Christmas was over, but the excitement wasn’t as we were treated to traditional Boxing Day football- one of those days every football fan looks forward to. There were some vital matches for teams at both ends of the table as they all knew that they couldn’t afford anymore slip-ups.
Chelsea forget about Costa and Kante during emphatic win over Bournemouth
All Chelsea fans were dreading for their souls when key players Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante picked up suspensions for the upcoming game against Bournemouth. But from start to finish, Chelsea fans seemed to have forgotten their two important players after it was Pedro and Hazard who stole the show in a 3-0 thrashing of Bournemouth. It was indeed a surprise to everyone seated in Stamford Bridge about the decision to leave Michy Batshuayi on the bench as Antonio Conte opted for Hazard, Willian and Pedro as the forwards. It was a well revised decision in Conte’s perspective as Pedro and Hazard troubled the Bournemouth defence for the majority of the match and shared three goals between them (Pedro 2 and Hazard 1). Chelsea’s next match will pitch them against Stoke, who have struggled in their last two away games against Arsenal and Liverpool so you would surely be rooting for another Chelsea win if they continue to concentrate and play well.
Arsenal leave it late to grab late winner against West Brom
A 1-0 scoreline surely doesn’t represent Arsenal’s dominance over West Brom but in fact Arsenal had 26 shots in the game with the opposition having no more than 3. The Gunners also forced 10 saves from Ben Foster but Arsenal still couldn’t get a winner until the 86th minute when Giroud looped his header over a distraught West Brom to give everyone inside the Emirates stadium a huge sigh of relief. Alexis Sanchez was perhaps the unluckiest man on the pitch as he had nine shots in the game but the closest he came was when he ran circles around the West Brom defence before hitting the post as frustration increasingly grew for the Chilean. Arsenal’s win revives their title hopes although Chelsea’s win over Bournemouth means that the Gunners still remain nine points behind the leaders as the Gunners prepare to host Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.
Is it time that we can officially consider Leicester in the relegation battle?
Well it’s about midway through the season and Leicester currently sit 16th in the table (after the disappointing home defeat to Everton), so are Leicester going to be in the relegation battle this season? It’s hard to see them being relegated but you could see them in the relegation battle if they don’t turn fortunes around soon. It is hard when you have lost your rhythm let alone lost the iconic bond between Mahrez and Vardy but Leicester have to just carry on and believe that they can do it by putting in strong performances.
Have West Ham run away from the danger zone?
A 4-1 demolition of a vulnerable Swansea side sealed a third win in a row for Slaven Bilic’s men and lifted his team up to 11th in the table. No more than three weeks ago, West Ham found themselves 17th in the table following a crushing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal and Slaven Bilic was under some severe pressure but after three wins in their last four games West Ham have effectively turned fortunes around to send the fans ecstatic over the festive period
Liverpool continue to chase Chelsea after another win
Liverpool just seem not to give up and they keep on chasing Chelsea after yet another win in a 4-1 destruction of Stoke. The hosts came from a goal behind to eventually destroy their opponents in fashion to give them heaps of confidence ahead of the clash against Manchester City on Saturday. This was the second time in two away games that Stoke had failed to protect their lead and went home with nothing (at the Emirates and Anfield). The match also saw Roberto Firmino end his goal drought while Adam Lallana continued his fine goal-scoring form with another goal for the Red. Daniel Sturridge came off the bench to seal a remarkable 4-1 victory that puts Liverpool within six points of table-toppers Chelsea.