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Boxing Day Premier League a few quick thoughts

  • After Match Of The Day decided to do a special version for the deaf, I’ve had to source the highlights from elsewhere. But thankfully that does not stop me from doing a quickfire roundup of the Boxing Day action
  • Chelsea make it 12 wins in a row and look simply unstoppable. This was a side that was without Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante through suspension but you would have never noticed
  • A routine 3-0 win for The Blues now makes it a club record run of successive wins and the next target is that of the Premier League record of 14
  • To equal that record they will have to get to White Hart Lane on January 4th and then dispose of Tottenham, could Spurs get some revenge after last seasons ‘Battle Of Stamford Bridge’
  • Michy Batshuayi will probably be asking himself what he has to do to get a start for Chelsea, with Costa out suspended you would have thought the £34m signing from Marseille would be in line for place in the starting eleven.
  • Well you thought wrong. The Belgian international had to make do with a very late cameo with the result over Eddie Howe’s men already secure
  • For Bournemouth it was back to back defeats as they slip to 13th in the table. There shouldn’t be too much cause for concern though as that area of the table is so congested that another win could very well see them back in the top half
  • Manchester City moved up to 2nd for 24 hours at least with a 3-0 win at Hull
  • A game that could only describe the first half as bleak
  • Hull battled hard for the first 45 minutes in a game that was devoid of any real quality but there resolve was broken when Yaya Toure slotted home a 72nd minute spot kick.
  • Once ahead Pep Guardiola’s men put Hull to the sword and found that extra gear to wrap up all three points and compile more misery for Mike Phelan’s men
  • They really need to sort their defence out as they have shipped 39 goals already this season. Defensive reinforcement must be a necessity when the transfer window opens next week.
  • But if you think Hull’s situation is bad then Swansea’s seems to be even more bleak. Off the bottom due to a better goal difference but the way they are shipping goals that will not last long.
  • It was the four yesterday as West Ham ran out very comfortable 4-0 winners at The Liberty Stadium
  • That result means Swansea like Hull find themselves 4 points from safety but already there are questions about Bob Bradley’s future at the club
  • Boos rung round the Liberty Stadium as swathes of fans left for the exit door. It seems as if for large portions of the Swansea fanbase they have seen enough
  • For West Ham though what a transformation since that 5-1 drubbing by Arsenal at the start of December
  • They have now picked up 10 points from a possible 12 since Slaven Bilic was given that vote of confidence by the club owners.
  • In most cases the vote of confidence is the final act before a sacking but in this instance West Ham are really reaping the rewards
  • After back to back defeats Arsenal needed a win over West Brom and they left it late
  • It took until the 87th minute for The Gunners to finally break the deadlock thanks to Oliver Giroud
  • A goal that just about keeps their title hopes alive and relieves the pressure on Arsene Wenger
  • Had they not won yesterday then the reaction would have almost been unthinkable
  • But life is almost back to normal at The Emirates and life is not as bad as it was after defeat to Manchester City on Sunday
  • As for West Brom then they came for the 0-0 draw and like when they traveled to Chelsea they only really gave it a go once going behind.
  • A risky strategy and one that a club of their league position shouldn’t really have to rely on
  • Frustrating if you are a Baggies fan and you’ve made those two trips to London
  • Manchester United are hitting their stride with a third successive win
  • This time it was Sunderland who were put to the sword as David Moyes’ return to Old Trafford was not a memorable one
  • What people will remember is Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal of the season contender
  • His Scorpion Kick was well offside but thankfully the Assistant Referee kept his flag down so the goal stood
  • United now keep the pressure on both Arsenal and Tottenham as they look to force themselves into the Top 4
  • Leicester who had 30,000 Jamie Vardy’s in the crowd were consigned to another defeat as they slipped to 16th in the table
  • Ronald Koeman’s side ran out 2-0 winners and made up for the Merseyside Derby disappointment on Monday
  • That win sees them move up to 7th but you get the feeling that a Top 6 place is already out of reach
  • For the champions though all does not seem well at The King Power Stadium. Once again Claudio Ranieri was subject to boos from his own fans
  • Do Leicester fans have a sense of entitlement and short memories after what happened last season
  • Does Ranieri get a free pass after delivering a maiden title
  • One thing that is for certain is that they need to pick up some wins before their Champions League exploits start again
  • Big Sam returns to the Premier League was not quite what he wanted as his new Crystal Palace side had to make do with just a point away at Watford
  • But really they should have earned all three. They went ahead thanks to Yohann Cabaye’s opener and then had the perfect opportunity to wrap matters up when awarded a Penalty before the break.
  • But Christian Benteke took the worst penalty you’ll see across the Christmas period to allow Watford a chance back into the game.
  • And it was an opportunity that Watford took thanks to a Penalty of their own
  • Troy Deeney had not scored in his last 10 Premier League outings and was stuck on 99 goals for the club
  • This was an opportunity that Deeney was not going to waste
  • He slammed the ball past Wayne Hennessey to give The Hornets a share of the points
  • Deeney came off the bench after just 14 minutes after injury to Valon Behrami. At that point Watford had 11 non English players on the pitch
  • That cannot be good for the health of English Football long term
  • And finally it was once again fortress Turf Moor as Burnley earned another home win
  • 19 out of their 20 points have come at home, it looks like they are going for the strategy of just winning their home games in which to stay up
  • But it seems to be working right now as they find themselves 14th with that win leapfrogging their opponents Middlesbrough who slip down to 15th

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