by Charles Brody – In the Premier League, fates are balanced on a knife edge and in the blink of an eye the entire season can change. Soccer365’s Charles Brody takes a look at 5 moments from last weekend’s action.
#1 – Alvaro Negredo’s tap-in may seem insignificant in the context of Manchester City’s colossal 6-3 triumph over the league leaders, but the timing was all-important, coming just eight minutes after Arsenal had equalized. Although they may well have gone on to maintain their perfect home record anyway, it wasn’t until Negredo popped the visitors’ balloon of hope that Manuel Pellegrini’s men unleashed the rampant attack we’ve come to expect at The Etihad. And with Sergio Aguero out for a reported six weeks, the Spaniard’s goals will be ever more important.
#2 – Liverpool and Tottenham are two clubs experiencing opposite fortunes, and while the latter has vied for Champions League qualification in recent seasons, it was a testament to how far they’ve fallen when three goals late on did nothing more than turn the Reds’ inevitable victory at White Hart Lane into a proper thrashing. The air seemed to go out of the home side as Jon Flanagan struck an unlikely golazo, and then Luis Suarez, in form and in control, chipped in exquisitely and provided an assist in the final six minutes.
#3 – Chelsea’s much-needed winner over Crystal Palace came in truly first-class style, as Ramires belted into the corner with such pace that Julian Speroni was rendered a mere spectator, but manager Jose Mourinho will continue to be disappointed with the finishing from his strikers, as well as the fact that they only narrowly defeated a team floundering in the relegation zone. Ominous signs for next week’s London Derby?
#4 – What a big moment for Danny Welbeck. Often criticized for not being a “natural finisher,” he filled in for the injured Robin Van Persie admirably, netting twice in the span of three minutes to send Manchester United on their way at Aston Villa. Although perhaps only a mere flicker of promise, it will mean loads to both manager David Moyes and England boss Roy Hodgson.
#5 – Sometimes, the crucial moments are ugly. Southampton rallied to a draw at Newcastle, but Magpie top scorer Loic Remy squandered a golden chance to put the game to bed. It started when visiting keeper Paulo Gazziniga shanked a horrid mis-kick that gifted Remy a one-on-one chance, but the Frenchman dismayed fans at St. James’ Park by sending the ball harmlessly wide.
Liverpool 4 – 1 Cardiff, a safe bet on Suarez being amongst the goals.
Fulham 1 – 3 Manchester City, who continue their hot streak.
Manchester United 2 – 0 West Ham, Moyes back on track with a routine win at Old Trafford.
Arsenal 2 – 2 Chelsea, a thrilling derby with no shortage of passion.
How I did last time: 4 for 4, predicting wins by City, Chelsea, United, and Liverpool.
Were these the most important moments from last weekend and how will they reverberate for the remainder of the season? What are your predictions for the coming fixtures?
Saturday, December 21
Liverpool vs Cardiff City
Crystal Palace vs Newcastle United
Fulham vs Manchester City
Manchester United vs West Ham United
Stoke City vs Aston Villa
Sunderland vs Norwich City
West Bromwich vs Hull City
Sunday, December 22
Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur
Swansea City vs Everton
Monday, December 23
Arsenal vs Chelsea