Premier League: Marcus Rashford's star turn, Son Heung-Min taking over Harry Kane's mantle and other talking points

Manchester United were the big winners of the Premier League weekend as Marcus Rashford made the most of his first league start of the year by scoring twice to see off Liverpool 2-1.

AFP March 12, 2018 11:47:40 IST
Premier League: Marcus Rashford's star turn, Son Heung-Min taking over Harry Kane's mantle and other talking points

London: Manchester United were the big winners of the Premier League weekend as Marcus Rashford made the most of his first league start of the year by scoring twice to see off Liverpool 2-1.

Tottenham and Chelsea took advantage of Liverpool's loss in the battle for the top four with comfortable wins, but Spurs' 4-1 success at Bournemouth was marred by a nasty looking ankle injury suffered by Harry Kane.

Arsenal also bounced back from a woeful few weeks to offer beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger some hope, but there was no such joy for West Brom's Alan Pardew who seems resigned to his fate after losing once more to Leicester.

Here, we look at five things we learned from the Premier League weekend.

On-form Son shines in Kane's absence

Premier League Marcus Rashfords star turn Son HeungMin taking over Harry Kanes mantle and other talking points

With Harry Kane limping out injured, Son Heung-Min stepped up and scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur beat Bournemouth 4-1. Reuters

Tottenham bounced back from their bitterly disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Juventus by coming from behind to thrash Bournemouth and leapfrog Liverpool into third.

Even more impressively, Mauricio Pochettino's men defied any suggestion of over-dependence on Kane as Son Heung-Min struck after the England striker had limped off with an ankle injury.

Son was entrusted to move into the centre-forward role once Kane departed and showed he can deputise for Spurs' talisman with his sixth and seventh goals in his last four games to take his tally for the season to 18.

New boys give Wenger stay of execution

Assailed by stinging criticism, frustrated fans and vocal former players, Wenger is fighting to avoid his 22-year reign coming to a bitter end.

Fortunately for Wenger, two of his newest recruits seem keen to extend their relationship with the under-fire Frenchman as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shone in Sunday's 3-0 win over Watford.

The former Dortmund duo combined to tee each other up for Arsenal's second and third goals after Shkodran Mustafi had opened the scoring.

Wenger must hope for more of the same as the tension over his future mounts.

Rashford puts spotlight on Sanchez

Premier League Marcus Rashfords star turn Son HeungMin taking over Harry Kanes mantle and other talking points

Marcus Rashford scored twice in ten minutes as Manchester United beat rival Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. AFP

Rashford grabbed his rare chance to start for Manchester United in the Premier League with both hands by scoring twice inside 25 minutes as United saw off Liverpool 2-1 to open up a four-point lead in second place.

Rashford's opportunities have diminished since Alexis Sanchez joined from Arsenal in January, despite the Chilean scoring just once in nine United appearances.

Indeed, Rashford may have been sidelined once more but for a late injury suffered by Paul Pogba.

In the Frenchman's absence, Sanchez was moved inside to create space for Rashford to tear Liverpool apart down United's left.

Jose Mourinho has still to find a balance that can get the best from both Sanchez and Pogba and the Portuguese will be under big pressure to drop one of his stars for Sevilla's crucial Champions League trip to Old Trafford in favour of rewarding Rashford.

Giroud proves point to Conte

Olivier Giroud provided a welcome focal point for Chelsea in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace -- giving Blues boss Antonio Conte a difficult decision to make as he plans his team for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Barcelona.

Both Giroud and the out-of-form Alvaro Morata were left out of Chelsea's line-up for the 1-1 draw against Barca in the last 16 first leg as Conte preferred to use Eden Hazard as a 'false nine'.

Conte had used Belgium playmaker Hazard in the same role for Chelsea's tame 1-0 loss at Manchester City recently, but his decision to bring in former Arsenal star Giroud sparked a more dynamic display as Chelsea downed Palace to keep their top-four hopes alive.

Pardew on the brink

West Brom boss Pardew admitted his days in charge are numbered after a seventh successive defeat, 4-1 at home to Leicester on Saturday, left the Midlands club eight points adrift of safety at the bottom of the standings.

Pardew was brought in to replace Tony Pulis in November but has won just one of 16 league games during his time at The Hawthorns.

"Before you even ask me the question, will I speak to those upstairs? Yes I will, of course, I will, because it's getting difficult," said Pardew.

"I will still talk to them (the board) and get a feeling of what they think because they might think a change is a better thing for the club."

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