Game week 17 of the Premier League season has just been concluded after Liverpool‘s 1-0 derby day victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Away from the Merseyside Derby, 9 other games produced 22 goals and some very exciting moments.
Here are the top 3 things we can take away from game week 17 and into the New Year:
Same old Arsenal
Arsenal lost for the second time in 2 weeks after they went down 2-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
After a strong first-half display where Theo Walcott‘s goal put the Gunners into the lead, a lacklustre display in the second period enabled Manchester City to get back in the game. Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling scored the goals for City, meaning they leapfrog Arsenal into third place.
This defeat highlighted similar problems in Arsenal’s team from previous years. Their players don’t often turn up in big games, with players such as Özil performing poorly at the Etihad. For years, Arsenal have had the inability to win big games that could positively shape their title challenge.
The loss against Manchester City has shown that nothing much has changed this season for Arsène Wenger‘s side. The unconvincing display in the second half proved that the Gunners lack the passion needed to provide a genuine title push. With them being already 9 points off of league leaders Chelsea, it looks like its going to be top four at best this season for Arsenal.
Hull City look to be in trouble
After game week 17, Hull City sit at the bottom of the Premier League, with only 12 points, 14 goals scored and a paltry 36 conceded.
Over the weekend, they travelled to the London Stadium and lost 1-0 to a very average West Ham side. Although Hull were the best team in the game, Mark Noble‘s 76th-minute penalty was enough to increase their winless streak to 6.
Hull hit the woodwork three times, with many pundits after the match saying they were unlucky not to get at least one point. This may be true, but Hull can’t keep playing well and fail to pick up points. Otherwise, they will struggle to stay up.
With Manchester City and Everton up next, it looks like the following two matches are going to become even more tough viewing for Hull City fans. However, one thing is for certain: if Mike Phelan and his team fail to turn this poor form around soon, it looks like they’re going to be heading straight back down to the Championship.
Are the United of old returning?
It was another positive result for Manchester United in game week 17, with José Mourinho‘s side beating West Brom 2-0 at The Hawthorns. This victory made United 8 unbeaten in the Premier League and put them on a three-game winning streak.
Zlatan Ibrahimović scored both goals for the Red Devils, proving how much of a smart signing he was. This double put the Swede on 11 goals in the league. If United want to make a push for the top of the table, 35-year-old Ibrahimović needs to stay fit and keep this scoring record up.
After a relatively slow start under Mourinho, United seem to be gaining more consistency. In recent performances and the game against West Brom, there have been glimpses of the “old United” returning: unbelievably ruthless in attack and very solid in defence. If they keep this up, there is no reason why United can’t return to the top of English football.
With their next three games being Sunderland, Middlesbrough, and West Ham, United will be confident in picking up 9 points and heading into the top four places.