With the start of December, the hectic schedule of Premier League has kicked in. While a lot of leagues will slowly break into the Christmas break, matches at the Premier League will come thick and fast. This is also the period where we can finally expect some consistency in the table. Till 1st January there will be six rounds of matches and there should be a settled leading pack and a clearer relegation battling slugfest by the end of New Year’s day fixtures.
The matches played over the weekend and during Tuesday/Wednesday did not see any major upset. Arsenal won both their games to round off a productive week, Manchester United also have won four in a row and West Ham broke the dream run of Newcastle United. The team of the week however deservedly goes to Manchester City.
We have all been witness to the unbeaten run Chelsea has had this season in Premier League and the direct impact is on the defending champion Manchester City. Adding to the pressure was the tricky situation which the Citizen are in Champions League, and hence the pressure on Pellegrini was increasing with every passing day. They had tricky back to back matches this week, first they were facing the surprise package of the league Southampton and next up was their bogey team Sunderland.
This can be termed as a period which will decide as whether Manchester City can challenge Chelsea, as no one else in the pack seems strong enough to mount a challenge. Even with a man down as Mangala was given his marching order, City ensured they ran comfortable winners over The Saints. With Toure, Lampard and Clichy on the score sheet Manchester City deservedly wrapped up the match convincingly.
Manchester City’s next match with Sunderland on Wednesday was supposed to be tough tie, as their bogey team have come out as winners on previous four occasions at the Stadium of Light. However a brilliant performance from Sergio Aguero made it an easy night for Manchester City, as they were comfortable winners over Sunderland. On the score sheet were Zabaleta, Zovetic and a double from Aguero and hence ensuring that City are definitely breathing down Chelsea’s neck for the title as it stands.
Few observations from these two matches and Manchester City’s recent performances point out to below facts:
- With Chelsea dropping points at Sunderland, City are just six points adrift and have significantly closed on the goal difference.
- Over the month of December and the festive season City’s list of opponents includes: Everton, Leicester, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Burnley and Sunderland and are expected to face some resistance from Everton and pick three points from the rest of the games. Chelsea on the other hand faces Newcastle, Hull, Stoke, West Ham, Southampton and Spurs, which is definitely a sterner test for Mourinho’s men.
- Aguero is firing all cylinders and this has always been important to City’s fortunes however the goals are coming from all positions and players which is a threatening sign for Manchester City’s future opponents.
The recent form suggests that Manchester City is getting on a run and their clinical game can definitely challenge Chelsea’s title ambition.
Image Source: Premierleague.com