Monday 30 December 2019

Super Reds rule the world

With the World Club Cup recently added to their trophy cabinet, Liverpool ended 2019 with a seemingly unassailable lead in the Premier league leaving a blue trail of Leicester City, Manchester City and possibly Chelsea fighting for the runner-up place.
Week 11 – Liverpool turned defeat into a 2-1 victory with 2 late goals at Aston Villa and Manchester City also came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Southampton while Chelsea won 2-1 at bottom of the table Watford. Arsenal could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves and Manchester United were 1-0 losers at Bournemouth while Everton scored in a lengthy stoppage-time period to draw 1-1 at home to 10-man Tottenham. John Lindstram scored twice as Sheffield United put 3 past their visitors from Burnley before the break and Newcastle were 3-2 winners at West Ham while Norwich lost 2-0 at Brighton and Leicester won by the same scoreline at Crystal Palace.  
Week 12 – Champions, Manchester City, lost 3-1 at league leaders Liverpool and moved down to 4th place after 2-0 home wins for Leicester against Arsenal and Chelsea over Crystal Palace. Manchester United defeated Brighton 3-1 at Old Trafford while Aston Villa were beaten 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham were embarrassed 3-0 at Burnley. Sheffield United, who had a goal controversially disallowed by VAR, drew 1-1 at Tottenham while there were 2-1 wins for Everton at Southampton and Newcastle who came from behind to get the better of their visitors from Bournemouth. The weekend had begun on Friday evening with the basement battle that saw 10-man Watford win 2-0 at Norwich City.  
Week 13 – The were 2-1 wins for Manchester City at home to Chelsea and Liverpool away to Crystal Palace while Leicester City were 2-0 winners at Brighton. West Ham United pulled 2 goals back in front of their home crowd but lost 3-2 in Jose Mourinho’s first match in charge of Tottenham while Arsenal needed a last-gasp goal to draw 2-2 at home to troubled Southampton and Everton lost 2-0 at home to Norwich. Burnley buried Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road and Wolves were 2-1 winners at 10-man Bournemouth while on Sunday Manchester United came from 2 down to lead with 3 goals in 7 minutes but were pegged back to 3-3 at Sheffield United and on Monday evening Newcastle lost 2-0 at Aston Villa.
Week 14 – Manchester City dropped points as hosts Newcastle United twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw while 2 Virgil van Dijk headers gave 10-man Liverpool a 2-1 home win against Brighton and Leicester City came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Everton with a goal late in stoppage time that keeps them in second spot.    A Dele Alli double helped Tottenham to a 3 goal lead at home to Bournemouth who reduced the deficit with a brace from Harry Wilson and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit back twice as Arsenal drew 2-2 at Norwich in Freddy Ljungberg’s first match as interim manager for the Gunners after the sacking of Unai Emery while Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to West Ham. Crystal Palace were 2-0 winners at Burnley while Watford took the lead but lost to 2 late goals at Southampton and Sheffield United drew 1-1 at Wolves. Aston Villa drew 2-2 at Manchester United.     
Week 15 – In midweek matches Everton came unstuck 5-2 at Liverpool, which resulted in the sacking of Marco Silva, with Divock Origi scoring twice for the Reds while Leicester were 2-0 winners at home to Watford and Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City eased 4-1 past their hosts Burnley. Marcus Rashford netted twice as Manchester United defeated Tottenham 2-1 at Old Trafford while Chelsea enjoyed the same result at home to Aston Villa as did Southampton at home to Norwich City. Bournemouth lost 1-0 at 10-man Crystal Palace and Wolves put 2 past their visitors from West Ham without reply while on Thursday evening Arsenal sank to a 2-1 defeat to Brighton at the Emirates and Newcastle were 2-0 winners at Sheffield United.
Week 16 – In the Manchester derby City suffered a 2-1 loss at home to United while a double from Jamie Vardy helped Leicester City to a 4-1 victory at Aston Villa and Liverpool helped themselves to 3 goals at Bournemouth. Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck twice as Everton sent Chelsea home 3-1 losers while Harry Kane netted a brace as Burnley were battered 5-0 at Tottenham and Crystal Palace played a goalless match at Watford. Newcastle came from a goal down to win 2-1 at home to Southampton as did Sheffield United away to Norwich City while Diogo Jota scored both goals for Wolves who drew at Brighton. On Monday evening Arsenal came from a goal down to win 3-1 at West Ham with 3 goals in the space of 9 minutes.
Week 17 – Kevin de Bruyne struck twice as Manchester City outclassed Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates while Mohamed Salah scored both goals in Liverpool’s home win over Watford and Leicester were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich. One goal was enough to give Bournemouth a victory at Chelsea while West Ham enjoyed the same scoreline at Southampton as did Burnley at home to Newcastle United. Aston Villa fell to a John Fleck double at Sheffield United while Everton returned from Manchester United with a 1-1 draw and Tottenham were 2-1 winners at Wolverhampton Wanderers. On Monday evening, Brighton drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace.  
Week 18 – While Liverpool were winning the World Club Cup in Doha with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Flamengo from Brazil, the 2 teams directly below them met at the Etihad with Manchester City coming from behind to beat Leicester 3-1. Ten-man Tottenham lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea with Willian scoring both goals for the visitors while Manchester United lost 2-0 at bottom of the table Watford and Danny Ings netted twice for Southampton who triumphed 3-1 at Aston Villa. With their impending managers watching on, Everton and Arsenal played out a goalless draw while Wolves came from behind to win 2-1 at Norwich and Crystal Palace lost 1-0 at Newcastle. Burnley scored late to break the deadlock at Bournemouth and Sheffield United picked up 3 points with a single goal at Brighton.  
Week 19 – On Boxing Day the top two met at Leicester where newly crowned World Club champions Liverpool thrashed their hosts 4-0 with Robert Firmino helping himself to a double, while Southampton triumphed 2-0 at Chelsea and Newcastle were humbled 4-1 at Manchester United for whom Anthony Martial netted a brace. Mikel Arteta began his reign as Arsenal manager with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth while a late goal gave Everton all 3 points at home to Burnley in Carlo Ancelotti’s fist game in charge of the Toffees and Tottenham came from behind for a 2-1 home win over Brighton. Norwich lost 1-0 at Aston Villa while Watford drew 1-1 at Sheffield United and Crystal Palace came from a goal down in front of their home crowd to beat West Ham 2-1 with a last-minute winner. On the next day, Manchester City, who were reduced to ten men for most of the match, took a two-goal lead through a Raheem Sterling double, but returned from Wolves with a 3-2 defeat.
Week 20 – In the last weekend of the year, Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 with a late comeback at the Emirates while Tottenham came back twice to draw 2-2 at Norwich and goals at the end of each half gave Manchester United a win at Burnley. Leicester City’s 2-1 win at West Ham turned out to be Manuel Pellegrini’s last match in charge of the Hammers while Bournemouth lost 2-0 at Brighton and Crystal Palace drew 1-1 at Southampton. A Dominic Calvert-Lewin double gave Everton a 2-1 win at Newcastle and Troy Deeney scored twice for ten-man Watford who embarrassed Aston Villa 3-0 at Vicarage Road while a single goal at Liverpool gave the league leaders 3 points against Wolves and in the last Premier League match of the decade, Manchester City were 2-0 winners at home to Sheffield United.