In Gary Mabbutt Blog


Fulham controlled the game and wasted a host of chances before Fulham substitute Ryan Sessegnon broke the deadlock, volleying home Rui Patricio’s weak punch on 74 minutes. But the hosts could not hold on for a third Premier League win of the season as Ivan Cavaleiro got in down the left to slide the ball across goal, with Fulham wing-back Joe Bryan stopping the ball but then falling over allowing Romain Saiss to tap in his first Premier League goal.


Everton, who suffered a 6-2 mauling against Tottenham in their last outing, raced into the lead after just two minutes courtesy of Mina’s towering header, Joe Hart could then only palm Digne’s excellent free-kick into his own net before Ben Mee was penalised for handling the ball inside his own area, ex-Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson sent Hart the wrong way as Everton put their thrashing by Spurs firmly behind them, but Ben Gibson’s goal after a goalline scramble gave Burnley some hope heading into half-time.

Burnley was much brighter in the second half, but as they chased the game they left space behind for the tricky Bernard to exploit.

The Brazilian did not get on the scoresheet, but his cushioned pass to Digne set up the Frenchman to drill the ball into the far corner and put the game firmly to bed.

Richarlison came off the bench to add the fifth as Everton moved up to eighth in the Premier League.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_zgvxnCcRc


The bore draw of the day came at Palace, where despite having 31 shots Crystal Palace could not score one goal and the stubborn Cardiff defence, fighting for their Premier League survival, earned only their second away point of the season. The result leaves Palace in 14th place on 19 points while Cardiff remains 17th on 15 points.

Sorry, no highlights in this game.


The Champions are wobbling, after only losing two games in the whole of last season, Man City have now lost the same number of games in five days, complacency, slackness, believing all the hype that they are invincible, can be behind the sudden fall from grace, but I do not expect it to last long, Guardiola is an excellent manager and he has at his disposal arguably the strongest squad in the league, and money available to buy more top players in the January transfer window, so a little blip over the festive period may not be a train smash, but just a little warning that Spurs and Liverpool are going to push them all the way this season.

Manchester City suffered their second successive defeat as Ricardo Pereira’s spectacular late strike gave Leicester a win and dropped Pep Guardiola’s side down to third. Ricardo blasted in a winner from the edge of the penalty area in the 81st minute after Leroy Sane’s weak header to leave Manchester City seven points behind leaders Liverpool and take them below Tottenham as well.

The visitors had taken a 14th-minute lead when they took advantage of poor defending from the home side as Sergio Aguero released Bernardo Silva and he calmly slotted past Kasper Schmeichel. But their lead only lasted five minutes as Marc Albrighton headed in from Jamie Vardy’s cross, before Ricardo’s stunning winner for a Leicester side who had also won 1-0 at Chelsea on Saturday.

Frustrations got the better of the away side as Fabian Delph was shown a red card when he slid in on Ricardo and caught him on the knee.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ge4R8l5N88


Liverpool is now unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games, a run stretching back to last season and have extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points.

Liverpool was in a festive mood tearing Newcastle apart and goals by Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, Xherdan Shaqiri and substitute Fabinho, ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side will start 2019 at the top of the table.

The eLan boardroom will be rocking as CEO Mark Taylor and his son Jason are staunch Liverpool fans, however, Spurs are on their heels

Click here to see the league leaders – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l155pPQqCNw


Former United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer was appointed last week after the sacking of Jose Mourinho and he followed up the 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff with another win in his first game in charge at Old Trafford.

Nemanja Matic scored the opener, poking in from close range after Victor Lindelof’s header was saved by Jonas Lossl with the Huddersfield goalkeeper also keeping out efforts from Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

The impressive and rejuvenated Paul Pogba added two more for the hosts in the second half, sweeping in a first-time shot from the edge of the box and rocketing another from 30 yards out to settle the contest.

Huddersfield, got a consolation goal when Mathias Jorgensen swept the ball home, but too little too late for the Terriers.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09Aa2gPDfsQ


I was at Wembley to see a sublime performance from Spurs as they demolished a good Bournemouth side.

A ruthless Spurs made it five league wins in a row and scored their 11th goal in four days to move above Man City into second place in the league.

It was my duty to present the Man of the Match award to Right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, who put in a superb performance as he created all three of Spurs first-half goals, The 21-year-old teed up Christian Eriksen to open the scoring with a deflected effort, before Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura strikes put the hosts firmly in control. Harry Kane added a fourth from a clever Eriksen pass and Son grabbed his second after a scramble in the Bournemouth box.

Spurs have sent out a strong festive message that they now have to be considered as serious title contenders.

All Spurs fans Click here, we might be becoming serious title contenders – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPJQOMmZYSY


Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curled in the opening goal following fine work from Alexandre Lacazette after just seven minutes.

The Brighton fans were fearing the worst following three consecutive defeats as the Gunners dominated the opening half hour and the Seagulls required two superb saves from goalkeeper Mat Ryan on Aubameyang to stay in the game.

Arsenal right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner then made a poor mistake, heading a long ball into the path of Brighton striker Jurgen Locadia, who rounded Bernd Leno to equalise on 35 minutes.

Mesut Ozil was replaced at half-time as Arsenal failed to click and rarely tested Brighton’s defence.

The hosts pressed for a winner, catching out a ragged Arsenal on the counter-attack, but Locadia and Solly March both missed promising chances.

Arsenal remains fifth in the table.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd7bDgiCYY0


Eden Hazard, was the star of the show scoring his 100th goal for Chelsea when he collected Mateo Kovacic’s pass, took the ball around goalkeeper Ben Foster and calmly finished in first-half injury time, Chelsea’s lead only lasted two minutes as Roberto Pereyra volleyed past Kepa Arrizabalaga from the edge of the 18-yard box to level, But Hazard grabbed his second of the match in the second half when he converted a penalty after Foster had bundled him over.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoK8K3BXr6s

I am performing about as well as Man City in my predictions this Christmas time, with only four correct results, but with some consolation of two of those being spot on scores.


Please see following my week 20 predictions

Brighton 1 v 2 Everton

Fulham 2 v 1 Huddersfield

Leicester City 3 v 1 Cardiff

Tottenham 4 v 1 Wolves

Watford 3 v 1 Newcastle

Liverpool 2 v 1 Arsenal

Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Chelsea

Burnley 1 v 2 West Ham United

Southampton 1 v 3 Manchester City

Manchester United 3 v 1 Bournemouth

Have a good week,


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