Six things we learned from the Premier League this weekend: Manchester United lack belief under David Moyes; Norwich remain a formidable bet; capital gains for Newcastle; Southampton anniversary; Puncheon's goal does the talking; Solskjaer needs to find home comfort

A round-up of the key talking points from the latest round of Premier League fixtures

United under Moyes lack Fergie’s comeback power

Almost exactly two years ago, Chelsea went 3-0 up early in the second half at Stamford Bridge, only for Manchester United to surge back into the game and draw 3-3. Eight of the players who started for United that day started on Sunday, but the big change has obviously been off the pitch.

United, in the post-Ferguson era, do not have the same reserves of courage and belief that helped them to come from behind as well as they used to do.

Even when Javier Hernandez scored last night, it only ever felt like a futile consolation.

Hull win shows Norwich remain a formidable bet

If you’ve always wanted to bet on football but were afraid to start, Norwich City will offer you a gentle introduction. Their Premier League form is fairly predictable. If Chris Hughton’s side are facing anyone in the top 10, don’t bet on them. The last time they got a point from those teams was in August against Southampton. Yet against any of the bottom 10, they will usually earn something, like on Saturday when they beat Hull 1-0. Aside from a December defeat to Fulham,  you have to go  back to August, when they lost 1-0 at Hull for when they last did not.

Pardew has made good capital gains for Newcastle

It was once a fact of life for Newcastle fans that trips to London were memorable only for the beer and the nice service provided by the East Coast main line. Alan Pardew, born in Wimbledon and who until he came to Tyneside had spent his playing and managerial career no further north than Barnet, has changed that mindset. He has already engineered Newcastle’s first wins at Chelsea since 1986, at Arsenal since 2001 and the first win at Tottenham for five years, in November. Saturday’s 3-1 win at West Ham was their third in the capital this season.

Some Southampton 2-2 draws are better than others

It was fitting that Mauricio Pochettino should celebrate the first anniversary of his appointment as Southampton manager with a 2-2 away draw. It was a more difficult 2-2 draw, away at Chelsea rather than Sunderland, that persuaded Nicola Cortese to sack Nigel Adkins, who had taken Southampton from the third tier to the Premier League. Though Saints are in a better position now, it does not excuse Cortese’s most ruthless piece of business. Adkins celebrated the anniversary of his sacking by leading Reading to a 7-1 win over Bolton.

Puncheon falls silent but his goal does a lot of talking

After Jason Puncheon’s goal against Stoke took Crystal Palace out of the drop zone, many rushed to gauge his reaction on a Twitter account that has already offended the loveable pair of Neil Warnock and Nicola Cortese.

Sadly, while Puncheon’s laughable penalty miss against Tottenham provoked tweets to Warnock that may end up in court, his winner has  produced nothing from  @punch_jason. Yet his goal may mean a proposed deal with Southampton to make his loan move permanent is that much easier to seal. 

Solskjaer needs to find home comfort next month

For those who follow Cardiff City, geography is important. Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at the Etihad was the first of three straight games in Greater Manchester. However, in the league at least Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will spend the whole of February in Wales. Cardiff’s home games against Norwich, Aston Villa and Hull are matches that will go a long way to deciding their fate and are winnable – as is the derby at Swansea, who last tasted victory as long ago as 4 December. If they are bottom come March, Ole’s game might be up.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links