Aaron Ramsey showed his class on his return to Wales. The Gunners won 3-0 away to Cardiff and the star man for Arsenal this season was prominent again. The Welshman created a total of 3 chances in open play, (the most of any Arsenal player), and also took on the Cardiff defence with the most attempted dribbles (6). Chants and cheers were heard coming from sections of the home crowd as well as the away when Ramsey scored his two goals, although he refused to celebrate himself.
Nicklas Bendtner came up with the goods on Wednesday after helping Arsenal to win 2-0 against Hull, as they continue their title pursuit. Although Bendtner hadn’t scored in what was an age, Wenger will have been pleased that he stepped up after deciding to rest star striker Olivier Giroud. Mesut Ozil also grabbed himself a goal, as Steve Bruce’s side just couldn’t seem to get going. The Hull City manager would still be pleased with three points out of six after facing Liverpool and Arsenal. Against Arsenal his son Alex Bruce had to make a total of 5 clearances, all of which were successful, and Hull only had 33% of the possession. Can Arsenal continue their impressive run and come through the festive period still in top position?
Chelsea found it hard at first but they battled through to win 3-1 against impressive Southampton at Stamford Bridge. After scoring withing 14 seconds of the first whistle, Southampton did have numerous chances, and once again showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. However, Chelsea showed their class with help from goals from the unlikely sources of centrebacks John Terry and Gary Cahill. Although the possession was evenly shared, Chelsea created 13 chances compared to Southampton’s 3, and was in the end the stat that defined why Southampton struggled to capitalise.
In a dramatic game at the Stadium of Light, Chelsea turned out victors with a final score of 4-3 against Sunderland on Wednesday. After firstly going behind, Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard grabbed a couple of goals to go in front. John O’Shea then got an equaliser after the break for the Black Cats, but Chelsea went on to win with the help of another Hazard strike. The Belgian was the star of the show for the Blues yet again, creating 4 of their 14 chances. Chelsea move up to second in the table, 4 points off the pace.
Liverpool suffered a shock defeat away to Hull City, losing 3-1 at the KC Stadium. Steve Bruce’s side started the brighter, sneaking an early deflected goal, although Steven Gerrard was quick to equalise with a stunning free kick not long after. However, it just wasn’t Liverpool’s day. Although Brendan Rodgers has tried to influence the importance of possession into the Liverpool side, the Reds were dispossessed a total of 10 times, as well as conceding 16 fouls throughout the 90 minutes. Two goals late in the second half meant that Hull went on to grab the three points for Steve Bruce – points that were much needed after their shock defeat to Crystal Palace last week. Brendan Rodgers will have been glad that the next Premier League fixture was only around the corner.
On Wednesday, Luis Suarez put on a magical show in front of the Anfield crowd against his favourite opposition, Norwich. The Uruguayan helped himself to 4 stunning goals, now having scored a total of 11 goals against the Canaries – the first player in Premier League history to score 3 hatricks against the same side. Philippe Coutinho also put in a good shift for the Reds after his eagerly anticipated return from a shoulder injury that kept him out for the past few weeks. The Brazilian was the star man statistically, creating 5 chances, as the home side rampaged through the Canaries defence. The final score was 5-1 at Anfield: Raheem Sterling got himself on the scoresheet late on, with, who else, Suarez getting the assist. The Reds now sit in 4th place, with a few crucial games including Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City coming up over the Christmas period.
Two goals from Wayne Rooney meant that Manchester United came from behind twice to secure a point at White Hart Lane. Tottenham would have wanted to bounce back after their 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, and sharing the points with the Champions isn’t too bad. Kyle Walker and Sandro were on the scoresheet for Spurs, as the point left them in 9th position, with United only one above in 8th at the time.
Everton comfortably beat Stoke 4-0 at Goodison Park as they make their way up the table. Goals from Deulofeu, Coleman, Oviedo and Lukaku meant that the Blues sealed the three points comfortably. The main man statistically was Gareth Barry, having the most touches of the home side, and creating 4 of their total 17 chances, grabbing himself 2 assists. In terms of Stoke’s stats, they made a total of 25 clearances, all of which were successful, however, conceded 16 fouls compared to Everton’s 9. The Blues now lie on the same points as neighbours Liverpool.
David Moyes won’t have enjoyed the visit of former side Everton to Old Trafford on Wednesday, as the Blues scored in the last five minutes to claim the 3 points. Fellow former Blue, Wayne Rooney, came agonisingly close to scoring on a number of occasions, but United couldn’t find the killer strike. Somewhat surprisingly, Everton had more chances, creating 13 compared to United’s 11, and were also dispossessed fewer times than the home side. Although under pressure already, Moyes’ side now drop down to 9th going into the Christmas period. Is their title challenge for this year over?