I’m starting to sympathize with Klopp – the amount of fixtures crammed into seven days is insane! Unfortunately for me, I can’t get mad at the journalists for scheduling them the way they’re scheduled…What I can do, however, is fit three matchweeks worth of action into one report, as well as my outlook on tomorrow’s Boxing Day fixtures! Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re using as an excuse to eat way too much food), and let’s dive in!
Three weeks ago, Tottenham were at the top of the table, and every other NBC Sports Facebook post was about how Jose Mourinho has always finished in the same position that he’s been in at the end of Matchweek 12. Fast forward, and Tottenham have slipped all the way to sixth, with none other than Liverpool regaining their spot as top dogs. Crystal Palace bore the brunt of Liverpool’s rapid climb to the top, losing 0-7 in a fixture they will quickly try to forget. Hopefully after this fixture Crystal Palace will realize that it takes more than Zaha to win games against quality opponents. Everton finally shook off their spasm to get back to winning ways under Ancelotti, and were the only club to win all of their fixtures over the past three matchweeks. Chelsea dropped two matches before Mendy picked up his 10th clean sheet in his 16th Chelsea match (it took Kepa 45 matches to reach 10 clean sheets…). Manchester United suddenly look vicious once again, drawing against Manchester City before taking out their anger on a hapless Marcelo Bielsa. The match was literally history three minutes in, with Scot Scott McTominay running rampage, notching two goals and an assist. No club lost all three of their last three fixtures, although Arsenal tried their best. Mikel Arteta seems to be running his own race in the Premier League, a race to become the second manager fired before 2021. However, not all of the blame can be placed at Arteta’s feet, evidenced best by the fact that Unai Emery’s Villareal have not lost a match in their last 19 fixtures, breaking a club record. Maybe Kroenke should stop firing dinosaurs (and making his best midfielder pick up their wage tab) and start signing players that don’t miss the frame by 40 yards when taking a shot *cough* Pepe *cough* (no seriously, go watch the match against Everton this last week – 69th minute, Pepe drills the ball 45 yards high and left). Burnley enjoyed a great run of form over the past three matchweeks, picking up seven points from nine. Sheffield are firmly ensconced in 20th place, despite doubling their season’s points total with a draw (and another red card) against Brighton. Sheffield’s soft pink jerseys somehow make the Blades look even more effete than they already are. Wolves are desperately hoping that Jimenez and his cracked egg (err, fractured skull) can make a Petr Cech-like return, slipping all the way to 11th place. How about some numbers?
Random fact: Yerry Mina’s last four Premier League goals were all scored in the 45th minute.
Callum Wilson’s eight goals this season already equal his tally for AFC Bournemouth in all 35 of the matches he played last season.
Since debuting in February, Bruno Fernandes has both scored and assisted in seven Premier League matches. One more will match Matt Le Tissier’s eight in 1994 (Mo Salah still holds the record with nine, notched in 2018).
Villa have won five of their last six away Premier League fixtures, as many victories as they had earned from the last 49 away matches they had played.
Chelsea have scored more goals from corners than any other team in the Premier League. Chelsea’s defenders ⅓ of their goals, by far the most contributed by any club’s back line this season.
Pedro Neto’s goal in Matchweek 13 to win against Chelsea was the latest game-winning goal ever recorded against Chelsea in the Premier League (94’39”).
Leeds United became the first promoted side to score five Premier League goals in a match at home since 2015.
Aston Villa recorded 27 shots in their match against Burnley, the most by any side without scoring since 2018.
A win tomorrow for Manchester United against Leicester will make United the only side to record 11 consecutive away wins in the Premier League. Two goals in the match will also make United the first to score at least twice in 11 away consecutive matches for the first time ever in the Premier League.
United now hold the record for most consecutive comeback away victories in the Premier League, with six straight.
As for tomorrow: Leicester City and Manchester United clash in what will almost certainly be the best match of the week at 7:30am EST (how magical it must be to watch soccer in the evening…). Fulham and Southampton face off in what is my most anticipated match of the week, with Fulham suddenly finding a spark, and Southampton sitting at seventh place (ahead of Manchester City, Arsenal, and Wolves). Arsenal and Chelsea play in a London derby that should end with Arteta’s departure from the Premier League, although when Chelsea are on the pitch, miracles are never too far away. Manchester City and hot-handed Newcastle face off, as well as Wolves and Tottenham. The fixtures this week are some of the best of the entire season, so go sleep off that extra piece of Christmas dessert you had while you still can!