With festive seasons just around the corner English Premier League saw the last round of matches being played before Christmas. Manchester City and Tottenham gained vital victories to push their claim for their desired place in the table while Everton and Crystal Palace took the season of gifts quite literary, giving away goals for fun.
Manchester United were held to a fighting draw at Villa Park where as Liverpool scored very late in the game to deny Arsenal their perfect revenge from last season.
Here are the five things that we learned from the weekend action of Premier League.
- Manchester United aren’t the title challengers yet
According to Louis Van Gaal Manchester United’s draw at Villa Park was a “title costing” one and who can argue with Van Gaal. If Chelsea go out and beat Stoke on Monday the gap at the top for United to cover would be 10 points, which seems an unlikely scenario.
Following Rademal Falcao’s equalizing header and Agbanlahore’s red card, United had a clear chance to make it 7 wins out of 7 and keep the pressure on the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, but United failed to win the game and have no one but themselves to blame for.
- David Silva is still Manchester City’s main man
The little Spaniard is one of the most skilful players in Europe and when he is on song, Manchester City look a different team altogether.
David Silva was a constant threat to Crystal Palace’s defenders, probing and finding spaces between the defensive lines of Crystal Palace. People would argue that Silva’s goals were fortuitous but the fact is that he was there at the right place at the right time to take it.
This is what makes David Silva the player he is. Sergio Aguero might have stolen the limelight from Silva for a few weeks but Silva is back to prove who is the real ace in the pack for Manchester City.
- Sunderland Love the Derby
Sunderland went in to the Tyne-Wear derby 7 points and 7 places behind Newcastle with just 2 wins 4 losses and TEN DRAWS. Everyone, including myself expected them to lose the game given how Newcastle have been able to grind out results out of nowhere.
Sunderland, however had different ideas and they went out to record a famous victory over their dreaded rivals. This win now makes 4 derby wins in a row for Sunderland.
Ironically the winning goal came from Adam Johnson, who as a boy was Newcastle United fan and was rejected by Newcastle at the age of 12. Adam Johnson has now scored in 3 consecutive Tyne-Wear derbies.
- Mignolet may be out for longer than expected
Last season when Joe Hart was dropped by Manuel Pellegrini during the season, he came back as a reformed man and led City’s march to the tile. People are expecting same from Rodger’s decision to drop Mignolet, but I doubt that will be the case this time around.
Brendan Rodgers has recently said that “Mignolet will remain out indefinitely”. This statement a seemingly agreed deal to bring Mexican Goal Keeper Ochoa to Liverpool could spell the end of Mignolet’s time at Anfield.
Mignolte has been at fault on numerous occasions this season and during last season as well. Few pundits have questioned his technique and standing position, Perhaps Brendon Rodgers is playing it safe by booting out Mignolet and going for a much secured Keeper at the back.
- England do have striking options
England are often left short on options to pair a decent striker alongside Wayne Rooney. Since Michael Owen’s retirement England have not been able to find a reliable striker but that time looks to be getting over with many promising strikers bursting on to the scene.
Charlie Austin, darling of the Loftus Road right now has 11 league goals to his name and his hat trick recently will surely alert Roy Hodgson. Only Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa have score more goals than Austin, which is a remarkable feat given the stature of team Austin plays for.
Apart from Austin, Harry Kane has been a revelation this season and he was n the score sheet this weekend as well along with another England striker Andy Carroll.
You pair these options with Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Wellbeck, it looks like a strong attacking unit.
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