Liverpool strengthened their grip on this seasons Premier League title last night as they thrashed closes rivals Leicester City 0-4 at the King Power Stadium thanks to brace from FIFA World Club Cup hero Firmino, a penalty from the experienced Milner and the fourth from wing-back Trent-Arnold. Liverpool are now thirteen points clear of Leicester City, fourteen points ahead of defending champions Manchester City who play tonight and most importantly their current points total is enough to land them the title based on previous winners points total at this stage of the season.
Elsewhere last night, Spurs, Sheffield United and Manchester United all closed the gap on Chelsea, after the Blues worryingly lost their second league home game in a row 0-2 at home against second bottom Watford. Fifth placed Spurs came from a goal down to beat Brighton 2-1 at the Spurs Stadium, the Blades extended their unbeaten league run to four games thanks to a hard fought 1-1 draw at BrammallLane against a resurgent Watford and Manchester United survived an early scare at Old Trafford against Newcastle United who took an early first-half lead. However, the Reds were not in a festive mood on this occasion, their inexperienced young squad made sure they did not repeat the same mistakes as they did in their 2-0 defeat at Watford last time out and they were back in front by half-time thanks to three quick fire strikes from Martial, Greenwood and Rashford and Martial added they fourth without reply in the second half.
Aston Villa ended a five-match losing run and picked up a huge three points in their relegation six-pointer against Norwich, which they won 1-0 and Southampton’s mini resurgence under embattled manager Ralf Hasenhuttl continued as he master-minded an impressive 0-2 win at top-six Chelsea, which moved them three points clear of the relegation zone. Everton picked up a valuable three points under new manager Carlo Ancelotti with a 1-0 win at home against Burnley, as did Palace in their London derby against West Ham at Selhurst Park thanks to a 2-1 win and finally, new Arsenal manager Arteta could not inspire his young troops to a first win, but at least he insured they avoided further embarrassment holding on for a 1-1 draw in Bournemouth.
There’s no let-up in the domestic festive and New Year’s Premier League and EFL action and tonight’s fare is a top-flight Premier League blockbuster between high flying sixth placed Wolves and second placed and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at Molineux. The Wolves will fancy their chances of getting a positive result in front of a passionate, sell-out crowd tonight as they’ve already beaten City 0-2 in the league at the Etihad this season and 1-0 in a pre-season friendly tournament.
There’s seven Premier League games tomorrow, starting with the traditional televised lunch-time kick-off and today’s encounter is a south coast derby between bottom half of the table Brighton and Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium. I don’t expect the will be pleasing on the eye given both teams form this season, but hopefully the derby factor will add some extra spark and deliver some goals, which statistically does not look on the cards and if I had to pick a result I’d go for a low scoring Brighton win.
There are three games at 3pm and in the North East Newcastle United will aim to bring their hard done by fans some extra festive cheer by continuing their impressive run of form this season, which has lifted them to ninth in the table. The Toon welcome struggling Everton to St James Park and the Toffees new manager, the experienced and well-travelled Carlo Ancelotti, will manage his new side for the first time. Relegation threatened Southampton will aim to win their fourth Premier League game in their last six against mid-table Crystal Palace and there’s a big relegation six-pointer between a resurgent Watford and out of form Aston Villa at Vicarage Road, which should go the way of the Hornets by two or more goals.
There are two kick-offs at tea-time and second from bottom Norwich will hope to capitalize on some recent better form and home turf against Spurs who are going for their fifth league win in their last seven. The other tea-time kick-off is between relegation threatened West Ham and second placed Leicester City at the London Stadium and the Foxes will hope to bounce back to winning ways after losing their first league game in their last nine against Manchester City 3-1 last Saturday. The final Premier League match on Saturday is at 7.30pm between tenth placed Burnley and eighth placed Manchester United at Turf Moor. United will be hoping to bounce back from their embarrassing 2-0 defeat at Watford last time out and repeat the success of their last three league wins at Turf Moor.