Matchweek 17 of the Premier League had plenty of talking points. Here are the Winners and Losers. Bet on the Premier League here.
Under fire managers
Eddie Howe and Manuel Pellegrini led their teams to important wins this past weekend after poor runs of form that saw their respective teams dragged into the relegation mire. Howe’s Bournemouth registered an unlikely hard-fought 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea. The Cherries’ five league defeats in a row was threatening to pull them into the relegation scrap. However, that dreadful run was precipitated by a lengthy injury list which included more than seven starting players.
Pressure on Pellegrini eased at least for a while as West Ham won 1-0 away to relegation candidates Southampton. They are now four points above the relegation zone but the Chilean is not off the hook just yet. His side have a tough run of fixtures in the festive period against Crystal Palace, Leicester, Bournemouth and Sheffield United, and how they perform in these matches will ultimately determine his fate.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur ground out a difficult smash-and-grab 2-1 win over giant-killers Wolves at Molineux, which ended the hosts’ 11-game unbeaten run. The London side weathered a relentless storm from Wolves and appeared to be hanging on at points but withstood the pressure and got the job done. Spurs have narrowed an 11-point gap to the top four with four wins from five league games since Mourinho's appointment.
Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne showed why he is one of the best players in the Premier League on Sunday when he helped Manchester City thump a dismal Arsenal side 3-0. The Belgian tore the Gunners apart as he produced a first-half masterclass with two goals and an assist as his team raced to a 3-0 lead. He’s been directly involved in 19 Premier League goals in 2019, with seven goals and 12 assists which is the most of any midfielder in this period.
Top four hopefuls
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea suffered their fourth league defeat in five games. The Blues lacked the tempo and creativity to break down a resolute Cherries defence. The six wins in a row now seem like ages ago. Lampard will need to rally his troops as they head to a busy festive schedule. Can he turn things around?
After impressive wins against Tottenham and Manchester City, Manchester United reverted to their usual selves against Everton. After 17 league games, Manchester United have taken 11 points against big six opponents and 14 points from 12 matches against the others. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown that his team is incapable of breaking down non-elite opposition.
It was more misery for Arsenal yet again as they were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City. the Gunners, who are yet to find a replacement for Unai Emery were lifeless and had just one shot on target. It was a shocking performance and result which deepens Arsenal’s crisis.
Leicester’s eight-match winning streak was snapped by Norwich City in a compelling encounter at the King Power on Saturday. The Foxes are now ten points behind Liverpool and face Manchester City and Liverpool in their next two games.
Against Manchester United on Sunday, young striker Moise Kean was substituted after 18 minutes. Everton’s interim manager Duncan Ferguson said he made the call to kill time. However, the decision might have destroyed the confidence of the 19-year-old. When he came off in the 89th minute, he went straight to the tunnel without shaking the manager’s hand. Many have question Ferguson’s man-management and inexperience in the dugout.
The Saints’ suffered their second Premier League defeat in a row leaving them 18th with 15 points. They face Aston Villa, who are level on points with them, in another relegation six-pointer in their next match. A win would lift them out of the relegation zone.
Over 2.5 Goals bettors
Eight of the ten Premier League games played this past weekend saw two or fewer goals scored. Spurs game against Wolves and Manchester City’s win over Arsenal were the only games that saw Over 2.5 Goals. With a congestion of fixtures over the next few weeks, could we see more low-scoring games?