Manchester City maintained their 100% home record despite two tight games against Liverpool and Cardiff at The Etihad. Newly recognised title contenders Liverpool took the lead through Philippe Coutinho, but couldn’t hold on – an equaliser was shortly followed by a chip that keeper Simon Mignolet could not control, slipping through his fingers and trickling in to the back of his goal. City had David Silva to thank, creating 6 chances for the Blues, including an assist which proved to be the difference in the end.
A second defeat of the week at Stamford Bridge on Sunday now leaves Liverpool 5th in the table. A very tight encounter ended 2-1 to Chelsea, after some very controversial decisions from referee Howard Webb. The Reds took the lead through Martin Skrtel within the first 3 minutes, before the home side got in front with two goals just after the half hour mark. Chelsea only marginally shaded the possession, but created 8 chances compared to Liverpool’s 5. Eden Hazard yet again proved to be the difference for Chelsea, having the most shots for the home side (3), as well as grabbing himself a sublime curling goal.
Theo Walcott struck twice as Arsenal came from behind to win 3-1 at West Ham. In a tough London derby, the Hammers wasted chances to double their lead before Walcott got Arsenal back into the game. Lucas Podolski secured the win by scoring in the last 15 minutes, and by then The Gunners had the top spot temporarily back in their hands. Arsenal had an impressive 66% of the possession, and dominated in terms of chances – creating a total of 20 compared to West Ham’s 7.
Arsenal managed a second win from the crucial Christmas fixtures against Newcastle at St James’ Park. In Sunday’s early kick-off, Olivier Giroud got the significant goal after 65 minutes in what was a scrappy win for The Gunners. The result leaves them top of the league for the time being, but with an extremely tight top of table, it can change game by game.
Everton suffered a surprise defeat at home to Sunderland on Boxing Day, who were scrapping for points at the bottom of the table. A penalty scored by Ki Sung-Yeung was enough for the away side to take all three points, after Tim Howard was sent off for the challenge leading to the spot kick. The goal scorer was the main man for Sunderland, creating a total of 5 chances, and having a 100% dribbling accuracy.
The Blues then moved up into the top four on Sunday after a Romelu Lukaku goal sealed the victory against Southampton at Goodison Park. Seamus Coleman got the opener for the Blues before Gaston Ramirez levelled in the 71st minute. Lukaku’s winner was his first in six games, as he looks to get back to a prolific scoring run. Although Everton were the victors in the end, Southampton had 56% of the possession, which is impressive for an away side, and only had one less chance than Everton themselves. The result leaves Southampton in 9th place, whereas The Blues have sneaked into the top four with 37 points.
Spurs could only manage a point at home to West Brom on Boxing Day. The home side took the lead through an Eriksen free-kick, before he then gave away a free-kick that set up Jonas Olsson to slot the equaliser home. Tottenham then went on to win comfortably against Stoke on Sunday. The final score was 3-0 with Soldado, Dembele and Lennon getting themselves on the scoresheet.
Manchester United grabbed themselves 2 away wins over the two Christmas games against Hull and Norwich. A own goal completed United’s comeback against Hull after going behind 2-0 early in the first half. And Danny Welbeck’s single goal against Norwich was enough to get David Moyes’ side their fourth consecutive League win, as they now lie 6th in the table.
The way the league is going this year, a few points dropped can dramatically turn the table on it’s head. Who’s going to string a few results together and make a statement at the top?