Manchester United’s revival since Jose Mourinho’s sacking continued with Paul Pogba again scoring twice to beat Bournemouth 4-1, but United remain eight points off the top four after Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0.Here, AFP Sports looks at five things we learned from the Premier League’s final fixtures of 2018.Liverpool’s title to lose?The league leaders haven’t lost all season and unless City end their invincible campaign so far at the Etihad this week, it is looking increasingly likely that Liverpool’s time has come.The reaction at times of adversity often makes the mark of champions and after falling behind for the first time in the league at Anfield in nearly a year, Liverpool were ahead within five minutes against Arsenal.Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick, while Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were also on target as the front three that fired Jurgen Klopp’s men to the Champions League final last season all scored in the same league game for the first time this campaign.Should that front three hit top form to compliment a defensive record of eight goals conceded in 20 games, it is hard to see how Liverpool will be stopped.City’s response of championsManchester City manager Pep Guardiola had reason to smile after a 3-1 win at Southampton on Sunday © AFP / Glyn KIRKThe champions weren’t at their sparkling best, but got what Pep Guardiola admitted was the most important thing — a win — to restore some confidence before they try to end Liverpool’s unbeaten start.“If you want to be there as far as possible until the end we have to remember what happened last season and this (season) as well – apart from the last few days,” insisted Guardiola.The return of David Silva, who scored City’s opener, and Fernandinho to the midfield made a massive difference and City may even have Kevin de Bruyne back too in time for Thursday.Spurs run out of steamSpurs stumble: Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat to Wolves left Mauricio Pochettino’s men nine points off the top of the Premier League © AFP / Ben STANSALLDespite a run of five straight victories, Tottenham were always seen as outsiders in the title race and any chance they had may have disappeared by Wolves’ late show as the visitors scored three times in the final 18 minutes to win 3-1 at Wembley.Spurs were in total control in the first half but the strains of 29 games in three competitions on a stretched squad in the first five months of the season began to show in a tired performance after the break.“Today for us it’s a clear example that if we are not consistent enough, with not only good quality during the game, and the right energy, it’s difficult to compete for big things,” said a disappointed Mauricio Pochettino.Emery’s Arsenal stallingArsene Wenger was chastised when Arsenal conceded four at Anfield last August at the beginning of his final season in charge at Arsenal. On Saturday, Unai Emery’s side had conceded four by half-time.Despite a 22-game unbeaten run between August and December, Arsenal are now just one point better off after 20 games than they were last season when finishing sixth.In contrast to their last meeting with Liverpool in a 1-1 draw in November when Emery’s impact had Arsenal re-energised and freshly filled with optimism, the Gunners looked mentally and physically soft when met with Liverpool’s pace, power and belief.Chelsea now have a five-point cushion in the race for a top-four finish and defensive reinforcements are clearly needed in January if Arsenal are to compete for a Champions League return.Near-perfect PogbaPerfect match: Paul Pogba’s form for Manchester United has been transformed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took caretaker charge © AFP / Paul ELLISWhat a difference little more than a week has made to spirits at Manchester United.Eight days ago life without Jose Mourinho began with a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff, while both Huddersfield and Bournemouth have now been sent packing from Old Trafford with the sort of routine defeat United fans expect.Paul Pogba wasn’t even on the pitch for the final act of Mourinho’s reign as he sat on the bench for the full 90 minutes in defeat to Liverpool, but Solskjaer’s promise to build his team around the Frenchman has paid off instantly.After scoring twice against Huddersfield, Pogba bagged another double on Sunday as well as setting up Romelu Lukaku’s fourth goal and hitting the post.This version of the midfielder is the one United thought they were buying when paying a then world record £89 million to Juventus in 2016.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Three and easy: Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 5-1 © AFP / Paul ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 30 – Liverpool took another significant step towards a first top-flight title in 29 years by thrashing Arsenal 5-1 to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, thanks also to Tottenham’s collapse at home to Wolves.Manchester City are once again Liverpool’s closest challengers ahead of a blockbuster clash between the two on Thursday as the champions recovered from back-to-back defeats to beat Southampton 3-1.
As we get closer to the end of the week, reflecting on some of the craziness of the past few days was clearly in order. This week’s Geekout gave us a little bit of time to stop and reflect on some of the goings-on in the tech world.Microsoft is still making headlines, and unfortunately they still aren’t good ones (at least in my opinion). The company has reversed its Xbox One policies due to the intense negative feedback, but in doing so managed to strip some of the features that were exciting about the console. At the end of the day, though, the PS4 is still $100 cheaper and the positive vibe surrounding Sony right now is going to carry on for a little while.The real question is whether or not the infamously short attention span of the internet collective will help or hurt Microsoft and its Xbox One come launch time.Intel looks ready to help do something about the incredibly slow progress of wireless power solutions, but instead of teaming up with the better known Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) to help make Qi better it looks like Intel has taken sides with the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). While that doesn’t mean Intel will refuse to work with the WPC in the future, it does give cause to step back and wait for the possibility that A4WP and Intel will be pushing new wireless charging tech in the next generation of phones.In our video this week, Sal and Russ spent some time talking about their experiences with Kingdom Rush. This impressive tower defense game is new to the Google Play Store, but a sequel to the game is already available on the App Store. Our app of the week was a look at a new fitness app which took the 7 Minute Workout and stuck it in app form, making it easier to track your progress. (The maker of the app is EndLoop Systems, if this wasn’t entirely clear in the video.)Our weekly Geekouts happen live over on our Google+ page so if you’ve got a topic you’d like us to talk about on next week’s broadcast, leave us a message over there or right here in the comments.