Seven things we learned from the Premier League this weekend: Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge combination remains lethal; Jermain Defoe provides reminder of class; Chelsea rediscover Jose Mourinho mean streak

We also learn that Sunderland have found inspiration and that Adam Lallana loves his mum

You picked a fine time to leave Spurs, Jermain

As Graeme Swann discovered, sportsmen who quit halfway through a campaign should not expect a round of applause. Nevertheless, the reception for Jermain Defoe when he came on to score the second in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace was heartfelt.

There were reasons to sneer. Toronto is a backwater of a backwater league who will, however, pay Defoe £90,000 a week – double what he earns in London. It means he is unlikely to be a contender for the World Cup squad but this will not be as painful as his leaving of Spurs in 2008. Not only did Defoe find himself cup-tied for Portsmouth’s run to the FA Cup final, he left just in time to miss out on a League Cup final appearance with Tottenham.

Chelsea have rediscovered the Mourinho mean streak

As 2013 turned into 2014, the clocks started to go back at Stamford Bridge – to the last time Jose Mourinho was managing Chelsea. The 4-3 win at Sunderland and the 3-2 defeat at Stoke were not the kind of results anyone has come to associate with Mourinho. He is not Kevin Keegan; like Brian Clough, he cherishes the clean sheet. In his first season at Chelsea, they did not concede a goal between 12 December and 5 March. Saturday’s 2-0 win at Hull was Chelsea’s fifth clean sheet in six games.

Capital One Cup wins inspired Poyet’s men in the league

For a club like Sunderland, glued to the foot of the Premier League since November, the Capital One Cup should have been a monumental drain on energy and resources. Instead, it seems to have inspired Gus Poyet’s side. The 2-1 win over Chelsea in the quarter-final began a sequence that has seen them lose one match in nine. The run includes victories over Everton and Manchester United and now a crushing 4-1 win at Fulham. Not only has Poyet managed to coax the best from Adam Johnson, a fragile character unable to cope with Paolo Di Canio’s brutalist management style, he knows winning anywhere is the best preparation for winning when it matters.

Adam Johnson celebrates his hat-trick against Fulham Adam Johnson celebrates his hat-trick against Fulham   Barry strike was a reminder to Hodgson and Martinez

A broken toe that will keep him out of the Merseyside derby meant Roy Hodgson was denied a glimpse of Ross Barkley. However, the England manager was treated to the sight of Gareth Barry – who has not played for England since before Euro 2012 – scoring his 50th and most spectacular Premier League goal in Everton’s 2-0 win over Norwich. A fee of around £1m would make Barry’s loan from Manchester City permanent but Roberto Martinez says he will assess the 32-year-old’s situation at the end of the season.

T-shirt shows Lallana is still his mother’s sweet boy

To quote Mark Clattenburg’s alleged remark, has Adam Lallana changed since he became an England international? Not if his T-shirt wishing his mother a happy birthday after scoring the only goal against West Bromwich Albion is anything to go by. Craig Richards, who captained the Southampton side that included Lallana, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale to the 2005 FA Youth Cup final, described him as “a home-grown, down-to-earth, really nice guy”. Just as Robbie Fowler revealed he was more than a scally with his T-shirt supporting the striking Liverpool dockers, this said more about Lallana than any media campaign. It was sweet.

Suarez and Sturridge combination remains lethal

In the absence of Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez has been getting on just fine. But the second of his two goals against Stoke, which took his tally to 22 in 16 Premier League games, owed much to his strike partner. A cheeky pass that fooled the Stoke City backline was a reminder of why Liverpool's SAS were becoming the most feared partnership in the Premier League. With the Reds still among the top four, the return of Sturridge may just allow Brendan Rodgers to look to the top.

The offside rule will always be great for debate

Should Cheikh Tiote's 'goal' against Manchester City have been ruled out? He, his manager, Gary Lineker and everyone in Newcastle certainly thinks not. But City manager Manuel Pellegrini said after his side's 2-0 victory at St James' Park that it was "absolutely" offside. Whether Yoan Gouffran was interfering with play or not - these questions without definitive answers are what helps make football so entertaining.

Cheik Ismael Tiote of Newcastle remonstrates with Referee Mike Jones after his goal is disallowed for offside Cheik Ismael Tiote of Newcastle remonstrates with Referee Mike Jones after his goal is disallowed for offside  

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food