3 winners and 3 losers from Premier League Matchday 17
The 2019-20 season of the Premier League is nearing its halfway mark as the ever-busy festive period continues to take its toll on the respective teams, with things starting to get clearer at both ends of the table heading into the second half of the campaign.
From Kevin de Bruyne’s virtuoso display in Man City’s triumph over Arsenal to Bournemouth’s shock win against Chelsea, Matchday 17 had everything in store to ensure that the fans got their money’s worth.
Leicester City slipped against Norwich, Tottenham continued their resurgence under Jose Mourinho, Liverpool unparalleled dominance atop the standings reigned supreme while West Ham also returned to winning ways.
All in all, it was a jam-packed weekend of football and its now time for us to run the rule over 3 winners and 3 losers from Premier League Matchday 17.
The Reds bagged another systematic win with a 2-0 victory over bottom-placed Watford at Anfield on Saturday to maintain a 14-point advantage over reigning champions Man City.
Mo Salah took his goal tally for the season up to 9 in the Premier League with a well-taken brace, the second of which was a magical back-heeled finish in the last minute of regulation time.
Watford had plenty of chances to fight back but Nigel Pearson’s side failed to capitalize on their opportunities in front of goal as Liverpool’s juggernaut rolled on unchallenged.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth made the trip to Stamford Bridge low on confidence, having lost each of their last five games in the Premier League. The Cherries desperately needed to churn out some kind of a positive result and they did more than what anybody would have expected of them, returning to winning ways with a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea.
Despite lacking the presence of Nathan Ake and Steve Cook at the back, Bournemouth managed to thwart the hosts with a dogged team display and Dan Gosling’s late goal was enough to secure a welcome victory for the south coast outfit.
3. Sheffield United
Having secured a 2-1 victory over Norwich City in their previous outing, the Blades continued their fairytale run in the Premier League with yet another impressive 2-0 triumph over Aston Villa.
Chris Wilder’s side have already exceeded expectations in the Premier League this term following their promotion from the second-tier and John Egan capped off a superb all-round display with a well-taken brace to sink Villa, who stayed in the bottom half of the standings.
Sheffield United finished Matchday 17 placed 7th in the standings, just four points adrift of 4th-placed Chelsea.
1. Leicester City
Having won each of their last eight Premier League games prior to Matchday 17, Leicester City were the outright favourites when they played host to a struggling Norwich City side on Saturday.
However, the Foxes were taken aback courtesy of a brave approach adopted by Canaries’ boss Daniel Farke, with Teemu Pukki opening the scoring for the visitors midway through the first half.
Tim Krul’s own goal before half-time meant that both the teams went into the interval level peggings before a dogged second-half display from Norwich denied Leicester the chance to make it nine wins in a row in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s recent run of form in the Premier League has been less than spectacular but a shock 1-0 defeat at home against a struggling Bournemouth side is not something that the fans would have hoped for.
The Blues failed to break down a stubborn Bournemouth outfit, with Cherries keeper Aaron Ramsdale pulling off point-blank saves to keep out Emerson and Mason Mount.
Dan Gosling’s late goal rubbed salt on their wounds as Frank Lampard’s men suffered a fourth league defeat in their last five outings, thus allowing Tottenham to close the gap on the top-four to just three points.
The Gunners had absolutely no answer to Kevin de Bruyne’s brilliance at the Emirates on Sunday as Freddie Ljungberg’s side had themselves completely humiliated on their own backyard by Man City.
Raheem Sterling’s goal sandwiched by a first-half brace from de Bruyne handed City a 3-0 lead before the interval before both the teams played out a goalless second forty-five minutes in North London.
Arsenal slipped down to 10th as a result of that defeat and lost further ground on the top-four.