The Premier League welcomed 2018 in some predictable style with games on Monday and Tuesday. The end result was Manchester City remained top and West Bromwich Albion remained very much bottom.
The runaway leaders welcomed Watford to the Etihad and eased to a 3-1 victory. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring and City moved into a comfortable 3-0 lead before visibly easing off, allowing Watford to grab a late consolation goal through Andre Gray. Watford are very much in the midst of a slump.
Manchester United moved back into 2nd place ahead of tonight’s clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, beating Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park. United took the lead through Anthony Martial, deputising for Romelu Lukaku in a central role before Jesse Lingard scored their second to seal the victory. After the game manager Jose Mourinho took aim at Paul Scholes, accusing him of doing nothing other than “criticise” as a pundit.
Liverpool sealed yet another three points in injury time against Burnley. Under-fire Dejan Lovren combined with Ragnar Klavan to steal victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men who had conceded a late equaliser themselves. Liverpool are now three points behind Manchester United.
Tottenham Hotspur remain in 5th place having beaten Swansea City 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium. Former Swan Fernando Llorente opened the scoring, albeit from a marginally offside position, before Dele Alli latched on to substitute Harry Kane’s pass in the dying moments to score the second.
Riyad Mahrez was on top form once again for Leicester City as the beat Huddersfield Town 3-0. Brighton and Bournemouth opened up 2018 with a highly entertaining 2-2 draw which saw Callum Wilson score a bizarre late equaliser for Eddie Howe’s team.
Mark Hughes had admitted that he had accepted defeat against Chelsea at the weekend, preferring to focus on getting all three points at home to Newcastle United. Unfortunately for Hughes, it didn’t work out that way as Newcastle won 1-0. Hughes’ position is, once again, under review with many believing it is time for a change.
Crystal Palace find themselves up in 14th place after coming back from a Shane Long goal down to beat Southampton 2-1. Luka Milivojevic was the villain against Manchester City but the hero late in the game at St Mary’s as he fired home the winner. Southampton are now in 17th, only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Finally, West Ham United came out top in the relegation battle with West Bromwich Albion with Andy Carroll scoring both goals in their 2-1 win. The winner came late into stoppage time and sees West Ham out of the relegation zone and leaves WBA joint bottom with Swansea City.
A win for Chelsea tonight would see them go back into 2nd place ahead of Manchester United, whereas a victory for Arsenal would see them leapfrog Tottenham into 5th.