The long and relentless Christmas fixtures began on Friday with a stupendous battle between Arsenal and Liverpool. It ended 3-3 if only Man City weren’t so bloody good the top six battle might actually be interesting. Alas…
The Citizens put the final nail in the 17/18 Premier League coffin before Christmas day, beating Bournemouth 4-0 to go thirteen points clear after United suffered a late equaliser to Leicester. It’s over lads, let’s just enjoy the other fixtures from now on.
Up in Burnley, Harry Kane scored his seventh hat-trick of the calendar year smashing records as Spurs took three points along with their three goals. Stoke and Newcastle staged unexpected revivals ending long runs without a win whilst Crystal Palace continued an unbeaten run after a drawing at Swansea.
Big Sam remained unbeaten at Everton after holding the champions Chelsea to a goalless draw.
Game of the Weekend: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 3.
Two teams with great attacks and temperamental defensive play, what more could you want?
Liverpool got off to a frightening start throwing the kitchen sink, several anvils and Trump’s ego at the Arsenal defence. Phillipe Coutinho’s header opened proceedings with most of The Red’s other chances going begging.
The Pharaoh himself Mo Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead in the second-half but it only took six minutes of sudden Gunner’s brilliance and Mignolet’s butterfingers for the whole game to turn around.
Sanchez, Xhaka and Ozil scored against some very questionable Belgium goalkeeping before Firmino equalised.
Well, Father Christmas is a fan of red.
Losers of the Week: Bournemouth.
Playing City isn’t easy but The Cherries handed Pep an early Christmas present on Saturday.
With five at the back, you would expect Eddie Howe’s team to at least make it hard for The Sky Blues. You’d be wrong. Aguero, Sterling and Silva hardly had to get out of first gear to cruise past them.
Sterling bagged his sixteenth of the season, Aguero got his hundredth goal at The Etihad with Bournemouth’s defence making amateur errors all over the park.
Steve Cook played Aguero onside then left the Argentinian unmarked for his second. Bournemouth are now in the relegation zone. Not a comfortable position pre-Christmas.
Controversial Calamity: Dirty Alli.
With so much talent and promise, Dele Alli could have everything and anything he wants in world football.
He’s not going to get it if he continues to dive. Yes, it might help him get that move to Madrid (they love a bit of theatrics) but in the English game, it has no place.
His simulation at Burnley won Spurs the penalty and subsequently Harry Kane’s opening goal. Retrospective action should be taken will it teach Dele his lesson? Who knows.
Mighty Minnows: Newcastle United.
The Magpies were in desperate need of a win when they took the long trip down to The London Stadium.
The Hammer’s were back in form after a Moyes inspired rival. That didn’t stop that man Rafa Benitez upsetting West Ham’s new found form.
Although Arnautovic gave The Iron’s an early lead, Newcastle fought back with real guile, Saivet scoring a free-kick before two scorching counter-attacking goals from Diame and Atsu put the game to bed.
Newcastle looked like the quick, attacking team they were in the Championship, let’s hope they stay like that.