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.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Innovations in payment options are making premium products more accessible

No need for documentation or applications to own high-quality items

Credit cards have long been associated with an aspirational lifestyle. The ability to buy something out of your wish list without needing to pay the entire amount can tempt even the most disciplined shoppers. A designer couch, the latest mobile phone, a home entertainment system or a car, as long as you can pay back the borrowed amount within the grace period, your credit card purchases know no bounds.

However, credit cards, pre-approved or not, come with a number of complications. The tedious application procedure starts with the collection and submission of various documents. Moreover, there are several reasons your credit card application might get rejected including low income that compromises your repayment capability, certain occupations or work history, mistakes in the application form, possession of multiple cards or even a failed physical verification attempt. While applying for a credit card might have become easier, the success of the application can take time and effort.

Credit card owners are regaled with benefits all year round with attractive EMIs, offers on purchases, airline miles, lounge access, cashbacks and a plethora of exclusive deals. It’s worth noting that debit card owners don’t get even half of these benefits and offers, despite the sheer size of the debit card customer base in the country (846.7 million compared to 36.2 million credit card holders).

This imbalance of finance and purchase options between credit card and debit card owners is slowly changing. For instance, the new EMIs on debit card feature on Flipkart ensures affordability and accessibility to Indian consumers who don’t own credit cards. The payment innovation increases the purchasing power of the consumer. By providing credit access to non-credit card holders, expensive and high-quality products are made more affordable for a large base of customers without denting their cash flow. The video below comically captures a scenario that people who don’t own a credit card will relate to.

Play

Flipkart’s EMIs on debit card feature doesn’t require a minimum account balance, documentation, nor does it charge a processing fee, making online shopping a seamless experience even for more high-end products. To find out if you’re eligible for EMIs on debit card, see here.

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