Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on January 12, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
While most results went according to script, there were plenty of talking points coming out of this past weekend in the Barclay's Premier League. Here are a few of them:
Man City are learning to win in different ways
No, not via controversial refereeing decisions. City are now showing they can eek out close matches on the road, something they found near impossible in the early stages of the season. This doesn't bode well for anyone else with title aspirations. The Sky Blues attacking threat is terrifying enough. Now the team is showing some grit to equal their finesse. This is going to be a tough out for anyone moving forward.
Spurs better have a replacement in mind for Jermaine Defoe
The little Tottenham front man gave Spurs fans a glimpse of what they'll be missing when he departs for Toronto. While Defoe has been quiet in the league, he's notched seven in the Europa League and always looks most likely to score of the Spurs strikers. Roberto Soldado still can't score if the ball's not sitting on a painted white circle, and the demonic side of Emmanual Adebayor's Jekyll-and-Hyde personality is starting to surface again. If Tottenham don't have a replacement lined up for Defoe, they'd better start looking.
Firing Martin Jol didn't fix Fulham
The return of fan favorite Clint Dempsey on loan from Seattle did little to remedy what ails the Cottagers. They'd need 11 more Dempseys and that still might not be enough. This weekend's 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Sunderland may just indicate that much maligned and recently jettisoned manager Martin Jol wasn't the sole reason for Fulham's woes this year.
West Ham will rely greatly on their giant to stave off relegation
Andy Carrol returned as a sub after a lengthy layoff and played a part in the build up to one of West Ham's two goals in their vital win over fellow strugglers Cardiff City Saturday. The gigantic Carrol will be relied upon heavily if the Hammers are to climb from their gigantic hole in the Barclay's Premier League table.
Norwich are like stubborn belly fat
They linger around the middle and are usually unattractive when seen. The Canaries looked to be a vastly improved side heading into the season, but their play has been at best bland, and that's only been on a handful of occasion. It's hard to remember a side so consistently vanilla that they haven't registered a single memorable win.
By Paul Janes