Are Chelsea ever going to drop points again? That’s the question that every other Premier League superpower is asking of Antonio Conte’s side this Christmas. Chelsea are supposed to be in transition, they’re supposed to be finding their feet in a new system. It’s supposed to be a difficult dressing room, full of truculent characters. And yet the points continue to pile up. Will it end soon? Their next two games are at home to Bournemouth and Stoke so…probably not, no.
Come on then. Who doubted Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Who thought he was too old and too slow to tear up the Premier League? It’s okay, you’re in good company. With a brace against West Brom, the 35-year-old striker took his tally to 11 in the league alone this season. Manchester United are, slowly but surely, pushing through the gears and they can still get a lot better. Perhaps not enough to catch Chelsea, but certainly enough to have a say in the top four race.
And, almost as if they can sense an old power is rising again across the city, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have finally decided to rejoin the title race. Having beaten United, but lost to Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester, their record against the preseason “big seven” didn’t bode well for the clash with Arsenal. But City responded well to conceding an early goal. The win means those who doubted Guardiola would do well to keep quiet this week.
Only three players have scored for Sunderland this season: The eternal Jermain Defoe; the hulking Victor Anichebe and the surprising Patrick van Aanholt. On Saturday, the latter came to the fore once again to secure three crucial points. Quite how Sunderland were still in the game at that point is a question for opponents Watford and not David Moyes, who has now won four of his last seven Premier League games. Sunderland are off the bottom.
West Ham’s new stadium will never truly feel like home until a new wave of heroes have made their name within its walls. This weekend, the first of that number took its place on the pantheon. Step forward, the inanimate carbon rod of its generation, The Post. In a tense relegation battle against Hull, The Post came to West Ham’s rescue on three separate occasions. Little wonder that 57 percent of fans voted it man of the match in the club’s official Twitter poll!