The Premier League was full of controversial moments this weekend with Liverpool being held at Brighton, Manchester United coming back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton and Raul Jimenez suffering a fractured skull in horrific scenes at the Emirates. Express Sport’s Matthew Dunn brings you all the latest in his Talking Points column.
Liverpool fans will await with interest to see how the FA react to Edinson Cavani’s Instagram post.
After all, it was the current acting chairman of the organisation Peter McCormick who spoke up in defence of Luis Suarez when he used the ‘n’ word towards Patrice Evra in an incident which led to an eight-game ban,
McCormick was the solicitor employed to defend Suarez when the Liverpool player was accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011.
However, the FA are keen to make it absolutely clear he will play not part in the disciplinary department’s decision over what action to take if any against the Manchester United striker.
The independent panel which heard the Suarez case did, however, commission an expert report into the various linguistic and cultural interpretations of the ‘n’ word from the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Manchester which could prove quite useful to Cavani.
Professor Peter Wade and Dr James Scorer found that “the term can be used as a friendly form of address to someone seen as somewhat brown-skinned or even just black-haired.”
In other words, the very defence Cavani is likely to use if he is charged.
KLOPP’S CHRISTMAS BLEATINGS
Moaning about fixture congestion before Christmas has even started is doing nothing but cast negativity around Liverpool at the moment.
It is what it is.
The same evil broadcasting companies that insist on Saturday lunchtime kick-offs after a Wednesday night game are also the ones enabling Liverpool to spend millions of pounds in recent windows winning major honours all over the world.
If teams in Germany are afforded a little bit of extra time to prepare between games, perhaps it is no more than they deserve given they are forced to run with smaller squads.
And even domestically, it all evens itself out. In the days between December 20 and December 29, Liverpool play just one game in the supposedly busy “festive” schedule.
Title challengers Spurs and Chelsea both play three.
Sounds like a few Christmas cards are in order for Sky and BT. Not perpetual abuse.
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ANOTHER FINE MESUT
Mikel Arteta is long enough in the tooth to know it would only a take a couple of below-par performances from Arsenal before fans were calling for the return of Mesut Ozil.
That is why he stuck him where he cannot be fetched back – with the stiffs outside the Premier League squad list.
True, Arsenal are not pulling up too many trees at the moment, but it is important to look forward to the future instead of back.
Arteta is trying to lay the foundations of a new era and thoughts of compensating for the maverick brilliance of one individual have been buried deep in the concrete.
And by not including him in his squads, Arteta know he can wave away those calls until January at least, when hopefully the picture will be very different.
SILENCE GOLDEN FOR MOURINHO
If anybody could pick a fight in an empty stadium, it is Jose Mourinho. But he chose not to.
Previous returns to Stamford Bridge have been feisty occasions for the Tottenham boss, but it was not just the lack of fans which made this latest trip more serene.
Mourinho himself was in a better place mentally.
For once he was on his game enough to ignore his surroundings, park his bus and get on with taking the single point he wanted to keep his side top of the table.
Maybe for the first time in a while, he seems focused entirely at the task in hand. That, in truth, is more dangerous than when he is shouting his mouth off.
BURNLEY DEFENDERS NEED MORE OF A LEG UP
Riyad Mahrez and the rest of his Manchester City cohorts served up a reminder that they can still turn it on when they want to – the 5-0 win against Burnely dispelling somewhat the theory that the goals have dried up.
It also puts greater context on how strong Tottenham were in containing them a week before.
Jose Mourinho later rewarded Sergio Reguilon with a whole leg of Spanish ham for keeping Mahrez in his pocket for the entire 90 minutes.
Perhaps Sean Dyche’s problem is once again one of budgets – perhaps his bribes budget only extends to a packet of pork scratchings.