With both Manchester clubs winning this weekend the gap remains at 8 points going into the Manchester Derby next weekend.
@1stforfootball_ asked the question “Is this the game of the season so far?” while watching this week’s game between Arsenal and Man Utd. After the game every media outlet and pundit had decided it was. Utd emerged victorious but this was far from a routine win and unlike most contests between Wenger and Mourinho.
The 2 teams needed a win and whilst Arsenal’s creativity was superb, their defending was atrocious. Utd owed much to the performance of David De Gea whose performance will go down as one of the greatest in the Premier League but is was their efficiency in front of goal that took the game away from Arsenal. (full match report: Lingard Double seals Utd Victory)
Man City equalled a Premier League record 13 wins with their win over West Ham at the Etihad. Once again City had to come from behind after The Hammers took an unexpected lead through Angelo Ogbonna but goals from Nicholas Otamendi and David Silva gave Pep Guardiola the points. (full match report: Second half comeback extends City’s winning run)
Jose Mourinho would have closely watched City in recent weeks and although they’ve showed resilience in coming from behind, Utd will take confidence from the performances of Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham against their Manchester and title rivals.
Chelsea and Liverpool both secured routine wins this week to make up the rest of the top four. Liverpool leapfrogged Arsenal into fourth with their 5-1 victory at Brighton. Eden Hazard’s double against Newcastle in their 3-1 keeps them just in touch with the leading pair and the Belgians brilliance will be key if they’re to make up the points in the second half of the season.
Spurs are now 4 points off the pace in the hunt for Champions League football. Their 1-1 draw away at Watford makes it 4 without a win in the league and the news that Toby Alderweireld could be out for a further 3 months is a serious concern for the Spurs faithful. Their inability to keep a clean sheet coincided with the central defender’s absence and Mauricio Pochettino will need to find a quick solution before losing further ground on their league rivals.
Big Sam won his first game as Everton manager with a 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield. Back to back wins has seen Everton move up to 10th ahead of the Merseyside derby. Despite their awful start, a win against Liverpool in the derby would put Everton into the top half of the table.
Stoke beat Swansea 2-1 at the Britannia stretching Swansea’s run to 7 without a win and with Crystal Palace picking up another point in a 0-0 draw with West Brom, The Swans face the possibility of being bottom on Christmas Day.
Leicester beat Burnley 1-0 to continue their good form under Claude Puel and Bournemouth and Southampton drew 1-1 in the south coast derby on Sunday.