EPL: 10 things we learnt from the first round of the New Year
The first round of fixtures in the new year produced a number of thrilling moments in the 10 games that were played over the weekend. Chelsea and Manchester United were back to winning ways while Arsenal opened up a 2 point gap at the top.
Here are 10 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action:
1. Liverpool are seriously poor:
The squad inherited by Klopp at Liverpool has always been under scrutiny and Slaven Bilic’s side’s double over the Anfield outfit this year just proves the point. West Ham put two headed goals past Mignolet and were hardly tested at the other end of the pitch. Klopp needs some serious additions to the squad to get consistent results.
2. Aston Villa sink deeper:
In a game against Sunderland that could have given the Villains 6 points, Remi Garde’s side went down to their nearest competitors in Sunderland. They are now languishing at the bottom of the table 9 point away from safety and are in huge trouble.
3. Leicester feeling the heat:
After a good result at City, Leicester would have loved to take all three points from the Cherries this weekend but a solid effort from the hosts and a missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez saw them leave Arsenal in a 2 point lead and are now feeling the heat of staying at the top of the table.
4. Arsenal solo league leaders:
In a see saw of a Premier League season, the Gunners are finally at the top of the table with a 2 point gap over Leicester City at 2nd. A Laurent Koscielny goal was enough to see off the Magpies at the Emirates and Wenger will now hope to maintain his place at the top when he travels to Anfield next week.
5. The Canaries safe for the moment:
Norwich City stunned Southampton in a 1-0 victory as they are now 6 points above the drop zone 20 fixtures into the season. They have 23 points already on the table and need just 8 point in the course of the remainder of the season to stay put in the top flight of English football.
6. Baggies closer to the top half of the table:
A hard fought match at the Hawthorns ended in a WBA victory after a late strike from J Evans gave the home side all three points against Stoke City. The Baggies have been impressive in patches this season and will be hoping to end the season in the top half of the table.
7. Van Gaal finally expressive:
Manchester United have been in poor form off late but started their new year with a bang with a 2-1 victory over Swansea thanks to a late winner from skipper Wayne Rooney. The most telling part of the match was Louis van Gaal’s stature in the dugout. Known for being patient, LVG was seen shouting at his players late in the game, a sight that was rare even as Untied held onto all three points at home.
8. Late resurgence gives City all three points:
Watford City looked comfortable for most parts of the game but the last 10 minutes produced 2 City goal that saw the Citizens take all three points away from this fixture. Two goals in two minutes from Toure and Aguero sealed the game as City are now just a point away from the second place.
9. A different Chelsea on show:
It was hard to believe the performance that the Blues put in against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Chelsea looked a class apart and played some impressive football after 6 long months and are yet to lose a game under the new manager. It will be interesting to see if the club can keep up the turn in the form.
10. Tottenham Hotspur comfortable in top four
Pochettino’s side came back from a goal deficit at Goodison Park to take an important point that sees them sit in the 4th position in the points table with a three point lead over United. Aaron Lennon scored the equalizer in the dying minutes of the first half a goal that saw the points shared on the night. Everton with this draw are in the 11th place in the table.
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