By 90Min
February 28, 2019

February's final round of mid-week fun served up some eye-catching results and performances, as the top of the table chess match between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola intensified, while the scrap to stay in the division continues to keep us guessing. 

However intently you try to keep an eye on the shenanigans up and down the table, however, it can be easy to miss a headline or two, especially when every team is in action over a two-day period. 

With that in mind, here are seven things we learned from the many happenings over Tuesday and Wednesday. 


Trent Alexander-Arnold's Star Remains Firmly on the Rise

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Recent troubles with injury, coupled by Liverpool's faltering defensive form, had threatened to grind to a halt the break-neck emergence Trent Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed over the last 18 months, but try telling that to Watford. 

While turning in another defensively capable performance, the focus was on the right-back's attacking game, as he tore the Hornets to pieces with three assists. '

With Andy Robertson laying on the other two from the opposite flank, never has the Reds' potency from the full-back positions been more evident, as they ran out 5-0 winners to get their title charge back on track. 


Tottenham's Title Challenge Is Done and Dusted

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 If the defeat to Burnley at the weekend buried Tottenham's title hopes, then the meek 2-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Chelsea on Wednesday was the final nail in its coffin. 

They've fallen to nine points behind leaders Liverpool and eight behind second-placed Manchester City, meaning that with ten games remaining, even a 100% finish to the season likely wouldn't be enough to keep them alive. 

Their attentions should now turn to preserving their top four status, as they host their pals Arsenal at the weekend, who are looking to move to within a point of them with a win. 


Maurizio Sarri Doesn't Mess About

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You can't fault Maurizio Sarri for being a bit miffed at first-choice keeper Kepa, after his £70m signing refused to be substituted despite suffering from an injury in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City at the weekend. 

The Italian was visibly livid at the 24-year-old, and despite the player's claims that it was all just a big friendly misunderstanding, he wasn't given the chance to repeat the feat as he was dropped to the bench for the win over Tottenham. 

It's likely to have simply been a statement from the manager - he did basically admit that Kepa would be restored to first team status before too long - but it goes to show that no-one is above the law as far as Sarri is concerned. 


Brighton are Free...Free Falling

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After such a promising start to the season, Brighton have found themselves in a bit of bother at the bottom of the table, as they have absolutely capitulated in 2019. 

Their 2-1 defeat to Leicester - their fourth in five games - leaves them two points ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff, albeit with a game in hand against Chelsea to come. 

They have taken just two of the 21 points available since the turn of the year, and might just find themselves grateful that there is only really one relegation spot in contention thanks to Huddersfield and Fulham cutting themselves well adrift at the foot of the table. 


Mesut Ozil Is Back With a Bang

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After a vaguely specified hiatus from first-team contention, Mesut Ozil marked his return to the Arsenal side with an impressive performance in the comfortable win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League. After being used from the bench in the victory over Southampton three days later, he found himself starting yet again on Wednesday. 

He wasted no time in grabbing the opportunity with both hands, opening the scoring after four minutes and never looking back, and now looks to have established himself once again as one of the first names on Unai Emery's team-sheet. 

The Gunners would run out 5-1 winners, and with that all-important North London derby coming up ahead of a nine game scrap for a top four place, getting Ozil back at his best couldn't have come at a better time. 


Wolves Really Don't Like Playing Huddersfield

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Bottom side Huddersfield's dramatic 1-0 win over Wolves was their first win in any competition since November. Their last victory came in the league, against...drumroll...Wolves!

It means that wins over Nuno Santo's side account for six of the Terriers' dismal 14 point haul, and it also means that of Wolves' 10 league defeats so far this season, six have come against the team bottom of the league at the time. 

Maybe it's not just Huddersfield, then.


The Race for the Golden Boot Is More Open Than Ever

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Start your engines, because goals for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero - the latter coming as a crucial match-winner for Manchester City against West Ham - mean that the race for the golden boot is well and truly on. 

It's Aguero who leads the pack at present, with his 18 strikes so far topping Mohamed Salah's 17, but breathing down their necks are Aubameyang on 16, and the returning Harry Kane with 15. 

It also might be worth taking note of Sadio Mane, who has emerged as a surprise contender. His brace against Watford mean he is now fifth in the rankings, with 14 goals. 

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