As we approach Christmas there doesn't seem like any one team who wants to put in a claim for the Premier League title. This may have been the week to see one team pull a few points clear but most of the bigger clubs dropped points.
Let's start with Chelsea who could have gone top of the league if only for a few hours but the inform side who had not lost a game in any competition for 3 months came unstuck at Goodison Park as Everton beat Frank Lampard's side 1-0. It was an assured display by Everton even if Chelsea naturally applied the pressure and at times looked relentless but what a result for Carlo Ancelotti's team after a run of bad form. Could this be the beginning of a comeback for the Toffee men? After all they are only 5 points adrift of the top.
And let's go to the very top where Tottenham dropped 2 points as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. Harry Kane's great goal seemed to have sealed the points but Palace Jeffrey Schlupp equalised with just 9 minutes remaining to leave Spurs frustrated. However they would be let off the hook when Liverpool were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at Fulham. The Cottagers scored first and put in a solid and hard working display against a Liverpool side who just looked off. However Liverpool were awarded a penalty late on from a handball from a free kick. Was it a handball, yes, was it deliberate? Possibly no. In an age when we are being reminded of shots to the head causing long term damage, you have to wonder if turning away from a shot and instinctively putting up your arm is actually cheating or just protection?
Leicester were absolutely brilliant as they beat Brighton 3-0 and Jamie Vardy and James Maddison clicked once again as Vardy made assists and scored one himself and Maddison scored a brace. That was the Foxes 8th win of the season which took them into 3rd place and just a point behind Tottenham and Liverpool. Special mention should go to Southampton too as they kept pace beating Sheffield United 3-0 and the Saints rightly go marching on and are now in the top 4.
West Ham have won 4 of their last five games and it seems that against all odds David Moyes is doing a superb job with the Hammers so far. They beat Leeds United 2-1 and who would have thought that after 12 games Moyes' side would be ahead of both Manchester clubs? It was the derby at the weekend between United and City and while the build up offered so much it was unfortunate that the actual game was so poor. The game ended 0-0 with just 4 shots on target between the two clubs.
Have Arsenal ever been so bad? Well not since the Premier League began and the Gunners have lost their last 4 games at home. This time it was against Burnley who prior to kick off had won once this season. The game finished 1-0 to Sean Dyche's team through an own goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which was irony underlined since the striker has gone blankety blank since signing his new contract. Granit Xhaka was also sent off for a moment of madness to rub salt into the wounds. One has to wonder how long Mikel Arteta has at the club?
A moments thought should be mentioned for Gerard Houllier who passed away this week with heart problems aged 73. The former manager will be best remembered for his time at Liverpool where he won six trophies including the UEFA Cup now Europa League. He also won league titles with PSG and Lyon, and his charisma and expertise will be much missed.
Premier League: Team of the Week:
Pope, Bednarek, Vestegaard, Michael Keane, Mina, Sigurdsson, Maddison, Armstrong, Redmond, Gayle, Vardy