Yet another excruciating weekend of the Premier League action came to an end with Everton hosting Queens Park Rangers being the only remaining fixture on Monday night for Gameweek 16. It was a great return for all of the three London sides while both the Manchester outfits recorded victories.
Southampton suffered yet another huge blow, this time a loss to relegation threatened Burnley while Liverpool were second best at Old Trafford. West Brom finally won the middlands derby against Aston Villa while high flying West Ham were hold to draw by Sunderland.
Here are the five things we learnt from the Weekend’s action:
Chelsea will struggle in coming weeks: Chelsea carved out a routine 2-0 win over Hull City at home but looking over to their fixture list going into the new year, the Blues could definitely struggle. Next weekend’s away fixture to Stoke City will be a huge test, whereas Sam Allardyce’s West Ham could cause problems three days later.
Mourinho’s men aren’t quite the same team without Matic or Fabregas and the leaders are just one injury away from disaster. Defensive problems have been masked well but they could come on to the fore quite easily in the coming days specially with Gary Cahill who is clearly struggling.
Manchester City’s lack of farsightedness could cost them the title: When Alvaro Negredo was sent on loan to Valencia on deadline day in the summer transfer window, it seemed that the decision could cost them big time deep into the season. Clearly, it has taken just till December to show what a poor decision that was by Manchester City’s management staff. With Sergio Aguero injured and Stefan Jovetic injury prone, Edin Dzeko isn’t quite the striker you can rely on his own up front.
Jose Angel Pozo has started in the past two games but the youngster has failed to impress. He recorded the fewest touches against Leicester after being asked to lead the line with Dzeko getting injured in the pre match warmup. Manuel Pellegrini’s side however have all winnable games in the coming weeks, but its evident how hard they would be praying to get Aguero back from the sidelines.
Manchester United riding high on David De Gea: Its easy to see why United have have won six games in a row. Sunday’s 3-0 win over fierce rivals Liverpool was a glaring example. The Red Devils didn’t create much but to their credit they were clinical in front of goal. Goalkeeper David De Gea has been in stunning form this season (47 saves in 15 matches) and was rightly declared the man of the match for his exceptional instincts.
The Spaniard is regularly masking United’s defensive frailties but the question is till when? Surely Louis Van Gaal will have a stronger defense when Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo returns to full fitness. With Ander Herrera, Juan Mata all moulding the way on how Van Gaal wants to play, Angel Di Maria’s return would be another confidence boost.
Time for a major reshuffle at Liverpool: There is no doubt that Brendan Rodgers’ job is on the line and that’s exactly how to put it right. Liverpool have outwitted several times in the past few weeks and its getting to just the matter of time before the manager is shown the door by the ruthless owners. Fenway Sports group have shown they aren’t afraid to take big decisions and if Liverpool fail to win against Bournemouth in he Capital One cup in midweek, the Kop could well have seen their last of Rodgers.
Baffling decisions haven’t helped and poor team selections have the root cause of the root cause of the problems. Liverpool’s transfer dealings too have failed big time and a new breath of air could just be the way forward for this historic Football club, which is at the moment in shambles.
Why don’t Arsenal always play like this: The Gunners put on a splendid performance beating Chelsea slayers Newcastle United by 4-1 on Saturday night. Arsene Wenger’s side rised to the occasion right from the whistle and were at their sumptous best to steamroll the magpies in front of a packed home faithful. The London side now need to build on the result as they travel to Liverpool, desperate to avenge last year’s disastrous result from Anfield.
A look at the other results: Tottenham ans Swansea produced a magnificent contest throughout the 90 minutes but the Welsh side would be disappointed as they have nothing to show from the game. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are now just 4 points away from the top four and with a set of easy fixtures coming next, Spurs should build on this win. Elewhere, Southampton’s bubble seem to have been bursting as the south coast side finished second best at Burnley. West Ham too were held by Gus Poyet’s Sunderland but one of the major talking points would arguably be West Brom’s 1-0 derby win over Aston Villa.