Posted in football, Premier League, sport

The Premier League Weekly

Chelsea were flying high with another solid performance while it seemed that Arsenal were gradually drifting away from the top with their second defeat in five days. Liverpool, on the other hand, remained in touching distance with the leaders after a narrow 1-0 victory in the Merseyside derby.

Are Chelsea running away with the title?

After their 11th win in a row, you could start to dread for the other clubs- will this be one-way traffic? Especially when we all thought at the start of the season that this could be the most entertaining title race ever with the employment of two of the world’s most respected managers (Guardiola and Mourinho). But now that Chelsea are six points clear, the other contenders will surely need a better response in the next couple of games because if they don’t act fast- Chelsea will extend their points tally even further and further before no one can catch them. It’s only about half way through the season but if Chelsea continue what they keep on doing and remain consistent throughout the whole season, the title may be heading back to Stamford Bridge after all. Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace was the 11th win in a row for Chelsea and ensured Antonio Conte’s side would be top at Christmas however Diego Costa’s yellow card meant that he would miss the game against Bournemouth on Boxing Day through suspension.

Could Man Utd rise into the top-four anytime soon?

Jose Mourinho was a happy man once again as his side claimed a third win in a row which gave the fans something to smile about over the festive period. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the hero for United in the last game at Crystal Palace and he repeated the trick here at West Brom by scoring twice to give Mourinho the perfect Christmas present. West Brom aren’t far away from Man Utd in the table, so there’s no surprise that the team and the manager were delighted with their solid 2-0 win. United are on a run of form lately and if they can get the results they need and Ibrahimovic continues to pop up with a goal or two, then we might see United in the top-four soon.

Are Arsenal drifting away from their focus?

At times, you credit Arsene Wenger for the changes and progess he has made at Arsenal but sometimes you feel that his time has come at the club and you can sense that if he doesn’t win the Premier League this season then the club may not offer him a new contract. Of course, Arsenal have been transformed into one of the prestigious clubs in England by the genius of Arsene Wenger but in recent years Arsenal have been seen to lose their focus at the wrong moment and then the big clubs charge in and leave Arsenal in despair, in the shadow and in the hole of misery and hunger. When Man City and Arsenal met at the Etihad on Sunday, both managers knew that they could not tolerate any mistakes or poor football as both teams desperately needed to catch up with Chelsea in the table. It was a promising start by Arsenal and they quickly established a one-goal lead through Theo Walcott as early as the fifth minute which was bound to silence the home fans as they currently were in danger of going ten points behind Chelsea. Early on in the second half, Leroy Sane levelled the match as he ran on to David Silva’s pass before beating Cech with a good finish though the opposition were crying in vain for offside. Arsenal were getting bullied again by City as Raheem Sterling punished the Gunners with a low finish that sealed a remarkable fightback from the hosts and sunk the Gunners into the pits of shame.

Are Liverpool capable of finding some consistency?

Liverpool are in a bag of mixed fortunes and you cannot tell what sort of performance they are going to put in every weekend, whether it’s a thumping win or a drab, dull performance. Monday night’s last-gasp win at Everton was no different and you could tell that Liverpool were not in an exciting mood. Barely any close chances, barely any shots on target- Liverpool and Everton seemed to be having their early Christmas snore-feast. The game was dying for a goal and the fans had to wait until the 94th minute when Sadio Mane came in and poked the winner for Liverpool in a game that would have settled perfectly for a draw but Liverpool snatched it at the end and that’s what a title contender must do when they know they haven’t deserved to win. Liverpool are second, however, and remain the closest to Chelsea in the table but as I said before- you cannot predict what sort of performance Jurgen Klopp’s side are going to put in every week. Monday night’s performance was utterly poor if you compare it to their 3-0 thrashing of Middlesbrough in mid-week while the draw against West Ham last weekend was a completely different matter to what we saw at Middlesbrough. Liverpool are genuinely capable of achieving a high finish this season but in order to win the league they will have to find some consistency like we have seen at Chelsea recently. Liverpool can be a really good side to watch when they come on the pitch with lots of confidence and a good mood to scoring goals but sometimes Liverpool can collapse when it comes to conceding goals and that’s what makes them different to Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea.

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