Mkhitaryan makes his mark
The man left in the wilderness for near half a season has now hit 2 goals in his last 2 starts for Manchester United.
Initial queries by press and fans alike of ‘Why isn’t the £28.5M star featuring for the reds under Mourinho?’ is starting to look like the Portuguese supremo knew what he was doing all along – to get the best out of the Armenian international.
Maybe he was unfit, maybe he was still settling into the culture of both Manchester and the rigors of the English Premier League? One thing for certain, is that the midfielder- who got more assists than anyone else last year in Bundesliga, whilst scoring a whopping 23 goals in all competitions for former club Dortmund- has talent in abundance and can at times turn games on his own – demonstrated by his wonderful goal in Europe in midweek and further reinforced by his decisive strike today against a very strong Tottenham side, giving United their first home win since September 24th.
Unfortunately he got stretched off with 5mins remaining after a bad challenge from Tottenham’s Danny Rose. Man United fans will be hoping the injury sustained isn’t a bad one – especially as the player is starting to find his form in a red shirt and justify the initial summer transfer outlay.
Hammers hold Liverpool as Reds drop points again
At this rate, December could end up being the month that Liverpool threw their title aspirations away – as West Ham – in desperate need of points themselves, got a point at Anfield.
A week after the home side threw away a 3-1 lead to lose at Bournemouth, Liverpool threw away just the one goal lead this time around; as Adam Lallana’s opening strike after 5 mins was cancelled out by the miraculous Payet. Liverpool then had to fight back to salvage the draw as Antonio scored for the Irons on 39 minutes to give West Ham a half time lead.
Divock Origi’s goal early into the second half however was enough to salvage a point from the game.
As much as West Ham will happily take the point after their winless November, it now leaves Liverpool six points adrift from leaders Chelsea, at the top of the Premier League.
After such a promising start it’s slowly becoming apparent that Klopps team are not the finished article – just yet.
This all said, there is still a long way to go with a busy Christmas period and the Transfer window on the horizon for all teams. You would imagine Klopp will make a strong centre half, top of his priorities in the window – which could, make all the difference in the long run.
Vardy hat trick inspires Leicester City to emphatic win over Manchester City
Premier League Champions Leicester City returned to winning ways this weekend with a 4-2 trouncing over pre-season title favourites Manchester City, to further dent Pep Guardiola’s sides title challenge.
Jamie Vardy (hat –trick) and a stunning strike from Andy King gave Leicester an incredible 4-0 lead before late consolations from Kolarov and Nolito for City, made the score line a little bit more respectable.
Leicester showed signs of the strength and character that shocked the nation and brought them the title last season-hitting City on the counter attack for most of their goals. Vardy was impressive throughout as well as his influential team mate and fellow star of last year Riyad Mahrez, who laid on a beautiful assist for Vardy’s second.
It was victory against the Citizens away last season that made the country realise that Leicester were serious contenders for the title. It may well be the result this year that turns their overtures after such an abysmal title defence; that has seen them hover above the relegation mire.
Manchester City on the other hand looked in disarray throughout this match, while Joe Hart must be cracking a little smile at the expense of Claudio Bravo’s inability to keep clean sheets of late.
Guardiola’s side have now picked up just 12 points from a possible 25 since October, to leave them seven points adrift from the top.
After such an impressive start, it now seems Pep is finding the rigours of the Premier League difficult to his previous success stories in Spain and Germany.
He needs to turn their fortunes round quickly and without the suspended Sergio Aguero before the ever impressive Chelsea and inform Arsenal, push away further in the league.
The impending game against Arsenal over the festive period at The Etihad could well prove decisive.
Additional Talking Points Match week 15:
After going so long undefeated, does Spur’s last two defeats against Chelsea and Manchester United concede a Champions League top 4 place?
Okaka proves the difference for the Hornets for Everton – what a back heel goal?
Speaking of goals – goal of the weekend has to go to Jeff Hendrik for his wonder strike vs Burnley! Have the Clarets got enough about them to stay in the division this time around?
Walcott, Ozil and Iwobi fire Arsenal to victory against Stoke – can the Gunners new found ability to share the goals mean they really can maintain a serious title challenge this time around?
Does Swansea’s ‘6 pointer win’ vs Sunderland give them any potential to avoid the drop?
Even though he apologised should Snodgrass face punishment for ‘that’ penalty dive? Is the point gained at Hull enough to keep Pardew in the job for much longer?
A valiant display by West Brom at The Bridge was thwarted by Diego Costa’s goal to keep Chelsea top. Are they the Champions elect this year?
Boufal goal seal Saints victory at home to Boro. Have Southampton unearthed another gem in their record buy?