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Five points of discussion from the Premier League

Klopp's Liverpool stutter while Manchester United close in on the top four. At the bottom end, wins for Hull and Swansea add to 'Boro's woes
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Five points of discussion from the Premier League
Paul ChildsREUTERS

Five points of discussion from the English Premier League this weekend:

Klopp fails to cure Liverpool conundrum

Liverpool looked in control of Crystal Palace, but allowed their lead to slip as woeful defending at a corner saw old boy Christian Benteke head home the second.

Liverpool's hopes of a Champions League faced a wobble at Selhurst Park, yet it is a familiar story. Defeats against mid-table opposition, such as the one against Bournemouth, have been far too frequent. Until Klopp solves the problem Liverpool will not be realistic title challengers.

Zlatan-less United win

Jose Mourinho's style may agitate many, especially with his criticism of Luke Shaw and then Anthony Martial, but it appears to have had a marked effect on both players.

Martial responded with a goal and a key role in the second in the 2-0 win over Burnley that gives real hope for United to finish in the top four and secure a Champions League place through that route. The United accountants may not be quite so elated, however, as Martial's goal cost them an extra €10 million, simultaneously enriching Monaco's coffers at the same time.

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Andrew YatesREUTERS

Rudderless 'Boro

When Gaston Ramirez was sent off in the 20th minute, Middlesbrough were already 2-0 down to Bournemouth. Manager Steve Agnew urged his troops to rally for the midweek game with bottom side, and north-east rivals, Sunderland, yet victory would probably just be for bragging rights as both look destined for the second tier.

'Boro are nine points adrift of safety, and still without a league win in 2017. In fact, they are the only side in the top European leagues to still hold that unwanted tag. Premier League safety looks beyond a side whose paucity of invention and goals has cost them dearly.

Silva continues Hull revival

Hull showed Middlesbrough that being reduced to 10 men is no barrier to victory. Oumar Niasse's first-half expulsion did more to energise Hull than it did a lacklustre Watford outfit, who looked like they are eyeing the beach already.

Since Marco Silva took over in January, Hull have taken on a different look in both style and morale, and have dropped just two points at home in the UK's capital of culture. 

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Jan KrugerGetty Images

Swansea finally win

After a rocky run of form, the Swans delivered the win manager Paul Clement demanded, a 2-0 win over a wasteful Stoke side. If they are to beat the drop, though, they will require leading scorer Fernando Llorente, who got their first on Saturday, to stay fit.

Even more crucial, will be that playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson maintains his high standards. The Icelandic midfielder has been Swansea's driving force this season.


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