Premier League hits and misses: Thomas Tuchel wins the bigger battle with Romelu Lukaku, while Mohamed Salah heads off to AFCON with another fine goal

Tuchel’s hand stronger regardless of draw

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s draw towards Liverpool in the Premier League

The hole to Premier League leaders Manchester City is wider than it was earlier than a weekend that was overshadowed, from a Chelsea perspective, by Romelu Lukaku’s explosive interview. But Thomas Tuchel finishes it with his place at the membership strengthened.

It was a courageous name to omit his greatest striker from the squad after Lukaku had scored in the earlier two matches. When two objectives down early on towards Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, it was simple to think about the criticism which may have awaited the Chelsea coach.

  • Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

But his facet performed with extraordinary vitality, urgent with a function as they not solely got here from behind to draw 2-2 with Liverpool however had been the higher facet in the better of video games. This was the kind of high-tempo soccer that supporters – and house owners – crave.

Maybe there have been moments when a £97m striker would have helped. But Tuchel’s gamers confirmed the spirit that’s required to thrive in the long term. He misplaced out on two factors. But he received the argument. His robust management ought to pay off as soon as the fuss dies down.
Adam Bate

Salah reminds Liverpool of what they will be lacking

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

Mohamed Salah fires in a chic second for Liverpool at Chelsea

The title race could also be slipping out of their sights however a minimum of Liverpool supporters can console themselves with the reality the greatest participant in the world proper now wears their purple shirt.

Mohamed Salah produced another marvellous goal at Stamford Bridge which, at the time, appeared like it could hold their Premier League dream alive, earlier than Chelsea’s outstanding comeback.

Also See:

  • Get Sky Sports
  • Premier League outcomes
  • Premier League desk
  • Live soccer on Sky Sports this week

It wasn’t on the degree of his goal-of-the-season contenders towards Watford and Manchester City however it was scored with the ease of a participant in excellent kind and stuffed with perception. The dummy did for Marcos Alonso and the end was by no means unsure – no matter the tight angle.

The upcoming fixtures for Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool – and the gamers they may very well be lacking for these fixtures throughout Africa Cup of Nations

It was his sixteenth in the Premier League this season and means he is scored twice as many as the majority of his rivals for the Golden Boot. His departure for the Africa Cup of Nations will give these chasers a few video games benefit however do not count on them to catch him any time quickly – if in any respect.

The event additionally presents a problem for Liverpool. How do you substitute a participant of his stature? The fixture listing has a minimum of been variety. An FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury and Premier League video games with Brentford and Crystal Palace ought to nonetheless be efficiently negotiated with out their major man.

Perhaps, with the Premier League title now an unlikely goal, the two video games towards Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final shall be the greatest concern. With no Salah – and no Sadio Mane too – the likes of Divock Origi and Diogo Jota may have to step up.

Liverpool will hope to welcome their Egyptian king again blissful, wholesome and profitable from AFCON – and prepared for the run-in. And maybe these contract talks, too… After all, his worth goes up by the recreation.
Peter Smith

Much extra prefer it from Leeds

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leeds United’s win towards Burnley

The celebrations at Elland Road confirmed simply how large a win that would show to be for Leeds!

It’s been a troublesome season up to now for Marcelo Bielsa’s facet and they’re nonetheless contending with damage points with Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford nonetheless lacking via damage.

However, the facet Bielsa put out in the 3-1 victory towards Burnely was way more like the Leeds we knew from final season, and it confirmed on the pitch.

  • Leeds United 3-1 Burnley – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

The hosts produced a efficiency stuffed with vitality and battle as they halted a run of three straight defeats and extra importantly climbed eight factors away from Sean Dyche’s facet, who stay third from backside.

Leeds additionally ended a run of 4 Premier League matches with no win (drawing one and dropping three), successful their first recreation since a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the finish of November, while this was the first time all season that they had scored three objectives in a league recreation.

It was way more prefer it from Leeds and with Patrick Bamford’s return imminent, they are going to be hoping to construct on victory towards Burnley and transfer additional away from the relegation locations in the weeks to come.
Oliver Yew

Slow begins proceed to price Everton

Pressure is mounting on Rafael Benitez at Everton

The Premier League rolls into 2022 and while Everton returned to motion for the first time since December 16, the competitors is leaving them behind. It was in the corresponding fixture final season that, below Carlo Ancelotti, Everton went high of the Premier League thanks to a man-of-the-match show by James Rodriguez in a 4-2 win.

That was October 2020, and while Rafael Benitez has had to juggle with all method of points this time period, this Everton facet have been in reverse while Brighton have motored on.

Benitez has been answerable for guiding his facet to simply 19 factors from their first 18 Premier League video games of the season. It was the twelfth time this season he witnessed his staff concede the first goal of a match. The Spaniard should arrest the droop rapidly, however he’s solely the newest supervisor to discover out about the ongoing points derailing the membership.

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s win towards Everton

  • Everton 2-3 Brighton – Match report and highlights

“We had a slow start, and after another mistake conceding a corner,” Benitez mentioned afterwards. “It’s a big mountain to climb and it’s not easy with these mistakes. You miss a penalty and it’s even more difficult.”

Everton have misplaced their first league recreation in every of the final 5 calendar years, final having an extended such run of defeats between 1957 and 1963. That undesirable statistic is historic, however Everton final had fewer factors at this stage of the competitors in 2005/06, once they had accrued 17 factors after 18 video games, finally ending the season in eleventh place.

It would appear like mid-table mediocrity is the greatest he can hope for at this stage, and with every passing defeat a nervous finish to the marketing campaign turns into an much more galling risk.

Anthony Gordon's two objectives weren't sufficient

Benitez will level to the positives – Calvert-Lewin’s return, Gordon’s higher output, and a spirited second half – however eight defeats in 12 is nowhere close to ok for a membership of this stature.

In distinction, Brighton, on a much smaller funds, stay greater than the sum of their components having received two of their final three Premier League video games after failing to win any of the 11 earlier than that.

The Seagulls’ haul of 27 factors after 19 video games is their joint-best-ever return at this stage of a top-flight marketing campaign, equalling the variety of factors in 1981/82. The fear for Everton is that they did not really want to carry out properly right here to finish their 10-game await victory on the blue half of Merseyside.
Ben Grounds

Brentford present their metal as soon as once more

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win towards Aston Villa

Brentford proceed to be the shock bundle of the season. They burst onto the Premier League scene with a victory towards Arsenal and holding title-chasing Liverpool to an exciting 3-3 draw.

Since then, they’ve continued to compete with a few of the Premier League stalwarts. Even a 1-0 defeat to Man City in midweek was a fairly good end result, all issues thought-about.

And Brentford are growing a really helpful behavior of manufacturing a late successful comeback. Against Watford just a few weeks in the past, two late objectives noticed them win 2-1 and it was another late present that noticed them take all three factors on Sunday.

  • Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

An outstanding strike from Yoane Wissa cancelled out Danny Ings’ well-taken opener, however a primary Premier League goal from Mads Roerslev – taken in a similar way to Ings – in the 82nd minute noticed the Bees leapfrog Aston Villa into twelfth place.

“In a way, it shouldn’t be possible that we’re above Villa,” Brentford supervisor Thomas Frank advised Sky Sports.

“The amount of money they’ve spent on their team in the last three years, I think they have a very good squad. I think they’re a good club in many ways so that we’re above them is quite good.

“But it was a recreation that would simply have been a draw, a decent recreation that we noticed out in the finish. Now we simply want to proceed… I am unable to reward the gamers sufficient for his or her mentality.”

It is attention-grabbing to word too that lots of their greatest outcomes are coming at dwelling. You would have been mistaken to suppose the Brentford Community Stadium was a delayed New Year’s Eve occasion at full time. Music was blaring as the gamers did a lap of honour, with gamers and followers alike dancing and celebrating.

It was a reminder of the distinctive bond Brentford followers have with their membership and the squad, particularly one that’s really competing in the Premier League. It was an extended journey to attain England’s high desk and they deserve to have a good time each victory.

Now, solely West Ham (12) and Everton (11) have received extra factors from dropping positions in the Premier League than Brentford this season (9). It additionally implies that at the midway stage of the season, the Premier League debutants are properly on their manner to another season in the high flight.
Charlotte Marsh

Tired City discover a manner to carry on successful

Please use Chrome browser for a extra accessible video participant

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win towards Arsenal

Liverpool have misplaced one and drawn one in all their final two Premier League video games. Chelsea have drawn three of their final 4 in the competitors. The calls for of the festive fixture schedule – maybe as powerful as they’ve ever been in fashionable occasions, given the sicknesses and accidents affecting squads – have taken their toll on Man City’s title rivals. When the requirements are so excessive, these small slip-ups will be expensive.

Against Arsenal on Saturday, it appeared like City could also be going the similar manner.

Afterwards, Pep Guardiola described his group of gamers as “incredibly tired, mentally and physically”. He pointed to the 4 academy children on the bench.

But City, by some means, discovered a manner to win.

  • Arsenal 1-2 Man City – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

That was removed from sure at varied factors via the contest, with a formidable Arsenal facet – described as the higher staff by Guardiola – seeing the ball cleared off the line and Gabriel Martinelli hit a submit after Bukayo Saka had swept of their opener.

There shall be a lot of debate about choices made by the officers in the recreation round the two key penalty choices and Gabriel Magalhaes’s purple card however, no matter the controversy, City battled till the final second, when Rodri – a key determine for them in midfield this season – emerged as the unlikely match winner.

It’s now 11 Premier League wins on the spin for the defending champions, who’re approaching the 15-game successful streak which propelled them to the title final season. Even higher, they get to sit again on Sunday and watch Chelsea and Liverpool go head to head.

Whatever the end in that one, City’s lead at the high of the desk will nonetheless be substantial. Dropped factors at the Emirates might have provided some hope to their flagging rivals however, even once they’re exhausted, this City facet simply cannot be stopped.
Peter Smith

Short spell prices Arsenal – however there’s hope in defeat

Arsenal react after Stuart Attwell sends off Gabriel

Arsenal had simply been crushed by Manchester City – nothing new there, in fact.

But it was totally different this time.

The dwelling followers stayed and cheered their staff with nice gusto, in full appreciation that Mikel Arteta’s males had been completely excellent towards the champions in ready, regardless of their supervisor being pressured to isolate at dwelling after a Covid constructive check. They had been the higher facet for 85 minutes of the match, the truth is.

The issues got here in the different 5 minutes halfway via the second half. Rarely has a recreation modified a lot in such a brief house of time. Unfortunately for Arsenal, it was a lot of their very own doing.

  • Premier League outcomes | Premier League desk
  • Get Sky Sports | Live soccer on Sky Sports

Granit Xhaka’s lazy problem and shirt pull on Bernardo Silva gave the referee a call to make for the equalising penalty. Gabriel Martinelli – stuffed with vitality and high quality – snatched at what was an open goal likelihood after Nathan Ake’s miraculous clearance off the line. And then Gabriel Magalhaes’s second of inexperience blotted his copybook when selecting up his second yellow card for a pointless foul.

Those three incidents outlined the end result. Elite groups like Man City feast upon such errors and though Arsenal had been excellent in each division, the large moments in the match had been devoured up by the City machine.

“At the end, it’s very frustrating but Mikel was very proud of the performance and at the same time frustrated,” mentioned Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg, who was standing in for the absent Arteta.

Frustration was the good phrase to sum up the feeling in the floor at full-time. But when the mud settles, these Arsenal followers can look again on a efficiency that offers the membership a lot hope and pleasure for the future.
Lewis Jones

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another likelihood to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play at no cost, entries by 3pm.


Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.