanced club was considered to have had a good transfer window back in July. Why didn't they buy a striker? Why did they buy all the attacking midfielders instead? Koeman will face these questions, and many more, when he speaks to the board on Monday.

Game to watch next week

How will Manchester United respond to that then? Jose Mourinho came under heavy criticism for his tactics against Liverpool, he dished out his own heavy criticism to his players for their performance against Huddersfield. And now they have to cope with the visit of Tottenham. There can be no margin for error.

Spurs have won all of their away games this season and they'll fancy their chances at Old Trafford, too. Mourinho looked impregnable nine days ago, so impregnable that favoured journalists revealed coy stories about PSG links ahead of his contract negotiations with United bosses. It's not about to go horribly wrong, is it?

Iain Macintosh covers the Premier League and Champions League for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @IainMacintosh.


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