|Image from Sky Sports|
After shocks and surprises midweek, Duncan Ferguson took charge of his first Everton match against Chelsea, Ljungberg aimed for his first win of his Arsenal management in a London Derby, relegation battles and the Manchester Derby could determine City’s title defence. Here are the results:
Everton vs Chelsea 3-1
Bournemouth vs Liverpool 0-3
Tottenham vs Burnley 3-0
Watford vs Crystal Palace 0-0
Manchester City vs Manchester United 1-2
Aston Villa vs Leicester City 1-4
Newcastle vs Southampton 2-1
Norwich vs Sheffield United 1-2
Brighton vs Wolves 2-2
West Ham vs Arsenal 1-3
Here are the grades:
Magnificent performance from Everton. After being hammered by Liverpool they have come back swinging and performed excellently against the Blues. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin played very well together and seem to have been influenced by their interim manager. Old Trafford next and they could pose an upset if they play as well as they did against Chelsea.
Yes, Kepa made a mistake but it looks like the honeymoon period of Lampard’s reign may be over. The defence was all over the place and they could not make enough clinical attacking plays to win the game. They have to play Spurs and Arsenal before this month is over and will hope to remain in the top four after this point but will now have January to sign players that will help them in that endeavour.
They have been tragic for a while now and it is all the more frustrating that United lost to this side. Five losses on the bounce and coming up against Chelsea next weekend won’t be an easier feat. The pressure could be on for Eddie Howe and the sooner they sort themselves out, the better.
Cruised to a 3-0 win really. Barely had to break a sweat. Looking like champions right now and being eight points clear going into their busy Christmas period is everything they need right now. Boxing Day will be a tough game at the King Power and will show what qualities Klopp’s team has.
What a response from a dire performance at Old Trafford. Spurs put Burnley to the sword. Son scored a majestic goal and Sissoko ended his two year drought. They have a horrible set of games to come and coming up against Wolves and will hope for a victory in their push for top four.
Sorry state of affairs at Burnley. They would normally go to a big team like this and defend for their lives but they are getting complacent. Son’s goal was magnificent but they offered very little going forward and only registered one shot on target.
Should have won the game but failed to make their chances count. That will be costly at the end of the season. Liverpool and Man United next and it looks like they won’t get any points from those matches either and could fall even further behind.
CRYSTAL PALACE 5/10
Awful performance and lucky not to concede a penalty late on. No shots on target either! Crystal Palace have a great run of games and would expect to win most of them.
MANCHESTER CITY 3/10
Dismal display in front of their fans and in a derby as well. United were there for the taking with no Paul Pogba and issues with individual errors and at left back as well. United proved their worth and carved past a helpless City defence for the first half an hour and although City played good football for the rest of the game, they failed to properly penetrate the United defence. Despite scoring late on, a comeback was not on the cards and now they are 14 points behind Liverpool and will have to look for different avenues to silverware.
MANCHESTER UNITED 10/10
Magnificent performance from the underdogs. Sublime counter-attacking performance with every player performing admirably. Many predicted United losing horribly with City aiming to prove they are still in the title race but instead United have dragged themselves kicking and screaming back into the race for top four and City’s title race all but over. Solskjaer has performed a duo of tactical monsterclasses against two of the best managers in the modern game in the space of three days. Bigger challenges to come but United will hope this momentum keeps building and building.
ASTON VILLA 4/10
Very poor after a strong performance against United and a close game against Chelsea. They were scythed apart by a clinical Leicester team. Seventeenth in the table, they will aim to get as many points as possible from this busy Christmas period as they face none of the top six…or Spurs…or Arsenal either.
LEICESTER CITY 8.5/10
Clinical and impressive performance from Leicester. Jamie Vardy is on fire right now and I am so glad United don’t have to play the Foxes until the last day of the season. Norwich next will be a doddle I expect, but after that Manchester City and Liverpool will be true tests of Leicester’s mettle and could show where all three clubs are at.
To come back from 1-0 down is a feat on its own but the win has pushed the Magpies into 11th place and seven points away from the relegation zone. Steve Bruce has done a terrific job so far and with Burnley and Crystal Palace to come before a big clash at Old Trafford, they will hope to get six points out of six before this huge game. While this is all true, there are issues. Almiron still needs his first goal for the club, there may be concerns over Saint-Maximin’s injury and Joelinton’s poor form continues.
After two good wins, they should have done better in this game as they were totally overwhelmed. They will want to win against West Ham and Aston Villa because if not, they could well be back into the relegation mire.
Poor again. They were a goal ahead and failed to take any more chances other than the last minute effort denied by Dean Henderson. They are in serious trouble and with Leicester, Wolves and Spurs to come during the Christmas period, they could drop even deeper.
SHEFFIELD UNITED 8/10
Great comeback for the Blades. Two great goals for the wing-backs and Chris Wilder’s team talk seemed like it did the trick for his side. The red card overturned looked like the right decision as well so that is a big step for VAR. Dean Henderson was excellent again and saved his side late on.
Played well enough to win the game but sloppy mistakes cost Brighton the win. Sensational goal from Neal Maupay and an excellent header from Davy Propper but defensive errors made them pay. Brighton have a decent Christmas period with Tottenham the stand-out competitors and will hope to distance themselves from the relegation zone as they are only four points off right now.
They took a hit in their chase for top four with this result but Jota and Jiminez combined excellently again. Their ability to take on the big clubs will be demonstrated against Tottenham, Man City and Liverpool over Christmas and will aim to cause some upsets as they have done in recent years.
WEST HAM 4/10
Great first half performance and probably should have been ahead by more. After Cresswell came off, everything crumbled and West Ham capitulated. This Gunners side was theirs for the taking and they failed to make it count. Pellegrini needs results and fast and if they fail to beat Southampton, they could be in the relegation zone by the end of the weekend.
Massive result for Arsenal. They needed this coming into the City game on Sunday as a loss could have led to a demoralising battering. Pepe’s goal was magnificent and his set up for Aubameyang’s goal was just as good. He needs to remain this consistent to be classed as a success at the Emirates and a big performance against Man City wouldn’t go amiss!