Saturday, December 14, 2019

Premier League Review – Matchday 18

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 24 Dec 2018

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Liverpool are not just top of the Premier League tree for Christmas, but they are four points clear after Manchester City suffered a shock defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

Ilkay Gundogan had put the champions in front on shortly before the half-hour mark though the match was turned on it’s head within eight minutes thanks to goals from Jeffery Schlupp and Andros Townsend – who’s sublime volley from near thirty yards the goal of the season so far.

A penalty from Luka Milivojevic six minutes into the second-half put the Eagles in dream land with Kevin De Bruyne’s strike five minutes from time proving to be no more than a consolation.


The defeat was only City’s second at home in the league in two years but was enough to see them fall four points behind leaders Liverpool after they eased past Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday evening.

Goals from Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk clinched the victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side to ensure that they would be in first place at Christmas, as they have been on two other occasions over the past decade.

On both of those occasions they of course were unable to stay the distance, but you can back them at a price of 11/10 to clinch the title this time around with Pep Guardiola’s men still odds on favourites.


Tottenham Hotspur are just two points behind the Citizens after they thumped Everton 6-2 at Goodison Park.

Theo Walcott opened the scoring for the hosts though goals from Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli and Harry Kane had the North London outfit in control at the break.

Christian Eriksen put the result beyond doubt three minutes into the second half with Son and Kane securing their braces after Gylfi Sigurdsson had pulled one back for Marco Silva’s side, who have now gone five games without victory.

Chelsea suffered a shock home defeat to Leicester City – Jamie Vardy getting the only goal of the game and that result allowed Arsenal to move level on points with Mauricio Sarri’s side as they beat Burnley 3-1 in Saturday’s early kick-off.


A brace from Pierre Emerick- Aubameyang saw him leapfrog Mo Salah in the race for the Golden Boot, while Harry Kane is level with the Egypt international with eleven goals after his double on Merseyside.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as caretaker manager at Manchester United could hardly have started better with the Red Devils thumping Cardiff City 5-1 in south-Wales – the first time United have scored five in the league since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge.

Elsewhere, there were triumphs from Bournemouth and Watford, who secured 2-0 wins over Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United respectively while Southampton moved further away from trouble with a 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United were held at home to a goalless draw by bottom-of-the-table Fulham.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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