Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

David Wagner must quickly turn things around at Huddersfield, Naby Keïta is breathing down Jordan Henderson’s neck and Joe Hart had the last laugh at Cardiff. Composite: The Guardian

1) Leno keen to grab his chance

Bernd Leno was quick to do the decent thing and explain he was clearly not happy to see Petr Cech pull up with a hamstring injury, but at the same time the competitor in him cannot wait to seize his chance. The German keeper signed for Arsenal more than three months ago and has had to be patient to wait for Premier League football. Unai Emery had told Leno his time would come at some stage. “Some weeks ago he said you have to work hard, be calm, because I played for just one professional club in Germany and it is a new country, everything is new for me. Goalkeeper is a special position. You need confidence with the team, with the defence, so it needs time.” Leno is excited at the chance to establish himself. “Now Petr is injured I have the opportunity to play more games and show the coach my quality.” It is not the most stable defence to walk into, although it did not go unnoticed Rob Holding looked secure and had a steadying influence. Amy Lawrence

Match report: Arsenal 2-0 Watford

2) Hart turns tables on Cardiff fans

Cardiff’s fans enjoyed mocking Joe Hart by singing “England’s No4”, but it was Burnley’s goalkeeper who ended up having the last laugh. As well as coming off his line impressively and dominating his penalty area to deal with Cardiff’s aerial bombardment, he made a couple of excellent saves. His problems in recent years are well documented, but the 31-year-old is showing signs that his confidence is returning – he even allowed himself a smile in the face of those taunts. Whether there is still a door open to the England squad for Hart remains to be seen – Burnley’s Nick Pope, who is injured, was picked ahead of him for the World Cup – but arguably that should be of little concern at the moment. Hart just needs to keep playing well for Burnley. “He’s a quality keeper, without a shadow of doubt,” said Sean Dyche, Burnley’s manager. Stuart James

Match report: Cardiff 1-2 Burnley

3) Chelsea fall for David Luiz’s charms again

Chelsea have appeared defensively fragile at times this season so it was startling to witness the rugged excellence of their back line in limiting Liverpool to one goal. That David Luiz led the resistance was most eye-catching. The Brazilian fell out of favour under Antonio Conte last season, playing only four times after late November. Maurizio Sarri had his own preconceptions about the 31‑year‑old, who would have left had Conte remained. “He’s really better than I thought before, as a player and as a man,” said Sarri, who has warmed to the Brazilian’s straight‑talking approach, a trait which enraged his predecessor. “I found he was a little confused because, two seasons ago, he’d been a protagonist. Then he did not play for the last six months [of last season]. But he’s swiftly been able to play my football: he’s very technical and able to start the action from the defensive line. He’s very suitable for me.” Dominic Fifield

Match report: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool
Jonathan Wilson: Giroud may look the part but Chelsea want goals

Jürgen Klopp praises Daniel Sturridge after Liverpool equaliser at Chelsea

4) Henderson looks the fall guy given Keïta’s quality

Jürgen Klopp’s decision to substitute Mohamed Salah against Chelsea garnered much attention but it was the change he made shortly afterwards that felt more notable. Off went Jordan Henderson and on came Naby Keïta, who immediately provided Liverpool with more aggression and progression from the centre of the pitch. It is now to be seen if the Guinea midfielder is handed a starting place for Wednesday’s Champions League visit to Napoli having found himself in and out of the side since arriving from RB Leipzig for £52m in the summer. Given his quality and fee it is surely only a matter of time before Keïta becomes a regular starter for Liverpool and considering how well Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner are playing right now, Henderson appears the obvious fall guy, which is not a good position for any player to find himself in, let alone the club captain. Sachin Nakrani

Barney Ronay: Hazard sparkles to win personal duel with Salah
Van Dijk backs Salah to regain form for Liverpool

5) Sigurdsson beginning to show he’s worth the money

Gylfi Sigurdsson departed to a standing ovation against Fulham as Evertonians saluted a decisive contribution to victory from the club’s record signing. There have not been enough of them since the Iceland international arrived for £45m from Swansea City but, having finally been given a consistent run in the No 10 role by Marco Silva, he repaid his manager with a leading role and two fine goals in Everton’s second league win of the season. It is now four goals in eight games for Sigurdsson. The onus is now on the 29-year-old to dictate matches on a consistent basis. Silva said: “Something happens at a club, it’s not just one or two players. For players to achieve that consistency you have to be more mature, and we need to be more mature to manage the game in different moments. This was important for him.” Andy Hunter

Match report: Everton 3-0 Fulham

6) Huddersfield have three games to turn season around

The omens are not looking good for Huddersfield, still without a win this season and with only a single clean sheet to their name. If it was something of a surprise that three teams turned out to be worse than the Terriers last season, the bottom‑placed club may struggle to find the same sort of safety net this time. Tottenham were on top in West Yorkshire more than the scoreline might suggest. Two goals to the good by half-time with more than an inkling that their fast front three could get through the home defence at will, the visitors were content to see the game out with half an eye on Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Barcelona. Huddersfield have no such distractions, just the three games in October – Burnley, Liverpool and Watford – to try to get a win on the board before Bonfire Night. Paul Wilson

Match report: Huddersfield 0-2 Tottenham

'Players are not machines,' says Mauricio Pochettino – video

7) Sané and Sterling finding form at right time

Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané were in flying form for Manchester City before their pivotal trips to Hoffenheim and Liverpool. Sterling has four goals this season with his opener against Brighton, and he helped to create Sergio Agüero’s fine second. Yet Pep Guardiola is not pressuring him to beat the tally. “I would like to win the Premier League,” the manager said. “If he helps us, good, but it is not just about goals [though] they are important for strikers. It’s the way when we attack down the left side [for Sterling’s] finish he gets into the 18-yard box to score with desire, power. He was so clever – the assist for Sergio – so clear, outstanding.” Of Sané, who has regained his starting berth, Guardiola said: “He is playing really good in the last games. But our profession is so demanding, and we have to do every single day your best.” Jamie Jackson

Match report: Manchester City 2-0 Brighton
Daniel Taylor:
Southgate should end waiting game and give Foden a chance

8) Winds of change swirling around Newcastle and Ashley

Here we go again. Another Tyneside autumn, another Newcastle takeover story, another looming relegation battle. Mike Ashley will not be impressed by the leaking of details surrounding Peter Kenyon’s attempts to form a consortium aimed at replacing him as Newcastle’s owner and, should things progress, will demand early and concrete proof of funds. More immediately, Ashley’s refusal to back Rafael Benítez in the summer transfer market threatens to bite him on the backside. After attending his first home game since May 2017, surely even the owner realises significant January investment is required. Unusually, Benítez was booed by some fans after withdrawing Matt Ritchie in the defeat to Leicester and he knows his tactics for Saturday’s visit to Old Trafford will be scrutinised forensically. Louise Taylor

Match report: Newcastle 0-2 Leicester

Newcastle fans unfurled a Rafael Benítez flag at the match against Leicester City but the manager was booed after he substituted Matt Ritchie. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

9) Arnautovic happy to play through pain barrier

West Ham were relieved that Marko Arnautovic ignored the doctors and faced Manchester United after missing last week’s draw with Chelsea because of a knee injury. The talismanic Austrian forward demonstrated his dedication to the cause by playing through the pain barrier and his fourth goal of the season helped Manuel Pellegrini’s side continue their revival. “I have to say this week I was not 100%,” Arnautovic admitted afterwards. “I still feel my knee. I did just two training sessions but I wanted to play. I have pain. The medical staff, they say I don’t risk my knee. For me it’s just forget the pain and play. The gaffer gave me this opportunity and he expects me to score goals. I think the medical staff and people working with me are confident as well, so it’s all about being confident in your body and trusting your body. I trust a lot.” Jacob Steinberg

Match report: West Ham 3-1 Manchester United

10) Doherty and Otto are role models as Wolves wing-backs

At the end of their team’s 2-0 victory Wolves fans chanted: “Nuno’s the Special One.” Well, he is to them and, what’s more, he could offer José Mourinho advice on how best to deploy a system with wing-backs. Matt Doherty and Jonny have performed the roles excellently and underlined that on Saturday by combining for their second goal, Doherty raiding down the right before crossing for Jonny. Doherty has three caps for the Republic of Ireland and their manager, Martin O’Neill, said last month the player needs to “drive forward” more often. O’Neill’s assistant, Roy Keane, was at Molineux and cannot have failed to notice Doherty drove forward continually, on top of defending well and offering a strong aerial presence in both boxes. Whether as wing-back or full-back, it would be odd if Doherty did not feature against Wales and Denmark. Paul Doyle

Match report: Wolves 2-0 Southampton

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