Andy Dawson: Ten things we learned from the football at the weekend

Yes, that's right, Manchester City ARE the new Barcelona. You heard it here first.

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IT’S ALL GOING PETE TONG FOR ROY HODGSON

The poor old owl got drenched last weekend during his comeback match against Southampton and then got spanked at the weekend as Manchester City put five past his flailing side. A spanking and a drenching sounds like the contents of the kind of film that Roy would definitely ban on the team bus, but that’s the way it’s gone for him so far.

I’m sure that England fans everywhere are sympathetic though, right? Right? Erm, hello? Anyone…?

MANCHESTER CITY ARE THE NEW BARCELONA

The pummelling handed out to Palace on Saturday was beautiful and brutal in equal measures. Chuck in a heap of weird as well, as Fabian Delph came off the bench and scored a beaut. You remember Delph surely – Roy Hodgson picked him for England a few times…

PEP GUARDIOLA IS ALL ABOUT THE THOROUGH

Not content with trying to build a perfect football team, Pep was spotted handing out some very detailed instructions to one of the City ball boys, urging him to chuck the ball back in with a bit more urgency. He was probably in the hospitality suite at 1pm as well, telling the chef to add some extra pepper to the soup of the day.

JURGEN KLOPP IS A SPEED AUTHOR

Two hours. That’s all the Liverpool boss reckons it’ll take him to knock out a book on the art of defending.

That shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise to anyone who’s seen the Reds’ slapstick efforts at the back – and with 12 goals shipped in the last five matches, I’d be expecting less of a book and more of a pamphlet.

 

WE ALL LOVE A PROPER DERBY MATCH

Oh we do, we do, we do – and there was a couple of crackers to feast our eyes on at the weekend. Up in Glasgow, Celtic’s effortless 2-0 win at Ibrox told Rangers, ‘No, you’re STILL nowhere near us’. Meanwhile, the first Steel City Derby in the league for five years saw a thrilling 4-2 smash and grab at Hillsborough by Sheffield United.

WELCOME BACK, OUMAR NIASSE

Back in the summer, he was the outcast’s outcast, training with the Everton kids and not even allowed near the official EFC tape measure to be fitted with an official EFC team suit. But patience is a virtue and his two late goals off the bench brought Everton a much-needed win against Bournemouth and saved Ronald Koeman from gross embarrassment and possibly the sack.

That sound you can hear is hundreds of fantasy football players stampeding to snap up what they reckon could be a super-cheap bargain signing.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO IS A TROOPER

Imagine if you had a a winning lotto ticket in your hand and someone snatched it away from you. Now imagine if that happened five or six times (lotto jackpots not being what they were). That’s where Liverpool’s want-away wizard is at right now, after it emerged that Barcelona were ready to offer him £102m in wages as part of his dream summer move that quickly turned into a living nightmare.

No wonder he was suffering from a stress-related back injury last month – maybe he’d been practicing carrying his money around with a backpack full of rocks.

But, to his credit, the maestro has got his head straight and scored a jaw-dropping free kick for his current team at the weekend as they squeaked past Leicester 3-2.

YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF NON-LEAGUE BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE NON-LEAGUE OUT OF THE BOY

Jamie Vardy’s penalty against Liverpool was classic Sunday league stuff. Galloping run-up, head down, smash it straight down the middle at the keeper. An easy save for Simon Mignolet and a let off for Jurgen ‘Pamphlet Man’ Klopp.

SUNDERLAND ARE LIKE A GROUP OF HOMING PIGEONS

Put the Mackems in any given league and they’ll soon find their comfort zone. Also known as the relegation zone.

DIEGO COSTA – GONE BUT NOT FORG… NO, ACTUALLY HE’S BEEN FORGOTTEN

Who needs a moping centre forward hiding out in Brazil because he isn’t getting his own way, when you can have a younger, quicker version banging the goals in while actually being in the same country as the club he’s contractually obliged to play for? With six goals in his first six matches for Chelsea, Alvaro Morata has helped ease the pain of Diego Costa’s summer huff.

Mind you, Costa got eight in his first six, so there’s no room for complacency for Morata…

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