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Prem Recap: Lukaku’s derby woes, improving West Ham & more

| 11.12.2017

There were huge results at both ends of the Premier League table during the weekend.

At the top, Manchester City crushed rivals Manchester United’s title hopes with victory at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, at the other end, Swansea City and West Ham United enjoyed vital victories.

We take a look at the big talking points from a thrilling weekend of action.

What must Lukaku do to salvage his season?

Red Devils fans pinned their hopes on new signing Romelu Lukaku ahead of the season. The £76m man arrived from Everton with a ton of Premier League pedigree and, seemingly, the potential to complete his growth into a world-class player.

Right now, he’s seriously falling short of expectation. The Belgian has managed a meagre two goals and three assists in his last 14 outings for the club. And he was at fault for both of City’s goals in their 2-1 Manchester derby victory.

So, after a stinker on the big stage – where does he need to improve?

Firstly, the 24-year-old needs to work on his first touch. While he’s been decent against modest opposition, his heavy and often wayward touch has seen him struggle to make any impact in the box against stronger opposition.

The Antwerp native also needs to sort out his decision making. Not only in front of goal, but also when called on for defensive duties.

His ‘clearance’ for City’s second was a horror show. If he doesn’t sort that out quickly, fans – and maybe Jose Mourinho – will lose patience.

Has Moyes instigated Irons escape?

David Moyes enjoyed his first victory as West Ham boss on Saturday, as his resilient side pulled off a 1-0 victory over champions Chelsea. That marked the first time the Blues had drawn a blank away from home in the league since April.

While the Irons had lost away to Man City the previous weekend, the shoots of recovery showed at the Etihad.

Moyes’ men were arguably unlucky to lose a competitive game in which they caused their opponents plenty of problems.

After a dismal start to his time in the capital, Marko Arnautovic showed great composure and technique to open his account with the game’s only game.

Meanwhile, the Hammers backline looked strong. And keeper Adrian pulled off a couple of blinding saves.

With the Hammers now just goal-difference away from escaping the relegation zone, things are finally beginning to look up in East London.

Is Puel Leicester City’s saviour?

After a decent but unspectacular season in charge of Southampton last term, Claude Puel seemed a safe pair of hands for Leicester City.

But few expected the 56-year-old to trigger quite the turnaround we’ve seen from the Foxes in recent weeks.

Since the Frenchman took the reins, Leicester have chalked up 14 points from seven Premier League games.

He also looks to have found a winning tactical formula, with a midfield quartet underpinned by the rock-solid Vincent Iborra and Wilfred Ndidi in the centre.

With the likes of Demarai Gray and Riyad Mahrez also rediscovering their best form under Puel’s watch, things look bright in this corner of the East Midlands.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.