Premier League Matchday 16 review: The good, the bad & the ugly
The title race is looking rather interesting indeed…
The league is coming up to the halfway point of the season and there is hardly anything separating those in the top four. It feels like the most competitive campaign we have had in years.
With the latest round of fixtures out the way, check out our thoughts in our Premier League Matchday 16 review, including the good, the bad and the ugly, the biggest winners and the star player from the weekend.
We’re going to start with the three promoted teams in the good as this weekend was probably the best showing from each all season.
Luton may have lost but it was to the reigning champions and they really made them sweat for the win, Burnley frustrated Brighton to a draw at the AMEX, and Sheffield United picked up a well-earned win against Brentford.
Despite the three still occupying the drop zone and a gap beginning to form between themselves and the rest, they definitely are starting to look more capable in the top flight.
Fulham pulled out a surprise demolition of their London rivals West Ham, convincingly winning 5-0. The result moves them up into the top half of the table.
Bournemouth also deserves to be in the good as it wasn’t simply just ugly from Manchester United (more on that later). To go to Old Trafford and beat the Red Devils 3-0 as a team that many believed would be fighting the relegation battle is a mighty impressive result.
Finally, Liverpool can go in the good, although I do have some doubts over how much longer they can go getting by on late results. Kudos to them for being so lethal until late though, it definitely gets the job done.
Arsenal certainly didn’t look at their best. While they made enough chances to equalise, they certainly did not take them well enough like they have been capable of the last few years.
Newcastle can probably also go in the bad rather than the ugly. While it wasn’t their best performance, it also wasn’t their worst. They were simply beaten by a stronger, seemingly more confident home side.
Two teams belong here, and it really is no surprise - Man United and Chelsea.
After a more positive November, you’d think they’d want to push on and really get their season going. Instead, they’ve ground to another halt with an embarrassing 3-0 loss at home to a side much further down the table than them.
Fingers are being pointed at Erik Ten Hag but the truth is they should be pointed at everyone. While the Dutchmen is seeingly losing the dressing room more and more each week, it’s the egos of the players that weigh down the club the most (if you missed what former player Nemanja Matic had to say about them, we would highly recommend you go find it as it explains a lot).
Chelsea was in the same boat in terms of result, only at least they weren’t at home and the team they lost to isn’t as far away from them in the table - and not in a good way.
Don’t get it wrong, though, Everton would’ve been ahead of them anyway before the match if it weren’t for the 10-point deduction, so they were already the better team.
But it’s the fact that after the game, Mauricio Pochettino really had the gall to say that they need to spend more in January. Chelsea, the team that has spent more than £1bn in just over 18 months, needs to spend more money. I’m just going to leave that one there.
It was too tough to pick between the two teams, so we didn’t. Both Aston Villa and Everton deserve the nod for biggest winners, picking up wins that showed not only their intentions but made a statement for their stature in the league.
Everton beating Chelsea is a great showing for them. They have taken the 10-point setback and have undone it in no time, with Sean Dyche’s side playing their best football since Carlo Ancelotti was in charge. If it weren’t for the point deduction, they would be up in 10th.
As for Villa, they managed to hold on to beat last years runners-up Arsenal, moving themselves ahead of the reigning champions Man City into third place.
Unai Emery has worked wonders with this team since joining, and with them sitting just two points off Liverpool at the top, they genuinely look like title threats right now.
Just the one star player again this week, and while he’s not the most popular man in the league, he certainly helped his side to a big statement win.
Prior to this game, Tottenham hadn’t won since the end of October, so to beat Newcastle in the fashion they did was fantastic for them.
Richarlison had possibly his best Premier League game for the club (take that however you want to), scoring twice and helping inspire the team to victory.