Premier League Fans, let’s get caught up.
Match Week 15/16 is officially in the books. Not quite the full Match Weeks these days as the Premier League is now getting busy with mid week games for awhile. As we get closer to Christmas it will be pretty intense, 2 games per week, plus Champions League and Europa League and the the craziness of the 40 games in 14 days that is the Holiday break. If you enjoy top flight soccer, get your DVR ready from December 22 – January 4th. And then there is Boxing Day…the day after Christmas for you Yankees. We love our American football tradition on Thanksgiving but the Brits love their “football” on Boxing Day. 10 games from early to late. We get treated to three games here in the states. If you love the game the next month is really a great time to be a fan.
Match Week 15 Recap
The feature match this week was the clash in Manchester between Arsenal and Manchester United…a clash of #4 and #7 in the table. It was really a battle of which team would win and be a contender and which would maybe fall away and be a pretender to a Top 4 claim. A back and forth affair with both teams responding well to adversity. As fate would have it, not sure we got any answers from this one.
Let’s check out some highlights.
In other games the winners were:
Bournemouth, West Ham, Brighton, Manchester City, Wolverhampton with a shock win over Chelsea, and Liverpool.
Match Week 16 Recap
The weekend games produced some interesting results. The game of the weekend was #1 Manchester City vs. #4 Chelsea. Chelsea coming off a very disappointing loss mid week to Wolverhampton. After leading 1-0 and dominating the game, they just lost their control of the game and had a mental let down alowing two late Wolves goals to lose 2-1. A bad loss for a Top 4 team. Manchester City rolled on with another dominating performance 2-1 over Watford. The game was critical for Chelsea. Another loss and that would be two in a row and likely dropping out of the Top 4 and at risk to extending their mini slump. Manchester City had not lost in the Premier League in 22 games. Unstoppable was the claim. Chelsea coach Sarri had never beaten Pep Guardiola and everyone seemed resigned that Manchester City would roll again. As a Chelsea fan, I was worried for sure.
Let’s check out the highlights.
For a Chelsea fan the game was awesome. We absorbed the pressure from Man City and kept their big guns pretty quiet. Only 4 shots on goal the first half and nothing too dangerous. We started to come into the game mid way through the half and had some nice possession till half. The scoring sequence was classic counter attack. Playing out of the back and under pressure, David Luiz hits an incredible long cross field pass to Pedro. 50+ yards right onto his foot. Pedro attacks and finds Willian with another cross field pass. From there the ball finds its way to Hazard who drops a great pass across the box and …boom. Kante with a screamer for 1-0 at the break. Chelsea has a strong start to the second half and almost gets a second early in the period but then later in the half a corner kick breaks it open for a comfortable 2-0 win. Appropriate it is Luiz and Hazard as they both played well all game.
Other winners on the weekend include:
Liverpool 4-0 over Bournemouth. Liverpool now lead the premier League!! Burnley 1-0 over Brighton. Manchester United with their most complete game of the year and a 4-1 win over last place Fulham. Arsenal 1-0 over Huddersfield, Cardiff City 1-0 over Southampton, West Ham 3-2 over Crystal Palace. Tottenham keeps rolling with a 2-0 win over Leicester City and Wolverhampton makes it two in a row with a 2-1 win over 10 man Newcastle.
Race for the Title & Champions League Top 4
1-Liverpool 13-0-3 42 Points
2-Manchester City 13-1-2 41 Points
3-Tottenham 12-4-0 36 Points
4-Chelsea 10-2-4 34 Points
5-Aresnal 10-2-4 34 Points
6-Manchester City 7-4-5 26 Points
Everton, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Wolverhampton round out the Top 10. Everton could replace Man United if they win tomorrow. The first time in a month that Manchester City has not led the race. There was a sense they may run away with it again this year, but after the loss to Chelsea, there is a new feeling, the race is on. Liverpool is for real. Might be a two horse race, but at least that is a race!!
There are now 6 teams within 3 points of the 18th position and fighting to stay up. Newcastle United (13), Crystal Palace (12), and Burnley (12) currently safe but sitting just outside the relegation zone. The new bottom three:
18. Huddersfield 2-10-4 10 Points
19. Southampton 1-9-6 9 Points
20. Fulham 2-11-3 9 Points
Match Week 17 Preview
Game of the Week.
#6 Manchester United vs. #1 Liverpool. This a a huge game for both teams. Liverpool now leading the Premier League. Manchester United with their best performance of the year this week. A clash of two of the biggest names in soccer. An emotional fan base on both sides. Can Manchester U revive their season and threaten a Top 4. Can Mourinjo give a master class coaching performance. Can Klopp smash Jose and tell the world, we are in this to win this! It should be very interesting.