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Premier League Review – Matchday 18

Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City stay top of the table despite losing for the first time in ten games.

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City stay top of the table despite losing for the first time in ten games.

Liverpool became the first team to stop league leaders Leicester City scoring this season as a Christian Benteke strike secured the points for Jurgen Klopp’s side at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

The win was the Reds’ first in five games, and has moved them to within five points of the top four while the Foxes remain on top of the pile despite losing for the first time in ten.

Arsenal missed the chance to move into first place as they were thrashed 4-0 by Southampton, who have put themselves back into the hunt for a European spot by arresting their recent slide.

Arsenal thumped

A stunning strike from full-back Cuco Martina on his first league start for the club set the Saints on their way to a famous victory, which has moved them to within six points of the top five.

Title favourites Manchester City closed the gap between themselves and Leicester to just three points by beating lowly Sunderland by four goals to one, with Kevin De Bruyne running the show with two assists and a goal.

No joy in the North East

Sunderland remain stuck in nineteenth place, five points from safety while North East rivals Newcastle are just a place above after Everton edged past them at St James’ Park with Tom Cleverley bagging the only goal of the game deep into stoppage time.

Aside from Manuel Pellegrini’s side, Tottenham Hotspur were the other big winners in the chasing pack after thumping Norwich City 3-0, with top scorer Harry Kane grabbing a brace while Crystal Palace moved up a place to fifth despite being held to a goalless draw by Bournemouth, who extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Van Gaal on the brink

The pressure mounted on Louis van Gaal as his Manchester United side were beaten by Stoke City who are now just three points behind the Red Devils.

United are now without a win in seven – their worst run in twenty-six years, and having been top of the table back in September currently find themselves nine points of the pace.

Van Gaal is now the huge favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job, with Monday’s game against Chelsea rumoured to be his last in charge of the club, if he hasn’t already been relieved of his duties by the time the sides take to the field.

Swansea City climbed out of the relegation zone after they beat a West Bromwich Albion side who are themselves now just three points above the dotted line, while bottom of the table Aston Villa are still searching for their first league win since the opening day of the campaign after being held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham United, who are among a whole host of sides in the mix for a European qualification place.

How much longer does Louis van Gaal have left at Manchester United?

Sun 27 Dec, 2015
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