Premier League MANual - 12th December
One week closer to the transfer window and there's definitely room for improvement in the league's leaky defences. 29 goals in 6 games on Saturday set the league table up nicely for the Christmas run in. Swansea managed to climb off the bottom and Chelsea made it 6 in a row in a weekend where goals were at a premium.
5. Swans Take Flight
It’s been a long season for Swansea so far being rooted to the foot of the table, a huge win in the relegation six-pointer against Sunderland puts them within a point of safety. Talisman Sigurdsson again came to the rescue with a quickfire goal and assist early in second half whilst Llorente finally began to show his worth to what is a lacklustre team with a finely taken brace. Relegation battle? Game on.
4. No Vardy No Party
Having gone 15 Premier League game without a goal, you could be forgiven for thinking that Jamie Vardy and had lost his Red Bull induced wings. A torrential afternoon in Leicester saw last season’s champions romp to a 4-2 win against Pep’s title favourites courtesy of a hat-trick from the man himself. What a difference he makes to a team that so desperately needs its players to step up. They're going to need him against Sevilla.
3. Pardew’s Goes 300
Love him or hate him, Alan Pardew joined a very exclusive club this weekend when he became the latest man to take charge of the technical area for 300 Premier League games. A couple of penalties that never should have been and a few decent strikes from either side seemed to give Hull the win, but you can never rule Pardew out. Here's to the next 300, if he can keep them up that is.
2. Costa Roars Again
Diego Costa is another man who divides opinion but is possibly the best striker in the Premier League right now. After a frustrating season last time around, he’s a player who looks bang in form and focused on racking up goals rather than the suspensions of last year. Another goal against West Brom took his tally to 12 for the season and put Chelsea three points clear at the top.
1. Jeepers Keepers
Who’d be a goalkeeper? Gone are the days of Edwin van der Sar and Pepe Reina plying their trade in the Premier League and with another bagful of goals this weekend we’ve got to ask is the quality just not there anymore? Aside from the game at Old Trafford, the performances of the men between the sticks were just horrifying – again.