1) McTominay needs to expand role to take United forward

At the start of Scott McTominay’s United career, his place in the team seemed predicated in José Mourinho’s antipathy towards Paul Pogba, his receipt of the manager’s player of the year award the nearest Mourinho could get to presenting it to himself. Since then, though, McTominay has improved by several orders of magnitude, contributing power, tenacity and personality – skills that have been crucial in helping United improve from sixth to second. They still struggle to dominate, however, and when Pogba is absent the entirety of the creative burden rests with Bruno Fernandes, who had an off-day at Stamford Bridge. To take the next step, they need McTominay to develop his passing – in particular around both boxes, but also with regard to the one and two-touch play that controls games – or they will remain a team able to beat the best when at their best, but whose average level stops them competing over the course of a season. Daniel Harris

• Match report: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United

2) A change at the back could liberate Blues

Chelsea are on a good run and the work done by Thomas Tuchel is a big part of that. But considering they had home advantage and a six-point deficit to make up on Manchester United, he was excessively conservative, and the result reflected that. Most likely, he doesn’t trust his defence – with good reason – but sitting N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic in front of three centre-backs did not look like the best way to win the game, and sure enough his team struggled to craft chances. Given the state of things when he took over, some initial caution was understandable, but now things are settled he might consider switching to four at the back in order to stretch the play, liberate Callum Hudson-Odoi, and make it easier to create overloads in wide areas. Chelsea can be almost as hard to watch as they are to beat, which should never be the case with the attacking talent they have. Daniel Harris

3) Parker’s forwards need to find cutting edge

Fulham’s lack of cutting edge is all that seems to be keeping them in the relegation zone but Scott Parker is sure that his forwards are growing in confidence as the season progresses. “In match situations we’ve not managed to kill games off,” Parker said after Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace that saw Ademola Lookman and Josh Maja come closest to earning victory for the visitors. “But this is a young team and we have unbelievable quality in that sense – it’s now trying to get that to click at the right moments. I’d be more concerned if we weren’t creating chances.” Yet having managed just 21 goals so far and with a testing set of fixtures to come in March, they need to find their shooting boots quickly or it will be too late. Ed Aarons

• Match report: Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham

4) El Ghazi arrives fashionably late at Villa party

“You have to give him time and then he’ll come to the party,” said Dean Smith of Anwar El Ghazi following the Aston Villa winger’s match-winning display at Leeds. It was a line of managerial diplomacy, touching on a need for greater consistency from the 25-year-old as well as patience from those around him, but the winger showed he can be worth the wait with a decisive contribution at Elland Road, the stadium where he was wrongly dismissed on his last visit in 2019. Despite Marcelo Bielsa’s claims of Leeds’ dominance El Ghazi was the most potent threat on the pitch, particularly in the first half when he seized responsibility in the absence of Jack Grealish and tested Illan Meslier regularly. El Ghazi had taken advice from Bielsa, his former manager at Lille, before deciding to join Villa. He chose an opportune moment, and venue, to party on Saturday. Andy Hunter

• Match report: Leeds 0-1 Aston Villa

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