We’re getting closer to the home stretch, with barely a third of the season to go. Apart from first place, which is a given, there’s still some way to go for clubs hoping to finish anywhere below the leaders. Let’s see how they fared.
Manchester City: The procession continues, inevitably headed towards receiving a guard of honour from Manchester United at The Etihad in April. Someone make sure Suicide Watch is on standby if that happens.
Sergio Aguero: Scintillating Sergio simply can’t stop scoring.
Eden Hazard: If you need to compare your marquee signing to Eden Hazard, you’ve already lost the bet. He could be the difference between Conte lasting the season and getting unceremoniously booted before the end.
Tottenham Hotspur: “Lads, it’s Arsenal,” was the message Pochettino gave his team at half-time. Clearly, it worked.
Harry Kane: It’s going to be really weird when he takes crap corners at the World Cup and fails to open his account.
Newcastle United: Trust Mike Ashley to add a few more millions to his asking price after the Toon beat the winners of the transfer window.
Matt Ritchie: The scoreline at St. James Park read: Ritchie 1-0 Riches.
Martin Dubravka: He’s a keeper, this lad. Now expect Newcastle to offer £1 million and a bag of sporting goods from the Sports Direct clearance department to make his loan permanent.
West Ham United: It’s a strange world we live in, where Watford put four past Chelsea one week and get their pants pulled down by West Ham the next.
Swansea and Carlos Carvalhal: The Portuguese manager is baking and word-playing his way out of relegation trouble with Swansea. Like a duck suddenly realising it can fly. Or something.
Huddersfield: Four goals gets them a hall-pass to leave the relegation zone for a while.
Mohamed Salah: Leaves us salah-vating at the prospect of him lining up for Real Madrid in a year’s time.
Manchester United: It’s that time of the year again, when the richest club in the world starts nervously looking over its shoulders. Second to fifth is just a slip away.
Alexis Sanchez: That’s what half a million quid a week gets you these days. “It’s not enough, not enough,” protests Mourinho.
Chris Smalling: The only time he was any good was when he was called Mike Smalling. How thick do you have to be to dive in your own half? Seriously, Mike.
Arsenal: Seemingly resigned to being the best amongst clubs not competing for a European place next season. As Carlos Carvalhal would say, they’re like the one-eyed man in the land of the blind.
Burnley: The challengers to Arsenal’s new throne also fell to a defeat against the flying Swans. That’s another thing both clubs have in common.
Leicester City: See, that’s why Mahrez wanted to leave.
Watford: Back to earth with a thud, after the highs of walloping Chelsea last week.
Morgan Schneiderlin: Maybe they were shouting booo-urns.
Daniel Sturridge: Lasted a mere three minutes before reverting to his usual position – injured. Turns out changing the garage doesn’t fix the problem with the car’s engine. Who knew!
Southampton and Mauricio Pellegrino: No on will miss them if they go down surrounded by a chorus of boos. Except maybe Liverpool.
West Brom: Still rock-bottom. Looks like we won’t be seeing Pardew’s dance moves after all.
Toffee Trouble: It was never going to last. We all knew what was going to happen when Sam Allardyce was appointed as Everton manager. He “saved” them from a relegation fight they were never really involved in, then went about sapping the joie de vivre from the players and supporters alike. This will end with Big Sam in fits of laughter, gulping white wine in a mug while lying on a bed made out of his severance payment.