Ever since the Ireland game, players who have scored Premier League goals against Manchester United and Manchester City have been getting many mentions as wingers on the England squad.
As was the case when Michail Antonio scored against Southampton, it is possible to have more than one option in this area, with the qualities of Jesse Lingard and Ryan Fraser, respectively, of, say, more preferable to others.
But for this reason, the club’s record scorer in the Premier League, that should have been the defender Darren Fletcher, has been overlooked, with the omission of the Rangers man summed up quite succinctly by one of his team-mates on Sunday. That is the way the game works. The 2-1 win for United gave the home side its fourth successive victory in all competitions, and Manchester City lost again in the last 12 minutes, to ruin their chances of going 11 points clear at the top of the table. There is certainly an element of pointlessness to some of the more frequent selection calls, though perhaps that is just a residual feature of the Premier League.
You have to wonder whether Fernando Torres, the Chelsea striker, who has now scored against Liverpool five times in as many games, is an example to any player in England of how to cope with the Premier League. That was the measure of his credentials after he scored the opener against the Reds on Sunday, and again he did so in memorable fashion. He claimed his fifth goal of the season in a totally different way, when he ran over to the Tottenham fans to salute them, as he ran on to a long throw from Dejan Lovren.
Before that, however, he was not terribly convincing on his run down the left, getting on to Willian’s perfectly placed pass, but missing the target altogether with a point-blank shot. But surely it was already clear that he did not have to outwit anyone, he just had to stick in a good cross with either his left or right foot. From the cross he tucked the ball away neatly.
Soon after, Liverpool had scored, thanks to a fierce finish from Sterling, who may very well end up breaking into the England team if he stays in good form.