London calling! Chelsea choke, Arsenal advance and Spurs march on…

Premier League Rundown

Chelsea continue to struggle as a Covid stricken Manchester City side managed to win three crucial points at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal on the other hand continue to impress with a 4-goal thriller against a struggling West Brom. Spurs managed to return to their goal-scoring spree with an impressive performance against Leeds United.

Fulham Missed Again

Covid-19 has made things horrible for Premier League teams, with Fulham missing their second match in the league. Fulham’s latest game against Burnley was postponed after a Covid 19 situation arose  in the Fulham camp. The club asked the Premier League to rearrange the game after the latest round of testing revealed a further increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

“With the health of players and staff being the priority, the League and Fulham will agree on a further action plan to control the outbreak to allow the club to resume their season safely,”

a Premier League official said in the latest statement.

As per the latest reports, Manchester City and Newcastle United have both struggled to cope with multiple cases reported in recent weeks. The Premier League has so far seen four matches postponed since the start of December. Newcastle’s match against Villa, initially set for December 1, was postponed, and Manchester City’s visit to Goodison Park on December 30 was postponed.

Meanwhile, Fulham are investigating an incident involving Aleksandar Mitrovic after the striker appeared to be filmed with Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic on December 31 breaking Covid 19 protocols.

Kane-Son combo to victory

Tottenham Hotspur managed to ward off an in-form Leeds United, with a dominating 3-0 win at home. Kane’s soft penalty gave them the lead, Son scored a lovely goal on the stroke of half time – his 100th for Spurs – and Toby Alderweireld headed the third in the 50th to finish the game. Bielsa’s men failed to create key chances despite playing with high energy and ball possession throughout the game. Spurs meanwhile approached the game positively despite their likeness to sit back and counter in breaks. However, Mourinho, choose to play a rather progressive midfield this time out with Ndombele and Bergwijn both given enough freedom to dribble past defenders occasionally. This created enough chances for Spurs, and with a defensive shape, they managed to control the game.

With Kane’s 11th assist in the league, he and Son have directly laid on 13 goals for one another this season equalling a record set 26 years ago. They were efficient throughout the game and the only setback for them from the game was the stoppage-time dismissal of Matt Doherty. The difference came in individual errors at the back and Leeds were too cautious giving away the ball in key areas. With a valuable three points, Spurs now sit comfortably in fourth place in the table, at the time of writing this, with a one game advantage over third-place Leicester City. Meanwhile, Leeds have fallen to 12th in the table despite recent wins, with Arsenal climbing above them into 11th spot.

Arsenal Victorious yet Again

The Gunners are having a fantastic start to the New Year, with three consecutive wins in a row. At one point, the Gunners had gone eight league games without a win last month to find themselves battling at the bottom end of the table. However, with nine points from nine Arsenal are finally back as they climb to within three points of the top six. Elsewhere, West Brom have yet to win in four games since Sam Allardyce took charge, despite an impressive outing against Manchester City. The Baggies have also conceded 12 goals in Allardyce’s first three home games.

Youngster Bukayo Saka had an impressive game out, with good performances by Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe as well. The Gunners dominated the game and were well worth their comfortable win. Goals from Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and a double by Alexandre Lacazette was more than enough to bury a disappointing performance by West Brom. Kieran Tierney was a great threat on the left, and Saka’s creative runs caused havoc on the right, something that West Brom struggled to cope with during the entire match.

The result sees Arsenal creep up to 11th place in the Premier League while West Brom remain mired in 19th place in the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Lacazette has taken his goal-scoring tally to eighth this season.

Chelsea Struggled to Cope with City

Manchester City have had a tough time this season, with unfavourable results, injuries and latest reports of Covid-19 problems circling players and staff at the club. Nevertheless, away at Stamford Bridge, they have managed a 3-1 rout of Chelsea to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11. However, the Blues have only won just once in their last six League matches following their 3-1 loss to Manchester City on Sunday. They have gone from title contenders to 8th in the table and seven points adrift of the top having played a game more.

In a game of high tempo, Pep Guardiola’s side thrashed the Blues, despite the coronavirus-related absences as goals from Gundogan, Foden and De Bruyne changed the course of the game within 35 minutes. Whereas, Callum Hudson-Odoi managed to score the only consolation game for Chelsea in  stoppage-time. City were without Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus due to a coronavirus outbreak and Guardiola opting a very different formation with Sterling and De Bruyne playing in a more progressive role. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was handed his Premier League debut, against a formidable front three of Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and a returning Hakim Ziyech.

Werner has now gone 12 games without a goal, with just another disappointing game to forget. The blues spending spree is now looking less impressive, with key signings failing to deliver. City’s goals were the product of the terrible defending from Chelsea, but City’s ruthlessness could have seen them scoring more if they had a proper striker upfront.

Chelsea must now pick themselves up quickly before their FA Cup match against League 2 outfit Morecambe on January 10. Manchester City meanwhile has secured their third straight win and made their way up to fifth in the table, just four points off top spot with a game yet to be played.

About the Author

Anand P
I am a postgraduate in journalism who happened to have a passion for writing. I worked for print and TV Journalism and currently doing freelance jobs. For me, football is a fresh breath of air and possibly be the only reason I looked forward to every weekend. What I do love most about football is the incalculable nature of the game as a whole. Living in the southern state of Kerala (India), a large state made of passionate football fans, it was one of the sports that impressed me more than cricket. Apart from football, I live with my family and looking forward to getting married to my girlfriend soon.