English Premier League talking points

1 HOSTILE WATFORD GIVE SILVA AN EARFUL

They say time is usually a great healer, but the memories of their former manager's acrimonious departure last year clearly still rankles with Watford fans, who were asked to request tribute songs for Marco Silva to be played before Saturday's win over Everton.

Al Wilson's The Snake and Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson were among those chosen as the hosts created a hostile reception for the Portuguese on his return to Vicarage Road. It had the desired effect as Andre Gray's winner condemned Silva's men to defeat despite their striking the crossbar on two occasions and the beleaguered Toffees boss admitted there was a "lack of confidence" running through his side.

2 HONEYMOON OVER FOR SAINTS BOSS HASENHUTTL

The anger emanating from Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl after Saturday's last-gasp 2-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Cardiff was all the more understandable given what lies ahead.

The glow surrounding the Saints has quickly diminished after two wins in 10 matches since Christmas, and they now face a testing run of games, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs to play in three of their next four matches.

While Southampton have scored in their past seven matches, they remain too predictable in attack, especially without the injured Danny Ings.

3 SETTLED DEFENCE PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR BURNLEY

Burnley's defence and goalkeeper proved to be the difference-maker as the fine margins of the top flight were exposed at the Amex Stadium after they defeated Brighton 3-1 on Saturday.

Since Tom Heaton has returned in goal, the Clarets' back five have looked more secure, with James Tarkowski and Ben Mee the heroes in front of their captain.

Mee may not be the tallest, the quickest or the most cultured defender around, but he has offered consistency for years.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2019, with the headline 'English Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe