Mizgan Ahmed on 6th December, 2015
Matchday 15 of the Barclays Premier League produced set of results that bamboozled everyone and the season continues to be a frantic one with defeats for Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea to lower opponents being notable casualties of the weekend.
Eddie Howe, Mark Hughes, Steve Mclaren and Slaven Bilic got vital points against the top half teams.
Leicester City continue their march with a convincing win :-
Leicester City returned to the top of the Premier League table with a convincing 3-0 win at the home of Swansea City. With other challengers dropping points, the Foxes are destined to remain at the top for another week.
Riyad Mahrez scored the hat trick which showed that Leciester are not only depending on the goal-scoring ruthlessness of Jamie Vardy.
Meanwhile, Swansea and Garry Monk continue to struggle to put in a good performance as their defense seemed to cut apart whenever Leicester move forward. Creating goal-scoring opportunities is a also a problem now and Monk need to sort out the problem as quickly as he can otherwise another sacking looms large before Christmas in the Premier League.
Manchester United’s goal-scoring problem doesn’t seem to stop :-
Manchester United endured another frustrating evening at Old Trafford as they were held to another scoreless draw, this time by West Ham United.
Another goalless game with a clean sheet seem to be the trend for United this season and increasing frustration at Old Trafford is now visible all around the country. Stagnant attack with the same method of moving forward just makes it easier for teams to defend. Van Gaal went with Fellaini in the number 10 role adding up extra aerial ability in the box, but the Belgian struggled to make that advantage count. Lack of creativity hurting United a lot and dependence on teenagers Martial and Lingaard is alarming for a club of the stature of Manchester United.
Meanwhile, it was a point gained by West Ham United and with no exaggeration we should say, the Hammers had better opportunities in the game and should have won the game. They certainly made De Gea work more than their own keeper Adrian. Another positive result in an away trip to a top side keeps West Ham afloat in the top six of the league.
Chelsea’s title defense continues to be pathetic :-
Chelsea’s abject season hit a new low as home defeat to AFC Bournemouth, their 8th of the League depicts that Mourinho and his men are seriously lacking something and relegation battle for now is the battle they are in.
Slow defensive line and horrible midfield shape were the catalysts for another Chelsea debacle. Bournemouth had fair share of the goal-scoring chances in the game even though Chelsea were dominant on the ball, slow defensive line and uncharacteristic midfield movement allowed that to happen. Blues’ attack also struggled against a team who defended deep and a team who has the worst defensive record in the league. Mourinho has to do something very quickly otherwise getting into top half of the table also seem a far away prospect.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, had a memorable evening with their first ever clean sheet away from home and getting three points was just icing on the cake. Eddie Howe got his team to work in a way he wanted to, they defended astutely and created their chances on the counter that troubled Chelsea’s backline. All in all a deserving win for the promoted side.
Newcastle and Aston Villa claim vital points against top half teams :-
Newcastle claimed an impressive win over Liverpool whereas Aston Villa held Southampton away from home to keep the relegation battle interesting.
Defensive astuteness was key for both the teams as they shut out two sides who like to tear teams apart with their attacking instincts.
Newcastle put up an impressive defensive display and excellent counter play against Liverpool to secure a vital win and be in the forefront to get out of that bottom three. Skrtel’s own goal and Wijnaldum’s injury time winner sealed the deal for the Toons.
Aston Villa, claimed a priceless point at St. Mary’s as goal from Lescott got them into the lead only to be cancelled out by Saints’ Oriel Romeu.
Manchester City’s defense continues to be leaky :-
Marko Arnautovic scored a brace as Stoke City defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the windy Britannia Stadium.
Manchester City continue to leak goals and this time their limp defense was cut apart by a Stoke side who were very impressive. City again without their captain Kompany, felt his absence and lack of leadership at the back is hurting City and their title chances. Attack was also very unproductive with Silva just feeling his way back and de Bruyne and Sterling looking largely clueless going forward. Aguero’s absence is telling too, Bony is struggling at the moment, his movements are too static for a fast ball-moving players around him.
Other results consisted of Spurs being held by West Brom, Watford claiming an impressive win over Norwich and Arsenal claiming an impressive victory over strugglers Sunderland.
We still have a game on Monday night with Crystal Palace travel to Merseyside to face Everton.
It has been another frantic weekend of football and Premier League continues to be as wide as it can giving lots of headaches for match predictors.