Chelsea’s 4-0 victory at Brighton at the weekend has quietened the critics who suggested there was a crisis building at Stamford Bridge but it hasn’t ended speculation about their search for a striker after manager Antonio Conte challenged Michy Batshuayi to fill the void – but also left the door open for him to leave.
Sunderland 1 Newcastle United 0: Jermain Defoe is a quick learner. Sunderland’s recent acquisition has spent the last fortnight taking a crash-course in Wear-Tyne derby history, and it took him less than 45 minutes to write his name indelibly into its latest chapter.
Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1: Louis Van Gaal’s side moved a small step closer to Champions League qualification as Ashley Young’s 89th minute smash and grab goal secured three vital points for Manchester United.
Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0: THE prospect of facing mighty Barcelona - Messi, Neymar, Suarez et al - will presumably offer Manchester City more concern than this perfunctory five-goal thrashing of Newcastle but so schizophrenic are the mood swings at the Etihad Stadium these days that captain Vincent Kompany is relishing the prospect.
Newcastle 1 Stoke 1: By Mark Hughes’s usual abrasive standards, his criticism of referee Kevin Friend was calm and measured, but that was only because the Stoke City manager had seen substitute Peter Crouch earn his team a deserved point with a 90th-minute header.