Rashford the victim of Sanchez move – THINGS WE LEARNED 

Manchester City moved 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League after the latest round of midweek fixtures brought a few surprises.

Chelsea were humbled at home by Bournemouth, Arsenal lost away at bottom club Swansea and Manchester United crashed to defeat at Tottenham.

Here Sportsmail look at 10 things we learned from the round of games… 

Virgil van Dijk is not guaranteed a starting place at Liverpool after being dropped this week

Virgil van Dijk is not guaranteed a starting place at Liverpool after being dropped this week

Virgil van Dijk is not guaranteed a starting place at Liverpool after being dropped this week

1. Virgil van Dijk is not guaranteed a place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI even if he did become the world’s most expensive defender when he joined Liverpool for £75m.

The Anfield boss curiously left former Southampton and Celtic star Van Dijk on the bench for the 3-0 win at Huddersfield. 

Klopp went with what was his preferred central defensive partnership before Van Dijk arrived – Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren – and his decision was justified by his team’s first clean sheet since Boxing Day. 

Liverpool have not lost any of the 13 matches this season in which both Matip and Lovren have played the full 90 minutes.

Ross Barkley was unconvincing for Chelsea on his first start since joining from Everton

Ross Barkley was unconvincing for Chelsea on his first start since joining from Everton

Ross Barkley was unconvincing for Chelsea on his first start since joining from Everton

2. Ross Barkley has got a lot to do to recover the sort of form and flair that made him an England player when he first burst on the scene at Everton. 

The 24-year-old looked off the pace in his first start for Chelsea following his £15m move and was subbed after 54 minutes. 

In that time he’d created just one chance and got involved in only two duels – replacement Cesc Fabregas made three chances and fought seven duels.

Marcus Rashford was an unused substitute at Tottenham after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez

Marcus Rashford was an unused substitute at Tottenham after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez

Marcus Rashford was an unused substitute at Tottenham after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez

3. More proof that Marcus Rashford is going to be the man who misses out because of the arrival of Alexis Sanchez at Manchester United, with huge implications for the young striker’s chances of going to the World Cup. 

Rashford was an unused substitute as United lost 2-0 to Spurs at Wembley, the first of the club’s 37 games this season in which he’s not had any time on the pitch. 

Rashford has not been picked to start a Premier League game by Jose Mourinho since Boxing Day.

Lee Mason took charge of Arsenal's defeat by Swansea just 48 hours after his previous game

Lee Mason took charge of Arsenal's defeat by Swansea just 48 hours after his previous game

Lee Mason took charge of Arsenal’s defeat by Swansea just 48 hours after his previous game

4. What was referees chief Mike Riley thinking of when he allowed the appointment of Lee Mason to take charge of Swansea’s match with Arsenal barely 48 hours after he’d refereed Cardiff and Manchester City in the FA Cup? 

If managers grumble about how players need more recovery time, then surely modern day referees do too. Mason, 46, is never the most mobile of Premier League refs anyway but he was noticeably off the pace at the Liberty Stadium. 

He was twice hit by the ball, considered by referees as a sign of an official not working hard enough to take good positions.

Brahim Diaz is the next young talent Pep Guardiola wants to push through at Manchester City

Brahim Diaz is the next young talent Pep Guardiola wants to push through at Manchester City

Brahim Diaz is the next young talent Pep Guardiola wants to push through at Manchester City

5. It looks as if 18-year-old Brahim Diaz is the next young talent that Pep Guardiola wants to push through at Manchester City. 

The young Spanish forward, brought over to England by City from Malaga a few days before his 14th birthday, has now come off the bench in three of City’s last four games. 

The slightly built starlet has shown he can handle the physical side of the game, too – caught by an awful challenge by West Brom’s Matt Phillips near the end of City’s 3-0 win.

Christian Benteke netted his second goal of the season in Crystal Palace's draw at West Ham

Christian Benteke netted his second goal of the season in Crystal Palace's draw at West Ham

Christian Benteke netted his second goal of the season in Crystal Palace’s draw at West Ham

6. Give Christian Benteke the right service and he’ll get goals as the Crystal Palace striker proved by scoring at West Ham – only his second of a difficult season. 

It was the 25th header the big Belgian centre forward has scored in the Premier League since he made his debut for Aston Villa in September 2012. 

Only Olivier Giroud (27) has scored more headers in that time.

Ashley Westwood (lef) is determined to force his way back into Sean Dyche's good books

Ashley Westwood (lef) is determined to force his way back into Sean Dyche's good books

Ashley Westwood (lef) is determined to force his way back into Sean Dyche’s good books

7. Ashley Westwood is clearly determined to force his way back into Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s good books after suffering a tough time since his move from Aston Villa a year ago. 

The 27-year-old grabbed the chance of his first Premier League start of the season to play a positive role in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle. 

Only Charlie Taylor played more accurate forward half passes than his 16.

Tom Barkhuizen was allowed to join Preston for next to nothing from Morecambe last year

Tom Barkhuizen was allowed to join Preston for next to nothing from Morecambe last year

Tom Barkhuizen was allowed to join Preston for next to nothing from Morecambe last year

8. Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes his club missed a trick when they let winger Tom Barkhuizen join Preston for next to nothing a year ago, and it increasingly looks like he’s got a point. 

The 24-year-old scored his fifth of the season in the 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest which put Alex Neil’s team two points off the play-off places. 

Tricky Barkhuizen, just 5ft 9ins tall, is the only Preston player to have appeared in every one of their 29 Championship games so far.

Danny Graham has been crashing in the goals for Blackburn after flopping at Sunderland

Danny Graham has been crashing in the goals for Blackburn after flopping at Sunderland

Danny Graham has been crashing in the goals for Blackburn after flopping at Sunderland

9. Sunderland fans who remember the £5m signing of striker Danny Graham from Swansea as one of the many flops the club has made in the transfer market will wonder if it’s the same player who is crashing in goals now for Blackburn. 

Graham, now 32, scored his ninth in the last 13 games as Tony Mowbray’s side beat Walsall 3-1 to go second in League One. 

He’s got 21 from 43 starts in all since signing permanently for the club in June 2016 – a contrast from the one in 22 he got in his time at the Stadium of Light.

Nathan Tyson (left) is on the goal trail as Wycombe chase promotion to League Two this season

Nathan Tyson (left) is on the goal trail as Wycombe chase promotion to League Two this season

Nathan Tyson (left) is on the goal trail as Wycombe chase promotion to League Two this season

10. Striker Nathan Tyson could enhance his reputation near the end of his career by helping Wycombe to promotion from League Two. 

The 35-year-old will always be famous – or infamous – for his flag waving celebration as a Forest player in front of Derby fans back in 2009. But he’s a hit now with Wycombe fans for what he’s doing on the pitch. 

Two goals in the 3-2 win at leaders Luton made it six in all from 11 starts since arriving in Buckinghamshire in the summer on a free transfer from Kilmarnock.

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