The last round of the year was bound to produce some thrilling moments and the Premier League did not disappoint a bit in providing the entertainment it is known for. From Arsenal’s climb to the top of the table to Aston Villa’s struggle, the stories continued to unfold all around the nation.
Here are 10 things we learnt about the 19th Round of Premier League fixtures:
1. Remi Garde has serious issues:
Aston Villa has accumulated the least number o f points in 2015 and were beaten by in a 6 pointer against fellow strugglers Norwich City. With 30 points as the benchmark for safety in the last three seasons, Remi Garde’s side with 8 points are a long way away from safety. He will have to get the team going together in the New Year to stay in the Premier League at the start of next season.
2. The Magpies stay in the drop zone:
A solitary goal from Fletcher late in the second half was enough for the Baggies to take all three points from their fixture against Newcastle United. McClaren’s side enter the New Year in the relegation zone at the 18th place, 2 points away from safety. They might want to look into the transfer window to strengthen their squad to face the challenges in the new year.
3. Match of the season? :
The Goodison Park on Monday produced one of the best matches of the season so far. In a clash between two teams full of confidence, Stoke City ran away 4-3 winners with a late winner from Arnautovic. The game saw 4 goals after the hour mark as Roberto Martinez men came back from behind to lead before giving away two goals in the space of 10 minutes.
4. Swansea win a valuable point:
Crystal Palace have played some good football this season and are in the top half of the Premier League table. But they were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City who held onto a crucial point that sees them just 2 points above the drop zone.
5. Tottenham and Pochettino have a great year:
With just 8 losses in the whole season, Pochettino has accumulated one of the most consistent teams in EPL this season. They beat a gritty Watford side away from home and are now comfortable in the 4th position with a 4 point lead over Palace in 5th. They will hope to maintain their form in the new year and to play in the Champions League next season.
6. Mesut Ozil in the form of his life:
The German mid-fielder has been electric this season and has been simply un-playable in the middle of the pitch. He leads the list of assists all over Europe and has also started scoring goals for the Gunners. He picked up an assist and a goal against the Cherries in the last round of 2015. He has un-doubtedly taken his club to the top of the table.
7. No goals at Old Trafford:
Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford was always likely to be a tight encounter and with the Blues playing 8 people behind the ball at all times, the Old Trafford did not see a goal scored in this top notch encounter. Two clubs with huge talent could not produce a moment of brilliance and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
8. The Hammers stay strong:
After a run of recent results that saw the Hammers drop some points, they ended the year with a victory against the Saints who dropped down to the 12th spot in the Premier League table. Slaven Bilic will be happy to see his team grind results out and will be hoping to qualify for the Europa League next season.
9. Leicester show their resilience:
After the loss to Liverpool at Anfield, Leicester City was under tremendous pressure to bounce back against Manchester City at the King Power Stadium. They did no harm to their reputation as they picked up a point to stay at the top of the table, level on points with Arsenal going into the New Year. Surely Ranieri will be hoping to play in Europe next season.
10. Liverpool end year on a high, leave Sunderland reeking:
Just a solitary goal from Belgian striker Christian Benteke was enough for the Reds to give them their 2nd consecutive 1-0 victory in the Premier League. They have slowly gained some momentum and are 7th in the table level on points with Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to strengthen his squad in the transfer window and will try and climb up the points table in the 2nd half of the season.