Massive Shock at Old Trafford
You'd be a brave soul to put your neck out and announce who will win the Premier League, because it is taking many twists and turns and you get the feeling we will see many more. One of the surprise results of the season happened in midweek as Manchester United, with the opportunity to go back on top of the Premier League blew their chance and lost at home to bottom side Sheffield United.
No one saw this coming given the form of the Red Devils for the past 3 months, a winning form that had seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side sweep past Liverpool and lead the title race. Form that had seen the club knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup for extra measure and form that had left egg on many critics and pundits faces who suggested back in October that Solskjaer was a dead man walking and his time was up at the club.
Manchester United dominated possession as you would expect but conceded early, pulled one back and then went behind again to an Oliver Burke goal, Burke had only been on the field for 4 minutes. From a Manchester United perspective they will be hoping this is a one off blip but history tells us with Solskjaer in charge that either United go on fantastic runs or into a downward spiral.
Manchester City were the real winners of these batch of midweek games as they slaughtered West Bromwich Albion 5-0 making up for the 1-1 draw at the Etihad earlier in the season and they are now 1 point clear of United but with a game in hand. A fascinating match between top teams Everton and Leicester saw the game end in a 1-1 draw but you get the feeling that a draw didn't suit either side. It was a game of two halves and Everton started well and took the lead through a spectacular James Rodriguez goal. But as the game went on Leicester came more into it and perhaps one has to question why Everton when they take the lead then tend to sit back, it doesn't seem like the best tactic.
West Ham and Arsenal recorded good wins and the Hammers are now up to 4th after winning 4 games in a row. They beat Crystal Palace 3-2 away from home in an impressive result for them. Arsenal beat Southampton 3-1, a club that had knocked them out of the FA Cup just a few days previous and Alexandre Lacazette was the hero of that game scoring a brace for the Gunners.
Welcome to the EPL Thomas Tuchel
The big news off the pitch concerned Chelsea who sacked Frank Lampard after 18 months. Chelsea had slipped to 9th place and were 11 points from the top and the Blues had spent close to £200m in the summer. But was this a knee jerk reaction from the board? After all, the positives were that in his debut season the club had qualified for the Champions League and reached the FA Cup final. If the Blues thought that after spending £200m they would be winning the league and surpassing the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool this season, then doesn't that sound a tad too far fetched?
Players such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have failed to impress but then again two months ago we were all talking about how solid Chelsea were having gone two months unbeaten. Was this just a bad period for the club? Look at Solskjaer for Manchester United he has encountered at least 3 periods like this for the club since he arrived but United have stayed with him.
Sacking managers before their time is the way it is done at Chelsea though, and whilst Lampard has been far from perfect maybe the fault lies with the club. Would they for example have come in for Lampard at Derby and with just one season of managerial experience had he not been an ex player for the club?
Thomas Tuchel is the new manager at the club, famed for his time at Borussia Dortmund and PSG and his first game in charge ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw at home against Wolves. For now Tuchel does not have the magic wand and it will be very interesting to see where he can take the club this season.