The Barclays Premier League is entering the busiest phase in its calendar this month. The first weekend of December was a good time for teams to get their rhythm going as it will help them stay strong in the glut of fixtures that come in the next few weeks. This weekend produced some thrilling results proving that the Premier League is still one of the most exciting leagues in the world.
Here are 10 things we learnt from this weekend’s action.
1. Manchester City still far away from a title victory:
The Citizens have one of the strongest squads in the league and are hard to beat. But they have missed their key players through injury and lost to Stoke this weekend. They still have a lot of work to do and should hope that Kompany and Aguero are available for the rest of the season. They have looked hapless in their absence and need to build up some confidence going into the festive season.
2. The Saints are still a work in progress:
Ronald Koeman’s men looked a solid side at the start of the Premier League this season. But they have slowly failed to light up the park and have slipped down to the 12th spot after the draw against Aston Villa. Remi Garde will be hopeful that his team can keep up the good work that gave them a well earned point from the St Marys.
3. Leicester City playing top notch football:
Claudio Ranieri has done wonders with his Leicester side this season. His star players Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have blown teams away and have taken their side to the top of the table yet again. It would be hard to imagine Leicester City pulling off a title challenge but there is no doubting the quality of the squad on the pitch which was imminent in their 3-0 victory against Swansea City. They are a confident lot at the moment and can easily beat the best sides in the league.
4. Watford’s good start continues:
Watford started this season with some important victories but lost its momentum in between. But this weekend’s victory against Norwich City will give the squad plenty of self belief and will allow the team to go into the busy schedule with a positive frame of mind. Norwich City are edging closer to the relegation zone and have to start improving their act quickly to stay in the top flight.
5. Arsenal’s second string team still doing the job for Wenger:
Arsene Wenger has been very unlucky with the number of injuries to the squad in recent times. They have a number of first team players on the side-lines and have struggled picking just 1 point from the whole of last month. They however started this month with a neat 3-1 victory against Sunderland and will only get stronger as their players recover from injury.
6. Pochettino will be disappointed:
The Tottenham Hotspurs travelled to the Hawthorns this weekend and started the game in bright fashion. They should have easily come out of the game with all three points but somehow managed to share a point with the home side. The manager will not be happy with the result and will hope that this is just a small bump in his ride towards the end of the year.
7. Louis van Gaal’s philosophy not reaping benefits:
Manchester United have won just 2 of their last 6 Premier League games at home and have failed to score in the rest of the games. They have not been able to create enough chances even against weaker oppositions and will surely rue these missed chances if they can keep up their good start till the end of the season. Their 0-0 draw against the Hammers at home was another example of their lack of fire-power.
8. The Cherries push Chelsea deeper:
Chelsea showed signs of a comeback with back to back victories in the last few weeks but failed to take even a point at home against AFC Bournemouth this weekend. They lacked any kind of incisiveness in front of goal and lost 1-0 to the Cherries. They are now 14th in the Premier League table after 15 games with just 15 points.
9. Klopp is finally beaten on the road:
Jurgen Klopp lost his first game away from home after taking over the Liverpool team two months ago. Newcastle United set up perfectly to deny Klopp’s team any chances and won the game 2-0 on the night. The German manager will hope that it is more down to the lack of concentration and not a reality check for his tropps.
10. Palace continue to impress:
Everton have looked a dangerous side this season and have some great attacking options up front. They came into this game against Palace at home hoping to get all three points but the visitors had other ideas. Palace sat up to frustrate the Toffees and were finally able to take a point from this game.