Hot and Cold: Three is the magic number for Agüero

It’s getting to that stage of the season where some teams are hitting their stride while others are starting to wobble, but who had a weekend to remember in the world of football - for good or bad? Hot and Cold is our look at the latest round of games…

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Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

It’s getting to that stage of the season where some teams are hitting their stride while others are starting to wobble, but who had a weekend to remember in the world of football – for good or bad?

Hot and Cold is our look at the latest round of games…

HOT

SERGIO AGÜERO

The finest striker of modern times to grace the Premier League? Agüero yet again deployed his predatory instincts to kill off an Arsenal side that all too briefly looked capable of snatching a rare point or more at the Etihad.

Agüero now has as many Premier League hat-tricks as Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp, and Jürgen Klinsmann combined – not bad company…

 

CARDIFF CITY

An emotional day at the Cardiff City Stadium, but the Bluebirds rose to the occasion after a challenging few weeks for the club. Neil Warnock’s side has repeatedly been written off this season but keeps grinding out important wins at just the right moment.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock applauds the Bluebirds fans.

 

If they can maintain their decent home form, a second straight season at Premier League level doesn’t look beyond them.

 

MARCUS RASHFORD

The England man looks like a striker reborn under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, with his slick finish enough to secure Man Utd a victory that takes them into touching distance of an unlikely Champions League berth.

A revitalised Rashford is also good news for England with the Euro 2020 campaign kicking off in just a few weeks’ time.

 

CELTIC FC

Title race – what title race? Despite a mounting injury crisis, Celtic look like they are kicking into gear at just the right moment in their bid to secure an eighth consecutive title.

Celtic’s Timothy Weah scores.

 

The 2-0 victory at St Johnstone was hardly a vintage performance, but Brendan Rodgers won’t mind one bit as his side moved six points clear of arch-rivals Rangers.

 

BEN FOSTER

The Premier League’s most underrated gem? It feels like he has been a part of the Premier League furniture for ages, without ever getting the credit he really deserves.

Like a fine wine, he seems to be improving with each one of his 300+ Premier League appearances, and it was his concentration levels alone that saved a listless Watford side from defeat away at Brighton.

 

STEVE BRUCE

The new Sheffield Wednesday boss has come under plenty of criticism over the last month for his delayed start with the Owls. However, the former Aston Villa man responded to his critics in perfect fashion with a ruthless last-gasp 1-0 win away at rock-bottom Ipswich Town in his first game in charge.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce gestures on the touchline.

 

Sometimes everybody needs a break to recharge the batteries – and Bruce will be hoping to demonstrate the brief sabbatical has done him the world of good as he looks to resurrect the Owls’ fortunes.

 

LUTON TOWN

Losing an inspirational manager midway through a season can often go one of two ways for a club chasing promotion. Fortunately for Luton Town fans, the Hatters look to be carrying on where they left off after Nathan Jones’ surprise exit to Stoke at the turn of the year.

Now seven points clear of third place with a healthy goal difference advantage, Luton now just need to hold their nerve to secure a dream return to the Championship after over a decade away.

 

COLD

 

MARCO SILVA
Is Silva the Premier League’s shining example of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’?

Everton manager Marco Silva appears frustrated during the game.

 

The pressure really is on for the Portuguese boss after his Toffees side slipped to another disappointing defeat against a Wolves side that looks everything that Everton currently don’t – sharp, well-drilled and tactically astute. He needs a win from somewhere to prove his reputation as one of Europe’s most promising young managers isn’t built on sand.

 

JAN SIEWERT

It’s been a rude awakening for the rookie German boss at Premier League level, who looks to have taken on ‘Mission Impossible’ with the Terriers.

The finger of blame can hardly be pointed on his shoulders if and when Huddersfield slip back down to Championship level, but can he build any positive momentum in the remaining months of the season? With goals inevitably still a problem, it looks a hard ask.

 

BRIGHTON

There’s no reason to panic on the South Coast just yet, but nerves are definitely starting to jangle, with the Seagulls looking the primary candidates to be the team that slips from nowhere into the relegation reckoning.

Brighton’s Florin Andone (left) is denied by Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster during the Premier League match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton.

 

With plenty of winnable home games to come, Chris Hughton’s side need to re-discover the ruthless streak that served them well in the first half of the season quickly, starting with a crucial home tie with Burnley next week.

 

MARCELO BIELSA

Whisper it quietly – has the fallout from the ‘Spygate affair’ caused Leeds’ season to hit the buffers?

It seems unlikely a man as meticulous and single-minded as Bielsa would be affected by the media scrutiny over some of his methods, but Leeds are undoubtedly wobbling. A comprehensive home defeat against closest promotion rivals Norwich will hardly calm nerves in West Yorkshire.

 

IPSWICH TOWN

Could the game finally be up at Portman Road after 16 loyal years of Championship service? A sucker-punch of a defeat against Sheffield Wednesday leaves the Tractor Boys staring down the barrel, eight points adrift of safety with games running out.

Ipswich Town’s Will Keane (left) and Sheffield Wednesday’s Michael Hector battle for the ball

 

Paul Lambert has made Town more competitive since arriving in Suffolk but it looks more than likely he’ll have a second successive relegation on his CV come May.

 

PORTSMOUTH

Portsmouth looked to be flying towards the Championship only a month ago but need to start ‘playing up’ again soon, or they will risk missing out on automatic promotion entirely.

It’s now four games without a win for Pompey, a run that has allowed Barnsley, Sunderland and Charlton to reel them in. Can the hugely-experienced Kenny Jackett calmly guide them away from their recent blip?

 

PSG

It was 21 and out for PSG this weekend with one of European football’s last domestic unbeaten records finally falling. A Neymar-less PSG slipped to a 2-1 defeat against a resilient Lyon side to end any hopes of an Invincibles-style season.

Tuchel Thomas, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) manager (Photo by Elyxandro Cegarra/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

 

Frustration for the away side, then, but plenty of reason for encouragement for two keen onlookers. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Mike Phelan were both in attendance on a scouting mission ahead of Man Utd’s key Champions League Round of 16 clash with the reigning French champions.

All image sources from PA Images

 

What was your favourite moment from this weekend’s games?

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