Ten important Premier League matches for the race for top four and the fight for survival in the relegation mire. Here are the results:
Liverpool vs Watford 2-0
Chelsea vs Bournemouth 0-1
Sheffield United vs Aston Villa 2-0
Leicester City vs Norwich 1-1
Burnley vs Newcastle 1-0
Southampton vs West Ham 0-1
Manchester United vs Everton 1-1
Wolves vs Tottenham 1-2
Arsenal vs Manchester City 0-3
Crystal Palace vs Brighton 1-1
Here are the grades:
It took a long time for Liverpool to get their goals but they managed to get the result against low blocks. Salah got his goals which he has struggled to consistently convert all season so far. A big win ahead of their Club World Cup matches.
Unlucky to be honest but they could not stop Liverpool’s red tide. They created enough chances to win the game but failed to take their chances. United next and they’ll fancy their chances against the Premier League’s Robin Hood.
Poor. Was not clinical enough in front of goal and paid for it with a sensational goal. Need to wake up with Spurs and a potentially re-vamped Gunners side to come this month as they could fall out of the top four after working so hard to get there.
Great win to end their woeful run of form. Needed that but they need to score more goals to keep it up.
SHEFFIELD UNITED 8.5/10
Standard Blades win. Stifled the opponents and took their limited chances well.
ASTON VILLA 4/10
Toothless and knew it. Very poor performance given their admirable efforts at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge in recent weeks. In the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and effortlessly so.
LEICESTER CITY 5/10
Poor performance as they were held against a side they would normally sweep away with ease. Signs of this good run faltering? Time will tell. Next up is Manchester City and they will need a better performance than their last two.
NORWICH CITY 7/10
Desperately needed to get points and fast. They are still fighting to get out of the relegation zone and have the squad and only need one win to do it. However, with Wolves up next, it will be a difficult task.
Good win for Burnley after a disastrous few performances. Needed to get points from this game. Could cause a slight upset at Dean Court if they get their tactics right with Bournemouth not out of the woods yet.
After some good results, they could and should have put Burnley to the sword. Instead they failed to have a shot on target. Saint-Maximin has such an impact on their performances and his absence clearly has an affect on their attacking play. May be one for the big teams to look at…
At home, you’d expect them to get a result but West Ham persevered and it showed. Back in the relegation zone but only just. A big game against Villa could get them out for now but they have to win it and well. Goal Difference could be the key for them and right now they are on -18!
WEST HAM UNITED 8/10
Much needed win. Haller needed a goal as well as he was looking out of it. They have a weekend off due to Liverpool’s CWC games so will regroup and go again in a London Derby with Crystal Palace.
MANCHESTER UNITED 5/10
One step forward and two back. When United could have moved within two points of Top Four, they faltered and not due to any VAR issues or Everton performing above averagely or even the Toffee’s parking the bus. All their own fault. Was there a foul on De Gea? Maybe but the good chances created before should have put United out of sight before half an hour. Greenwood scored a great goal but United cannot be reliant on an 18 year old to bail them out of these kind of games. Watford, Newcastle and Burnley to come and 9 points out of 9 is the only thing that will suffice.
I would give Everton an 8 but to be honest they did not perform well. It was more that United performed poorly. They did need a result but failed to make chances to do so. Arsenal next and they will have to be aggressive, bullish and clinical and they should get the result and impress their new high-profile manager.
This was the kind of game Wolves would lap up and win with ease. But they had all the possession, something they rarely have and it played into Spur’s hands as they countered and won late on. They will want a reaction against Norwich and this could be any score.
Great win for Spurs. Moura needed that goal and Vertonghen won it late on. This was a masterclass tactically to use Wolves’ tactics against them. Massive game against Chelsea and you have to fancy Spurs’ chances.
Woeful performance bar Martinelli. Battered by City and Leno was a one man army at times to keep them at bay. One shot on target against that hampered defence is simply not good enough and they need reinforcements quickly as the signings they have made have been overall a failure. Martinelli being the exception.
MANCHESTER CITY 8.5/10
De Bruyne took this game by the scruff of the neck and put in a magnificent performance. What a reaction from the Manchester Derby but still 14 points off Liverpool so will need to beat Leicester to keep it up, especially with the Reds away for the Club World Cup and missing most their defensive players.
CRYSTAL PALACE 6/10
Great goal from Zaha but needed to win the game really. Brighton played better and deserved a point in the end. They are unbeaten in four games and will want to carry that on against Newcastle but will need to play very well to win at St James’ Park.
Great performance but could have won it if they were more clinical. A tough set of games to come but if they persevere they could come out of the Christmas period with a couple of wins and maybe a draw with either Chelsea or Spurs.