If he hadn't already it doesn't matter, Phil Foden has just rubber stamped his name in the England team for this summer's delayed European Championships. Foden was at the heart of Manchester City's glorious win over the champions Liverpool at Anfield scoring one goal and assisting another. Manager Pep Guardiola once called him the best youngster he has ever worked with and Guardiola once oversaw the progress of a certain Lionel Messi. England are very lucky to have him.
Ilkay Gundogan was brilliant too of course and scored a brace in the game, this after missing a penalty. One would have thought after Gundogan's miss that Liverpool would have got a second wind but it never happened. Mohamed Salah did score a penalty to make the game 1-1. Although it was unfortunate to see Salah's simulation, even if one could have called it a penalty, there's no need to try and confirm it beyond doubt, Salah is too good a player to be acting like this. Thankfully his antics did not over shadow the game and City were simply brilliant winning the encounter 4-1. This without Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne sends a message to whoever carves trophies with the FA, start writing Manchester City's name on it.
Of course a City title isn't carved in stone just yet but the club are 10 points ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand, Liverpool's boat seems to have sailed and it was almost sad to hear manager Jurgen Klopp now talking about the objective being to finish in the top 4. Liverpool have had their problems this season, the obvious one being the injury of Viril van Dijk. One should remember that big teams should know how to deal with setbacks and one should also remember that maybe this wasn't going to be a vintage van Dijk season, after all he was part of a defence that conceded 7 goals against Aston Villa before his injury.
Can Man Utd Challenge?
At this point the only team who look like giving City a challenge is Manchester United who are in 2nd place but even they are 5 points behind and have played one game more. United have been brilliant at times but even from within their own former players there is a disbelief that the club are actually where they are, an almost inevitability that the club will fall off at some point. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team did drop 2 points at the weekend after being 2-0 up at home to Everton. That game ended in a thrilling 3-3 score line with Dominic Calvert-Lewin prodding home a last minute equaliser.
The race for 4th
The race for 4th place is hotting up too and Liverpool with 40 points are under pressure from not one but 5 teams. Chelsea look slick under Thomas Tuchel and have won 3 consecutive games and are one point behind Liverpool. As too are West Ham, Everton have 37 points but have 2 games in hand over Klopp's team, Tottenham are four points behind 4th but have a game in hand and Aston Villa have 35 points but have 2 games in hand. It's certainly exciting stuff with nothing yet decided.
What was decided after he had watched numerous replays was Mike Dean's decision to send off West Ham's Tomas Soucek after a clash with Aleksandar Mitrovic. Everyone was in agreement that Soucek's elbow was a clear accident which fouled Mitrovic and Dean has been the laughing stock of the league. He made a huge error but let's have some perspective on the incident. We have seen many players in Soucek's position who have had a cheeky swipe at the opposing player and Soucek did know he was there. There was little wrong in VAR highlighting what had happened and little wrong in Dean investigating with the TV monitor. Let's also remember that before Mitrovic pleaded Soucek's innocence he went down heavy from the accident, that seems like a quick change of heart there- not Dean's fault. However it was Dean's fault to repeatedly view the incident and then give the red card. Feeling that he had to watch the replay well over ten times it has been reported means he had doubts. As a result Soucek's red has been rescinded by the FA and Dean will miss next weekend's schedule.
Premier League: Team of the Weekend: Martinez, Cresswell, Aurier, Mings, Dias, Gundogan, Jorginho, Doucoure, Mount, Calvert-Lewin, Foden