Premier League

De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele step up, Pogba doesn’t: Premier League talking points

Kevin De Bruyne was the creative fulcrum of Manchester City’s latest demolition job, while Mousa Dembele inspired Tottenham’s North London derby win.

Kevin De Bruyne was the creative fulcrum of Manchester City’s latest demolition job, while Mousa Dembele inspired Tottenham’s North London derby triumph.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is still struggling, but Swansea are on the up under Carlos Carvalhal.

Here are five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend:

De Bruyne steps up

Sergio Aguero grabbed the headlines for his four-goal second-half haul as Manchester City leaped another step closer to Pep Guardiola’s first Premier League title in a 5-1 thrashing of Leicester, but it was Kevin De Bruyne who was once again the architect of City’s success. The Belgian even momentarily joked he, not Aguero, was having the match ball for a hat-trick of assists for Raheem Sterling’s opener and Aguero’s first two goals.

“He has everything,” gushed Guardiola. “Every game... amount of assists, amount of passes, shots, goals, how he fights, how he runs... this season the performance of Kevin so far there are no words. It’s so special.” De Bruyne’s display was even more inspirational as he took responsibility given City’s current lack of cover in creative areas in the absence of David Silva and Leroy Sane through injury.

Dembele the midfield maestro

Mousa Dembele underlined his status as one of Tottenham’s unsung heroes with a dominant display in their 1-0 win over north London rivals Arsenal. It was Harry Kane’s latest goal-scoring exploits against the Gunners that took centre-stage at Wembley, but the platform of that success was built by the industrious Dembele. Embodying Mauricio Pochettino’s obsession with physical intensity, while more than capable of picking a decisive pass, Dembele out-shone Arsenal in the midfield engine room, earning praise from his manager.

“Last season he played so well, this season he suffered a problem in his ankle and struggled in pre-season. Now he is playing well again,” Pochettino said. “He is an unbelievable player. We have to be careful about his fitness. When he can train he can make this type of performance.”

Pogba flops again

Play

As if losing 1-0 to struggling Newcastle wasn’t enough to have Jose Mourinho seething, the Manchester United boss once again had to suffer the frustration of Paul Pogba’s latest flop. Mourinho had restored Pogba to the starting line-up after dropping him for United’s previous match – a decision inspired by the former Juventus midfielder’s limp efforts in a defeat at Tottenham.

But rather than grasp the opportunity to get back in Mourinho’s good books just days after his boss had defended their relationship, Pogba was again a largely anonymous figure at St James’ Park. By the time he was substituted midway through the second half, United were already trailing, but publicly at least, Mourinho remains supportive. “No problems,” he said when asked about the France international. “I wanted a better way (in midfield) against a side that was defending in a block. I wanted the simplicity of Michael Carrick.”

Carvalhal has Swansea cooking

Carlos Carvalhal has served up amazing results and interviews in equal measure since he was surprisingly appointed to spearhead Swansea’s fight for survival on December 28. Saturday was no different as Ki Sung-Yeung’s winner nine minutes from time after Carvalhal had thrown on two extra strikers took the Welsh side out of the relegation zone.

When the Portuguese arrived, Swansea were bottom of the table and five points adrift of safety. “It was time to put all the meat on the barbeque,” said the colourful Carvalhal of his attacking instinct. Swansea have now won more points, 14, in Carvalhal’s seven games in charge than the 13 his predecessor Paul Clement collected in 20 matches.

Southampton slide into bottom three

Whilst Huddersfield, Newcastle and Swansea enjoyed morale-boosting wins, Southampton’s slide continued as Mauricio Pellegrino’s men were swept aside 2-0 by Liverpool. A run of just one win in their last 14 league outings has seen the Saints slip into the bottom three. An unwillingness to spend the £75 million bounty they received from Virgil van Dijk’s move to Liverpool in January could come back to cost the Southampton hierarchy as they look short of inspiration in attack and are badly missing the Dutchman in defence.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.

Play

To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.