Talking Points: EPL Match Day 16

Chelsea looking Fab

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Cesc Fabregas staked his claim for a starting berth in the absence of Blues star Eden Hazard, by scoring the only goal of the game; as Chelsea came away from Wearside victorious in a 1-0 win versus Sunderland.

The Blues have now recorded ten wins on the bounce and have opened up a six point lead over rivals Liverpool and Arsenal – in joint second respectively.

Antonio Conte’s side have only conceded 2 goals in their last 10 games and have the chance to equal their best ever unbeaten run – set in September 2009, against Crystal Palace this weekend.

Chelsea are now clear favourites for the title. With two of their main rivals facing each other this weekend, a victory against Palace could well see them stretch their lead over Arsenal and / or Man City even further.

Can anyone stop them now or will the Premier League title be returning to Stamford Bridge after just one season away?

Liverpool drop Keeper – and get back to winning ways!

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Jurgen Klopps Reds got back to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 win away to Middlesbrough.

Adam Lallana got a brace – that’s now 3 in 2 for the former Saints midfielder, whilst Divock Origi also scored his fifth goal in five games.

Even more convincing (or more to the point –reassuring for Liverpool fans), was the sight of Simon Mignolet returning between the sticks, to give a solid performance to shut out Aitor Karanka’s Boro.

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Loris Karius has come under fire in recent weeks; after costly errors on his part, have led to Liverpool dropping vital points. This included the public spat between the goalkeeper and Sky pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher across both the airwaves and social media.

Regarding the axing of Karius Klopp stated:

“Now it is Simon’s chance. I am really happy with our goalkeeper situation….there is no reason to push one through, we want to develop the players.”

It proved to be the right move as the return of the Belgium Mignolet aided Liverpool to return back to second in the league, overtaking Arsenal on goal difference.

Liverpool have arguably played the best attacking football this season. If Mignolet can shore up the backline – they may well prove to be the side that can push Chelsea all the way this season?

Gunners unbeaten run comes unstuck against Toffees
evertons-ashley-williams-scores-their-second-goal

Everton came from a goal behind to defeat Arsenal at Goodison Park to bring the Gunners unbeaten run of fourteen league games without losing to an end.

It all seemed plain sailing as usual for Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez scored with a deflected free kick off Ashley Williams after just twenty minutes but goals from defenders Seamus Coleman (just before half time) and then Williams with just four minutes remaining got Everton a deserved win.

The Toffees even had Phil Jagielka sent off in injury time and rode their luck at the end as Arsenal had two potential goals cleared off the line in the dying minutes of the game.

Arsenal seemed to not show up for this game and there was lacklustre performances from star names Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, who were both substituted.

Everyone’s entitled to an off day but when a team collectively is poor, it’s these kind of results that can end a title challenge- especially when the teams around you win their games.

Take nothing away from Everton though as they were deserved winners and were in need of 3 points after going the previous five games without a win.

Getting something from next weekend’s away game at Manchester City is now imperative for Arsenal, if they are to stay in the title hunt.

As for Everton, they have a small meaningless game at home – joke! It’s the Merseyside derby against rivals Liverpool. This win will no doubt put the Toffees in good spirits going into that game and you never know, they may just do Arsenal a favour in return?

Additional Talking Points Match week 16: 13thh and 14th December 2016.

Manchester City recorded their first home win in five with a 2-0 victory over Watford. Zabaleta and Silva scored the goals. Is this the win to turn around the Citizens season? Can they beat Arsenal this weekend? Gundogan’s injury is expected to keep him out for several month’s – how big a miss will the German international be to City’s bid for domestic and European glory?

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 1-2 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Zlatan and Pogba but was Rojo lucky not to get sent off for his two-footed lunge on Zaha?

Are we beginning to see the best of Paul Pogba?

Mark Noble strike was enough to record West Ham’s first win in seven against Burnley. With Carroll returning, is it only a matter of time till the Irons climb the table?

A convincing home win for Tottenham saw Christian Eriksen get a brace in a 3-0 win vs Hull. Can the Dutchman begin to be more consistent in front of goal? And when will Kane score in open play again?

West Brom continued their good form with a 3-0 win voer Swansea, thanks to Solomon Rondon’s three headed hat trick! Can WBA really finish in a euro place? Is there really anyway of survival for Swansea? Will Gylfi leave in January?

After their fabulous win at home to Manchester City last week, Champions Leicester lost 1-0 to Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium thanks to loyal servant Marc Pugh’s goal. Where is it going wrong for the Foxes away from home?

Stoke City fought with ten men for the most game after Arnautovic was sent off after just 23 minutes against Southampton. What’s the best the two teams can hope for this season?

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