Match day 12 of the Premier league was a dream for the clubs who are trying to catch up to the top two teams in the table as both Manchester City and Arsenal drew their respective matches. On the other end Bournemouth slipped into the relegation zone and Sunderland’s woes increased as they lost to Southampton. They were a few surprises installed for us as Klopp’s Liverpool were beaten by Crystal Palace and Chelsea were beaten by Stoke City. Following are a few things we learned from an entertaining weekend of the EPL.
Newcastle finally win an away game
Newcastle united climbed out of the relegation zone with an away win against Bournemouth. Steve McLaren’s start to life at the Toon has been stop and start as he has struggled to ignite a spark in the team. Every step forward is reconciled with two steps backwards and the club will be hoping to improve their form now with their first away win but tough tasks are up ahead as they have to play Leicester, Crystal Palace and Liverpool in the next three games.
Remi garde couldn’t have asked for a better start to his job
Before the match everyone’s thoughts were pointing towards a massacre at the hands of Manchester City but Remi Garde had other ideas. The manager made more than 4 changes in his lineup. In return the team displayed fine movement, intricate passing and dominated City for long periods throughout the game. Garde’s defense was solid enough to withstand most of City’s attacks and retaliated with purposeful running on the counter attacks. To sum it up Remi Garde showed us why he was rated so highly by the French media but there is still a lot of work to be done as Villa are in the deep end of the Premier league.
There is no stopping Leicester City and Jamie Vardy
Claudio Ranieri has brought a revolution in Leicester. Maybe it is his managing style, charisma, the overall team or all of it mixed together the fact of the matter is that Leicester are sitting in the top four and they don’t look like going down easily. Jamie Vardy has been the pivotal point of most of Leicester’s attacks and with his penalty in the match against Watford he goes onto 12 goals for the season. Even when Vardy is not playing good enough players like Jeffery Schlupp and Ryad Mahrez step up to the task. With this kind of form Leicester will be looking to end the season in a European spot and we all would absolutely love that.
Tottenham under Mauricio Pochetino are a force to be reckoned with
Tottenham’s game against Arsenal was the 3rd game in six days but the side showed no signs of fatigue as they dominated most part of the match against a depleted and wounded Gunners side. Although they succumbed to the pressure and conceded the goal late in the second half, their performances this season have been solid to say the least. Pochetino has mixed flare and youth with panache and finishing which is now proving that appointing the manager was a brilliant decision. Dembele continued his form with an influential performance in the heart of Spurs mid-field with a pass success rate of 88 per cent after 44 accurate passes. The result means Tottenham climb to fifth in the table on 21 points, five behind Arsenal who currently sit 2nd in the table with 26 points, the same as Premier League leaders Manchester City. If Tottenham can continue this type of form they can certainly trouble the top four and secure Champions league football for the next season.
“Sometimes luck is just not on your side eh Jose?”
Chelsea benched Cesc Fabregas for the game against Stoke and gave their star man Willian a center midfield role to address their pressing problems. Jose Mourinho was banned from entering the stadium due to his antics after last week’s match. Still this did not deter a Chelsea side that looked like their old selves after dominating the whole match. Stoke used Chelsea’s dominance and were lethal on the counter with the pace and trickery of Shaqiri and Arnautovic. Chelsea applied more pressure in the second half which opened spaces at the back, Stoke pounced on this opportunity and scored the winning goal of the match on the counter through Arnautovic. Mourinho was given a taste of his own medicine there but he will be happy with the effort that his side put in.
International break couldn’t come sooner
The amount of fixtures and fatigue has caught up to each team in the Premier league as most teams have lost their major players to injury or are waiting on players to return from injuries. Arsenal are without Bellerin, Chamberlain, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Welbeck and Ospina. Manchester United are sweating on the recovery and injuries of their defenders, Manchester City are without Zabaleta, Aguero, Silva and now Bony. West Ham lost Payet and Valencia in their last match as the list of injuries goes on. It’s fair to say that all the clubs in the Premier league are in need of a well deserved mental and physical breather and the international break will provide this.
- Flamini has played 50 BPL matches at Emirates Stadium without a defeat.
- 77th-minute equaliser in the north london derby was the 24,000th goal in the BPL.
- Harry Kane has scored 10 goals in his last 13 London derbies in the league.