Saturday Night Takeaway: Arsenal show an extra attribute against Man United

And Ireland's Darren Randolph got an opportunity against Tottenham

Arsenal, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud, 2nd left, celebrates with team mates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

The Premier League returned after a two week hiatus for the international break.

And while it wasn't always thrilling this Saturday, there was plenty of intrigue. 

Arsenal learn to grind it out

All style, no substance is the general accusation that Arsenal have had to put up with in the post-Invincibles era.

At times over the seasons they have shown occasional moments of grit and determination above verve.

But this campaign has highlighted a number of battling performances away from home when they haven't always played well.

Case in point, was the 1-1 draw with Manchester United. The Reds were the better side as Jose Mourinho was at pains to emphasise just in case the media hadn't noticed, and Arsene Wenger did not counter that point.

But despite a pretty poor performance with just one shot on target, that latter stat was significant as Arsenal managed not to lose.

One shot on target, one goal and one crucial point to keep them ticking away in the battle for the Premier League title.

An important trait for championship teams is the ability to grind out results when the prevailing wind is with the opposition and in Olivier Giroud they have a weapon that can add another dimension.

Before the North London derby with Tottenham, the target man was the super sub who scored twice to turn the game against Sunderland in the 4-1 win.

With Alexis Sanchez bringing a new approach in his role as a mobile centre-forward, Wenger can now change the angle of attack with a stronger, taller player when a change is required.

Since the shambolic 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool on the opening day, Arsenal are unbeaten in all competitions and have managed to pick results in games that were headed for stalemate like the late 1-0 victory at Burnley and the nervous 2-1 result over Southampton just before that.

In comparison to last season's meek 3-2 loss to a young Man United side at Old Trafford in the Spring when they could have laid a marker down in the title race, it's a transformation of sorts especially when November tends to be a tough month for the Gunners. 

Will it be enough to get them over the line? We'll see. But the important thing is they are picking up at least a draw even when playing poorly and missing key players, in today's case, like Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla.

Manchester City's Yaya Toure, who scored both their goals, celebrates with his head coach Pep Guardiola after the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park stadium in London, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

 Yaya Toure reminds Pep that he could be useful

Thanks to the vocal nature of his agent, Yaya Toure has been frozen out by Pep Guardiola so far at Manchester City. Well, that's only part of the story.

Guardiola sold City from Barcelona in the first place in 2010 and the midfielder has been on the wane in his 30s, no longer being the powerhouse of old.

But the 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace marked his first start under Guardiola in the Premier League and some impact he made!

Having caused a stir by returning to the side, he then caused further reverberations by scoring twice, including the winner.

Whether it's enough to really build Guardiola's faith in him will only be known as the weeks and months advance.

But he brings another option in the short-term, although his ability to press energetically in the way the manager likes is doubtful.

Guardiola did hint though that Toure has a future under him at least in that short-term.

 Randolph gets his chance for West Ham...but did he use it?

The Ireland No 1 has had to play second fiddle to Adrian at West Ham since he joined the club, although manager Slaven Bilic has entrusted him with cup competitions.

However, Adrian made an error that cost his side all three points against Stoke two weeks ago when he came rushing off his goal-line to try and stop Randolph's Ireland colleague Jon Walters.

West Ham United goalkeeper Darren Randolph checks on injured team-mate Pedro Obiang during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London. Picture by Andrew Matthews PA Wire/PA Images

Unfortunately for the Spanish keeper, he got a yellow card for his troubles and gave away a penalty that was converted by Bojan Krkic.

"It's a mistake by Adrian. It looked like he was never going to get to the ball. We gave that goal away very cheaply. We were 1-0 up with 15 minutes to go. A very cheap goal has cost us a win," Bilic had pointedly told the BBC afterwards.

And that may well have spurred his decision to bench Adrian against Spurs as Randolph got his chance.

Unfortunately, West Ham went from leading 2-1 to losing 3-2 thanks to late Harry Kane goals.

The first goal of the match saw Randolph parry a Vincent Janssen shot at the near post, with the ball falling to Harry Winks who smashed home the rebound.

The second Tottenham goal also saw the Irish keeper get a hand on Son Heung Min's cross which reached Kane, who stroked home.

And the final concession was the Kane penalty which was not his fault.

No goalkeeper likes conceding let alone one goal but the question now is what Bilic made of the first two goals.