Liverpool sit top of the table at Christmas as Luis Suarez continues to be the best player in the world on current form. Already having 17 goals this season, he notched up another two as Liverpool went top of the league as they defeated Cardiff 3-1 at Anfield. Skillful balls from Jordan Henderson helped Suarez get his two, while the little Uruguayan was on hand to help young Raheem Sterling get on the scoresheet. Only a consolation in the second half was what Cardiff could take away with them, as the Reds put on another solid performance to keep up with the leading pack.
Arsenal and Chelsea played out a 0-0 draw at The Emirates, with both sides having limited chances. Both Giroud and Frank Lampard did come close for their sides, but a tactical game did mean that they cancelled each other out. This resulted in neither of the London clubs managing to take top spot at Christmas. Arsenal had 61% of the possession, as they attempted to power forward and create those chances, although Chelsea created double the amount of chances (12) compared to Arsenal’s (6). Both managers admitted after the game that they had the philosophy of ‘not to lose’ when preparing for the game, and it reflected in the play. It’s all very tight at the top, with only 2 points separating the top 5!
Manchester City grabbed two late goals to win after an intense battle at Craven Cottage to Fulham. The home side managed to get the score back to 2-2 before Jesus Navas and James Milner got the two significant goals in the last 15 minutes, making the final score 4-2 to City. The Blues created 13 chances compared to Fulham’s 9, as well as hitting the woodwork once. The main man for City statistically was David Silva; creating 3 chances, including an assist from open play, and attempting 3 dribbles throughout the 90 minutes. Arsene Wenger did think that the home side should have had a penalty, although it wasn’t given, and the Gunners now sit 2nd, just behind leaders Liverpool on goal difference.
Ross Barkley’s late free kick secured Everton yet another three points, as their impressive run continued at Swansea. The Blues went ahead through Seamus Coleman, before an deflected own goal off Bryan Oviedo got the Swans level. Young midfielder, Barkley, struck the winner home just 6 minutes before the end of the 90. Although it was Everton who walked away with three points, it was Swansea who had the best of the possession with 54%, as well as creating 2 more chances overall. The star man for the Blues was Kevin Mirallas, creating 3 chances, with 2 of them coming from set plays. Everton sit now only two points off fellow Merseysiders Liverpool, as they stretch their unbeaten run to ten games!
Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice to help Tottenham get a much needed three points against Southampton after a turbulent spell. Tim Sherwood was in charge after AVB’s recent departure, and his side just about did enough to get an away win. After going behind first, it didn’t look good for Spurs, but they managed to battle back and get the goals to secure the victory. Although Southampton had the better of the possession, Spurs created more chances (8) and had a total of 11 shots inside the box. The London club now lie 7th in the table, 4 points behind those in the top 4.
David Moyes’ Manchester United secured a much needed home win to West Ham as the game ended 3-1 at Old Trafford. Goals from Welbeck, Januzaj and Young were enough to grab the three points, which leaves West Ham living dangerously by just a point outside the relegation zone. The star man statistically for United was Wayne Rooney; creating 6 chances overall, as well as getting 2 goal assists. United now sit 8th in the table – can they now begin to climb if they get some momentum?
A manic set of Christmas fixtures lie ahead, but who will come out of them looking the best?