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Premier League review: Wolves are contenders for Champions League place, Liverpool take foot off the gas

Another wild weekend in the Premier League is done and dusted. We get you caught up on the action with the Weekend Review.

JUMP TO: Wolves contend for Champions League place | Liverpool take their foot off the gas | Henderson gains ground while sitting idle | Alonso shows his worth to Chelsea | Burnley, Palace's water-tight defences | Leicester's form a real concern | Haller comes good for Hammers | Watford, Norwich reveal Premier League depth

Wolves are genuine contenders for Champions League qualification

As the only team in the top half of the table to pick up three points, Wolves were the weekend's clear winners in the race for Champions League qualification. Their 3-2 win at Tottenham saw them leapfrog Jose Mourinho's side into sixth place, level on points with fifth-place Manchester United and three points below fourth-place Chelsea.

The Diogo Jota-inspired victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in which they twice came from behind, showcased both Wolves' self-belief and their attacking menace. Although Nuno Espirito Santo's squad will be stretched by Wolves' ongoing participation in the Europa League, a kind run of fixtures -- home to Brighton and Bournemouth, away to West Ham and Aston Villa -- gives his side a great opportunity to break into the top four.

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If the game showed everything that is good about Wolves, it also showed a lot of what is bad about Spurs -- namely, their chronic inability to defend. Mourinho gambled by leaving Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen on the bench, and it was a gamble that backfired as an unfamiliar back three of Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga failed to cope with the relentless thrust of the Wolves attack. Beaten 2-1 at Chelsea in their previous fixture and with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min still sidelined, Spurs must make drastic improvements if they are to preserve their status as a Champions League club.

Wolves players celebrate during their Premier League win over Tottenham.
Wolves have closed in on the contenders for the Premier League's final Champions League place.

Liverpool pay the price for taking their foot off the pedal

Jurgen Klopp may have allowed himself a little sigh of relief when he woke up on Sunday morning and realised that February had finally come to an end.

February was the month in which his Liverpool side lost to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie and saw their dreams of an unbeaten Premier League season torn to shreds by Watford, and it is not the first time Klopp's men have lost momentum at this stage of the year. In his first two campaigns at Anfield, Liverpool won only three of the 14 league games they played in January and February, while last season it was a run of four draws in six games between late January and early March that ultimately cost them the title.

The title will not elude them again this season, but Liverpool have not looked themselves since returning from their two-week winter break, having also laboured to narrow wins over Norwich and West Ham. As good as Watford were in their 3-0 win (and they were excellent), Liverpool contributed to their own downfall with an uncharacteristically unfocused and error-strewn display.

As in previous seasons, the squad seems to have struggled to adjust to the change of rhythm caused by the early rounds of the FA Cup. Klopp's side are a formidable machine when at full throttle, but when the engine is left to idle, it can take a little bit of time to warm up again.

Henderson had a great weekend without even putting his gloves on

Dean Henderson has produced some magnificent performances for Sheffield United in recent months, but the most significant match of the season for him could prove to be Sunday's 1-1 draw between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park.

David De Gea and Jordan Pickford were at fault for the game's two goals -- De Gea allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin to charge down his kick for Everton's early opener, Pickford failing to get a strong enough hand to Bruno Fernandes's low-range strike for United's leveller -- and it was not the first time the goalkeepers had seen their mistakes punished this season. In fact, since the beginning of last season, De Gea and Pickford have each committed seven errors that have led to goals, which is more than any other goalkeeper in the competition.

Within minutes of De Gea's latest gaffe, Henderson's name was trending on Twitter as Manchester United fans talked up the prospect of the 22-year-old taking over between the posts at Old Trafford next season once his loan spell at Bramall Lane has come to an end. England manager Gareth Southgate, meanwhile, was in attendance at Goodison, and with Pickford looking increasingly unreliable, Henderson is being touted as a potential replacement for the former Sunderland shot stopper for the national team.

Alonso shows his worth to Chelsea

Between the end of October and the penultimate weekend in February, Marcos Alonso played a grand total of 90 minutes of Premier League football.

Apparently unimpressed by the Spaniard's application in training, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard seemed determined to forego Alonso's services, but since returning to the starting XI for the 2-1 win over Tottenham, the 29-year-old has proved invaluable, scoring a beauty against Spurs and netting twice in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Alonso's defending may leave a little to be desired, but at his best, there are few more dangerous attacking full-backs in the European game.

Burnley and Palace demonstrate benefits of a water-tight defence

Prior to Newcastle's 0-0 draw with Burnley, Steve Bruce expressed a desire to evolve his team's style from the defence-first approach of the Rafael Benitez era, explaining that it was "not the way I want to play."

Set out in a new-look 4-2-3-1 formation, Newcastle mustered 21 attempts at goal to their opponents' seven, but although they could find no way past Nick Pope in the Burnley goal, Bruce would be unwise to underestimate the importance of a parsimonious defence. Backed up by a defence that has registered 11 clean sheets (only Liverpool, with 12, have more in the Premier League this season), Burnley are riding high in ninth place, while Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace, a similarly obdurate team, are now within touching distance of safety after their eighth clean sheet of the campaign helped them to a 1-0 success at Brighton.

Newcastle, too, have recorded eight clean sheets and as much as Bruce might want to make his side more of an attacking force, it is that defensive robustness that has allowed them to remain clear of the relegation scrap up to now.

Leicester's form is now a real concern

When Leicester started dropping points in mid-December, having previously won eight games in a row, it was easy to write off their apparent loss of momentum. There was no shame in losing to Manchester City and Liverpool either side of Christmas, and although back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Burnley in mid-January caused alarm, it seemed only a matter of time before Brendan Rodgers's side got back in gear.

But Friday's 1-0 loss at Norwich means they have now gone four league games without victory, while the only teams they have beaten in their past 12 outings are West Ham, twice, and Newcastle.

Leicester's lead over fifth-place Manchester United has been cut from 14 points to eight during that time. A seemingly benign run of fixtures against Aston Villa, Watford and Brighton offers them a perfect opportunity to get back on track, but if they cannot find a second wind, their hopes of Champions League qualification will be in serious peril.

West Ham reap rewards of giving Haller support

Having spoken recently of the importance of putting players around Sebastien Haller, West Ham manager David Moyes did exactly that in his side's timely 3-1 home win over Southampton.

Whereas in previous weeks he had looked isolated at the tip of the West Ham attack, Haller was in the thick of the action at London Stadium. His 40th-minute goal -- his first in nine matches -- followed a one-two with strike partner Michail Antonio, while it was his flick-on that allowed Pablo Fornals to release Antonio for West Ham's third.

In a mark of his rediscovered confidence, Haller also created an opportunity for Antonio with an audacious rabona pass from the halfway line. If Moyes can keep Haller engaged in this way, the £45 million man could yet score the goals that lead the Hammers away from trouble.

Watford and Norwich show fallacy of theories about a low-quality season

In their desire to ease the pain of watching Liverpool streak to the title, fans of the Merseyside club's rivals have been espousing various theories that supposedly undermine the achievements of Klopp's all-conquering side.

One such theory is that, with Manchester City falling off the pace and the other members of the Big Six all undergoing periods of transition, Liverpool have only been able to amass so many points because the standard of opposition that they have faced has been so poor.

But if you cast your eyes a little further down the Premier League table, there is plenty of evidence that the league is packed with quality. Leicester, Sheffield United and Wolves are all enjoying exceptional seasons, while sides like Burnley and Crystal Palace often prove extremely difficult to beat.

No teams reflect the depth of quality in the division better than Norwich and Watford. Bottom side Norwich have beaten both Manchester City and Leicester, while fourth-bottom Watford had picked up wins against Manchester United and Wolves before brilliantly ending Liverpool's 44-game unbeaten run at a jubilant Vicarage Road on Saturday.

There is huge quality in the Premier League this season. It's just not necessarily in the usual places.

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