We had a number of big clashes at the top of the table in Matchday 12 of the Premier League, with all games taking place over the weekend to accommodate the upcoming midweek matches. There were undoubtedly a couple of upsets that went against many Premier League odds and the Premier League table is starting to take shape ahead of what looks like a frantic festive season schedule.
Let’s take a look at what happened on Matchday 12 of 38.
What happened in the league this week?
A drab Manchester derby
After failing to get through to the Champions League last 16, Manchester United desperately needed a win this weekend. The Red Devils did the double over the Citizens in the league last season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team were unable to find the goal against a well-drilled Pep Guardiola system.
Despite a couple of shots on target from both sides, ultimately it’s not going to go down in the books as the most exciting Manchester derby with neither side being able to break the deadlock. This means that United have only scored three goals at home this season—two of which were penalties.
This result leaves United in 8th place, five points off Tottenham in 1st—but the Red Devils still have a game in hand. City go 9th, one point behind United, also with an extra game to play.
Xhaka sees red: Are Arsenal in crisis mode?
It looked like there was finally some light at the end of the tunnel for Gunner’s fans at the end of last season with Mikel Arteta bringing in a much-needed sense of purpose. They also made their record signing in Thomas Partey and there was much anticipation for what we would see from Arsenal this season.
Unfortunately, things seem to have unravelled rather rapidly. The game against Burnley was a must-win after a string of poor results. The Gunners seemed to have control of the game and were playing attractive soccer until Granit Xhaka lost his head in a moment of madness by putting his hands around the throat of Burnley player Ashley Westwood. He got a red card for his troubles. Arsenal was lucky to not go down by another player after Mohamed Elneny only got a yellow for putting both hands in the face of James Tarkowski during a Burnley corner.
Ultimately, Arsenal did get a goal through Aubameyang, but it was at the wrong end of the pitch and the own goal saw Burnley take all three points. The result leaves Arsenal in 15th, just five points above the relegation zone and Burnley climbed up to 17th.
Top of the table draws
Liverpool and Tottenham are separated only by goal difference at the top of the table and a win this weekend would have been the ideal outcome for both teams. However, both the Reds and Spurs were held to a draw by Fulham and Crystal Palace respectively.
Harry Kane put the Spurs in front in the 23rd minute, but Jeffrey Schlupp pulled one back late in the game to ensure the points were shared. The result leaves Tottenham in top spot on goal difference and Crystal Palace just outside of the top 10 with 17 points in 11th place.
Liverpool is in the middle of a dire injury crisis and the results on the pitch are showing it. Fulham’s Bobby Reid opened the scoring on 25 minutes and the Reds needed a Mo Salah penalty late in the game to take a point. Klopp has certainly got a lot on his plate going into the festive season without many of his key players.
Liverpool remains 2nd in the table on goal difference and Fulham is in 18th spot in the relegation zone.
Foxes go third
Brendan Rogers can certainly be proud of the team effort that Leicester put in against a spirited Brighton side. The Foxes slipped from the top of the table after an electrifying start after they lost both games in matchday 9 and 10.
They bounced back with a vengeance, however, with golden boy Jaimie Vardy on the scoresheet and a first-ever Premier League double for young midfielder James Maddison. This result puts Leicester in 3rd place in the table, just one point below Tottenham and Liverpool. Brighton finds themselves in 16th spot with 10 points.
Chelsea drop points
A win for the Blues this weekend would have seen them in the top three, but Frank Lampard would have known that it would be a tough test against an in-form Everton team. Despite having the lion's share of possession, Chelsea was unable to find a breakthrough goal and the only goal of the game was a penalty converted by Everton’s Gylfi Sigurðsson in the twenty-second minute of the game, after Chelsea’s keeper Mendy took out Everton’s Calvert-Lewin in a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Chelsea have been on top form throughout the season and a shot at the title is certainly within their reach, but this loss leaves them in 5th spot on 22 points. Everton needed this win and the result takes them up to 7th in the table on 20 points.
Aston Villa climb the table
It was hard to imagine that after avoiding relegation by a whisker on the last day of the season last season, that Aston Villa would be near the top of the pack in the league. That’s exactly what we’re experiencing, however. Their game against Wolves was certainly all last-minute drama with the winner being scored well within injury time.
David Luiz was dismissed in the 85th minute when he got his second yellow card for an arm on Podence, which seemed to put the game to bed. However, Villa got a late penalty when Semedo brought down McGinn in the penalty area, which was coolly converted by El Ghazi. There was more drama to follow though when João Moutinho got a late red card in stoppage time.
This result sees Dean Smith’s side go 10th in the table with two games in hand. Wolves slip down to 13th on 17 points.
Premier League team of the week
The Premier League team of the week is as follows:
Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Defenders: Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Michael Keane (Everton), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)
Midfielders: Bobby Decordova-Reid (Fulham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester)
Forwards: Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
The week ahead
Online sports betting fans will be eager to know more about the week ahead and what soccer odds to expect. The key games to keep an eye out for are Wolves vs. Chelsea, Leicester City vs. Everton, and Liverpool vs. Tottenham.
Let’s take a look at all of next week's matches and Premier League odds for those games.
- Wolves vs. Chelsea: Wolves +400 Tie +300 Chelsea -150
- Man City vs. West Brom: Man City -1100 Tie +1000 West Brom +2500
- Arsenal vs. Southampton: Arsenal +120 Tie +220 Southampton +220
- Leicester City vs. Everton: Leicester +120 Tie +260 Everton +210
- Leeds United vs. Newcastle: Leeds -135 Tie +280 Newcastle +360
- Fulham vs. Brighton: Fulham +195 Tie +230 Brighton +145
- Liverpool vs. Tottenham: Liverpool -130 Tie +275 Tottenham +350
- West Ham vs. Crystal Palace: West Ham +105 Tie +230 Crystal Palace +280
- Aston Villa vs. Burnley: Aston Villa -145 Tie +300 Burnley +375
- Sheffield United vs. Man United: Sheffield +550 Tie +350 Man United -200
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