Manchester City are in a bit of a rush really, aren’t they? They must have important plans in the second half of the season or something, as they are looking to finally kill off the old cliché that you “cannot win the league in December”. Pep’s men are giving it a bloody good go. Having rested their legs from all that dancing in the dressing room on Sunday, City went out and spanked Swansea City 4-0, as expected. Swansea’s only real hope was hanging on for as long as possible and that didn’t really work as City scored early and David Silva conducted the light blue orchestra.
Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku has come in for a fair bit of stick since the derby, so it was important for him to bounce back in his own little way. Scoring the winning goal in a ponderous 1-0 win over Bournemouth is bound to make all the United fans forget the double miss against City, if not the wild sliced clearance that assisted Otamendi.
It’s been a tough few days for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. Denied by a combination of Big Sam Allardyce and Dejan Lovren on Sunday, they were then held to a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion who still have failed to score since Alan Pardew let them off the leash. Mind you, Pardew did somehow manage to come up with a plan to keep Liverpool’s Triffic Three at bay. It might have been down to a bit of psychology, eh Alan?
What if Wayne Rooney and Sam Allardyce are a match made in heaven? Just imagine living in that world for a moment. Everton went to Newcastle United, bored the bejesus out of everyone and came away with all three points after Wazza followed up on a goalkeeping error. Rafa and Sam have history so this will have felt good for the “oik from the West Midlands”. They are on a mini-revival Everton, which makes the decision to wait six months before giving the job to Sam seem even more strange.
Speaking of mini-revivals, West Ham United have kept two clean sheets in a row and they have been against Chelsea and Arsenal. What the hell is going on? Oh of course, Moyes dropped Joe Hart. Enough said. Arsenal have only scored in three away games or something this Premier League season and although they’ve dropped into the relegation zone if smells like something is brewing in a positive way at he Athletics Stadium for the first time ever.
How are you doing this morning Southampton fans? Cast your mind back to this time last season. You were about 8th in the league and although you didn’t quite know it, you’d be heading off to Wembley in the New Year. Then you decided that wasn’t good enough for you and banged on about getting rid of Claude Puel and the board listened. Claude Puel took his Leicester City side to St Mary’s last night and absolutely battered his former club. It finished 4-1 and I really, really hope Claude enjoyed it. He will have shown “respect” because that is what he is like. As for the Southampton fans, those trips to Wembley could have been a drain on the finances and nobody wants to be ha close to the Europa League places, right? Leicester are up to 8th, watch them go!
Tottenham Hotspur are back in a bit of form themselves. Mauricio Pochettino tore himself away from trying to work out who will win the Darts that starts tonight long enough to lead his men to a 2-0 win over Brighton. Heung-Min Son doubled the lead given to them by a fluke from Serge Aurier.
It’s been an up-and-down few days in Croydon. At the weekend Christian Benteke managed to trump Romelu Lukaku to the “most useless Belgian of the Weekend” award by demanding to take the injury-time penalty and missing it. On Tuesday night Palace were 1-0 against Watford with two minutes left and Wilfried Zaha suddenly remembered there was a game to be won and turned it around for Roy Hodgson. Bakary Sako equalised and then, again in injury-time, Zaha went on one of the best dribbles of the season before laying it on a plate for James McArthur to score the winner. Palace are off the bottom once more.
Chelsea will be looking ahead to Barcelona whilst trying to make sure they stay in the top four and a trip to Huddersfield was a potential banana skin for Conte’s men having lost, hilariously, to West Ham on Saturday. There were no cartoon slip-ups in Yorkshire however, just a very professional performance that saw even Tiemoue Bakayoko do something right in a Chelsea shirt.
Whisper it quietly, but Burnley refuse to let go of the shirt-tails of the Champions League places. On Tuesday night, Sean Dyche’s men sat in 4th place after their late 1-0 win over Stoke City. Go on Dyche, do it for those young British coaches who are seeing their jobs taken by all them…. old men like Allardyce, Pardew and Hodgson.