The Big Guns are Blazing
Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Leicester City, Manchester United, Chelsea- that is the sequence in which the biggest names of English football pulled off impressive victories on Matchday 14 of the 29th Premiership, the most emphatic of them coming from Champions and table-toppers Liverpool, as they crushed Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park.
The 10-game schedule witnessed as many as three derby games and 36 goals, with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs, the only big names suffering losses. The former went down to Everton in what is turning out to be one of their poorest starts to their season in recent memory, while the Spurs suffered a second loss in a row against Leicester.
For pulling his team back to the top half with a brilliant all-round display, Burkina Faso and Aston Vila attacking midfielder Bertrand Traore, takes the Star of the Week title this time around. He set up the opening Anwar El-Gazi goal in Vila’s 3-0 result over West Brom in the West-midlands derby, before scoring a classy one himself six minutes from regulation time.
That helped Vila double the lead, before El-Gazi notched his second from the spot in 88th minute, in a game which went horribly wrong for West Brom, from the time their skipper Jake Livermore was sent off in the first-half, for a lunging challenge on Jack Grealish.
Champions and 13-time Champions on fire
Liverpool simply overwhelmed Crystal Palace oozing class in every position and on every part of the pitch.
Japanese striker Minamino scored his first ever of the League in his first ever start for the Club, as early as the third minute. Sadio Mane then doubled the lead with his fifth League goal.
Skipper Jordan Henderson also scored and Firmino and Mo Salah helped themselves to a couple each, in what was a performance bordering on perfection.
So was the one, dished out by 13-times Champions Manchester United, in the Roses derby against Leeds United, as they thumped Marcelo Bielsa’s free-flowing side 6-2, scoring four without return in the first forty minutes of the game.
Scott McTominay, their youth academy product, scored two in the first three minutes to record the fastest double in League history.
Bruno Fernandez also got a couple while Swede Viktor Lindelof and Welshman Daniel James, also helped themselves to a goal each. Liam Cooper in the first half and Stuart Dallas in the second, got on board for Leeds.
United now move up to third, a point behind Leicester and five behind Liverpool, with a game in hand.
Salah on top
Egyptian Mo Salah stood on top of the scorers charts after 14 rounds, his brace against The Eagles, giving him 13 for the season, two clear of joint second-place holders Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jamie Vardy and Son Heung-Min, all of whom have 11 a piece.
Bruno Fernandez also now finds himself in the top five on both the scorers and assists charts, after his performance for The Red Devils.
Chelsea win the London derby
Chelsea got back to winning ways after a couple of reverses, outplaying West-Ham 3-0 in the London derby at Stamford Bridge. This was the final game of the schedule held on Monday evening.
Veteran Brazilian defender Thiago Silva opened the scoring for The Blues with a bullet header, before Tammy Abraham gave a lesson in clinical and smooth finishing with a double in the final quarter of the game.
Chelsea have now won 50% of their 14 games and move up to fifth on the table.
Arsenal looking down a hole
Colombian defender Yerry Mina scored the winner for Everton at Goodison Park, as The Toffees outgunned The Gunners 2-1, leaving the London side without a win since the first-day of November.
Rob Holding was at the unfortunate end of an own-goal to start the misery for The Gunners, before Nicola Pepe converted from the spot to give them some hope. But Mina dashed all that at the stroke of half-time, leaving Mikel Arteta facing the toughest phase of his coaching career.
Everton with an 8th win of the campaign on the other hand find them-selves on a creditable fourth in the standings.
Burnely were the other winners of the week over Wolves and the only draw was between Sheffield United and Brighton, the Blades being cruelly denied a first-league win of the season in the end stages with 10-men.
Matchday 15: Boxing Day
Matchday 15 starts on Boxing Day, with a cracker of a game on Saturday afternoon between two in-form sides Manchester United and Leicester City. The Foxes gaffer Brendon Rodgers did pull talisman Jamie Vardy out early in the game against The Spurs, probably wanting to ensure he is at his freshest for this one.
The final game on Saturday features one of the two London derbies on schedule, between Arsenal and Chelsea. The Champions play on Sunday against West Brom, who are now under new manager Sam Allardyce while the final game on schedule is the also the final London derby of the game week, between Spurs and the The Wolves.