ARSENAL 0 V 3 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City pushed Arsenal deeper into crisis as they won with embarrassing ease at Emirates Stadium. Kevin de Bruyne produced the first-half masterclass as Pep Guardiola’s side cruised into a three-goal lead by the interval with two superb strikes, either side of a perfect pass that laid on City’s second for Raheem Sterling’s simple finish.
Arsenal’s lack of inspiration in an Emirates Stadium devoid of life and atmosphere will surely only increase the urgent need to appoint a full-time manager. Spurs sacked Pochettino and within ten hours had announced his replacement and since have only lost one out of six games. Harrowing times for the Arsenal fans.
City, meanwhile, remain 14 points behind leaders Liverpool after this win, which was a classic reminder of the quality the reigning Premier League champions possess, but with Liverpool’s astonishing consistency, they will be hard to catch.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQwSUGNKyj8
CRYSTAL PALACE 1 V 1 BRIGHTON
Brighton’s Neal Maupay’s gave them the lead from a quality finish into the top corner shortly after half time.
But Wilfried Zaha rescued a point for Palace against rivals Brighton & Hove Albion. Ivory Coast winger Zaha kept his composure to score his sixth goal against the Seagulls, who paid for failing to take their chances when on top.
Palace’s recovery extended their unbeaten run to four games, as the point moved them above Arsenal into ninth place; Brighton is 13th.
WOLVES 1 V 2 SPURS
In an excellent entertaining game, it was Lucas Moura’s mazy run and exquisite finish into the roof of the net that had put Tottenham ahead after eight minutes. Wolves relentless pressure led to the equaliser as Adama Traore thumped in a deserved equaliser from the edge of the box midway through the second half. Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga produced an excellent save from Romain Saiss’ header in the closing stages as Mourinho’s visitors appeared to be hanging on before Jan Vertonghen scored a dramatic late winner as Spurs ended Wolves’ 11-match unbeaten Premier League run to narrow the gap on the top four with victory at Molineux.
Victory sees Tottenham climb above Wolves to fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who they face next Sunday. An unbelievable start for Jose Mourinho continues.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMxTeCQ0W5w
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 V 1 EVERTON
Manchester United substitute Mason Greenwood scored a 77th-minute equaliser to deny Duncan Ferguson a second successive win as Everton’s interim manager.
Everton looked set for back-to-back league victories for the first time since April when Victor Lindelof turned Leighton Baines’ first-half corner into his own goal, with (star of the season) VAR ruling David de Gea had not been impeded by Dominic Calvert-Lewin as they jumped at the near post.
It was fitting that 18-year-old Greenwood should come off the bench to rescue a point with a fine shot from the edge of the area, given that this game marked the 4,000th consecutive game in which United have named an academy player in their matchday squad, quite an amazing stat.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tPCY-VGIgI
LIVERPOOL 2 V 0 WATFORD
The incredible Mohamed Salah scored twice as Premier League leaders Liverpool battled to victory over strugglers Watford in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge.
Salah curled the ball into the far corner for the opener before flicking in a late second in the final minute of normal time at Anfield.
Watford missed chances in both halves, while Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had a header ruled out for offside following a review by the video assistant referee (VAR).
Liverpool remains unbeaten in the league this season while Watford is six points adrift of safety at the bottom, and with a substantial goal difference to overturn.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R09uTGzg1BQ
BURNLEY 1 V 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED
Burnley have kept clean sheets in all five of their Premier League home wins this season and rarely looked like conceding against a Newcastle side without several creative players, including top scorer Jonjo Shelvey.
Steve Bruce the Newcastle manager was not happy when rookie referee Robinson awarded a corner instead of a foul on Federico Fernandez 13 minutes into the second half, the official initially giving a goal-kick only to change his mind on the advice of his assistant. Ashley Westwood took the corner and his delivery found Chris Wood, who headed home his seventh Premier League goal of the season to end Burnley’s run of three straight defeats. The win lifts Burnley up to 12th, six points clear of the relegation zone and one point and one place behind opponents Newcastle, who suffered their first defeat in four matches.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_RCpCgxaLY
CHELSEA 0 V 1 BOURNEMOUTH
Bournemouth created the shock of the week, by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with a late winner from Dan Gosling. Gosling’s goal, which was awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR), gave the injury-hit Cherries their first victory since early November in a scrappy encounter at Stamford Bridge.
The match looked to be heading for a goalless draw when Gosling flicked the ball over his and Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s head, the effort originally ruled out for offside before VAR awarded the goal.
The result ended their five-match losing streak and handed them their third away win of the season. Their last Premier League points had come on 2 November, when they beat Manchester United at home.
Bournemouth moves up to 14th in the table, this was Chelsea’s fourth league defeat in their last five matches and they now have Spurs and Arsenal on their tails for the fourth Champions League spot.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr8rveOhCK0
LEICESTER CITY 1 V 1 NORWICH CITY
Another shock came at Leicester where Norwich deservedly took the lead when Teemu Pukki slotted home after being sent through by Emiliano Buendia. Their lead only lasted 12 minutes as Leicester equalised when Jamie Vardy’s bullet header was turned into the net by Norwich keeper Tim Krul.
Both sides pressed hard for a winner in an entertaining second half, with Vardy twice going close, but neither side could find a way through.
The point sees Norwich close the gap on Aston Villa and Southampton to three points but they remain 19th.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjst1f9IXIw
SHEFFIELD UNITED 2 V 0 ASTON VILLA
Sheffield United are now up to fifth in the Premier League table, as John Fleck’s second-half double against Aston Villa earned the Blades the three points.
After an uneventful first half, Fleck finished off a great team move, started by Chris Basham’s back-heel before John Lundstram’s quality delivery to give the hosts the lead.
The Scotland midfielder doubled the advantage with a composed finish following David McGoldrick’s clever hook before Villa missed a penalty awarded following a video assistant referee (VAR) check for a John Egan handball.
However, Jack Grealish’s effort cannoned off the bar as Villa sank to a 10th Premier League defeat of the season.
SOUTHAMPTON 0 V 1 WEST HAM UNITED
Sebastien Haller gave West Ham the lead after he finished off a knockdown from Pablo Fornal’s.
VAR was again the star of the game, with West Ham having a strong penalty appeal turned down by the video assistant referee, they then thought they had doubled their lead through Michail Antonio but his goal was ruled out by the VAR for handball.
Southampton then had a goal ruled out by VAR for a Moussa Djenepo foul.
Both managers are under pressure, Southampton remains in the relegation zone, with the Hammers now four points clear in 15th place.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsX5GjmQ1l0
The Spurs Players and Ambassadors have been visiting hospitals this week bringing some festive cheer to people who are having to spend the Christmas holidays in the hospital.
Ledley King, Ossie Ardiles and I met a most wonderful lady who did not stop smiling the whole time we were there.
To everybody who is in hospital this Christmas and the Nurses and Doctors who look after them, have a most wonderful Christmas and get well soon.
Please see following my predictions for week 18
Everton 2 v 1 Arsenal
Aston Villa 2 v 1 Southampton
AFC Bournemouth 2 v 1 Burnley
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 v 2 Sheffield United
Newcastle United 2 v 1 Crystal Palace
Norwich City 1 v 2 Wolverhampton
WanderersManchester City 3 v 1 Leicester City
Watford 1 v 3 Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur 3 v 1 Chelsea
Have a good week