Despite the deteriorating English Winter weather there was some fantastic football played in the Premiership this first December weekend.
First match of the weekend continued the steady progress of Rafa Benitez’ Liverpool, who saw off the sadly fading Wigan 3-0 for an easy victory in which Scouse striker Peter Crouch finally broke his scoring duck and took the West Coast boys surfing up to third place.
In the later games, two of the North West’s most unpredictable teams swapped roles with Blackburn tamely surrendering home advantage to an unusually sharp Everton 0-2; Lancashire neighbours Bolton Wanderers played to their full potential and sent a subdued Arsenal home on the wrong end of a 2-0 beating; leaders Chelsea maintained their ten point lead at the top with an unconvincing 1-0 home victory against Middlesborough; Newcastle failed to take advantage of the troubled Aston Villa, drawing 1-1; Spurs just shaded a thrilling match with bottom of the table Sunderland, winning 3-2 whilst basement cases West Brom and Fulham tottered to a sterile 0-0 draw.
The last game of the day produced the (George) best football, as a newly confident Manchester United, probably due to the fact they’ve started playing 4-4-2 again, brushed aside managerless Portsmouth 3-0, thanks to goals from Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Sunday’s game produced a feast of goals as Manchester City swamped hosts Charlton Athletic 2-5 with former Red Devil Andy Cole scoring twice for City to consolidate their place in the top half of the table.
Monday night in Birmingham, never an enticing prospect, became all the worse for the home team as visitors West Ham proved too strong and determined, running out 1-2 victors.
There we have it for Week 15, no change at the top of the table but everything’s still all to play for; Chelsea have got to drop some more points soon, right?
American sports are so dull, with no relegation to worry about, that the Yanks get as much fun predicting the results as they do from the matches themselves so I thought I just might point out that my predictions for this weekend’s results were correct in six out of ten games this weekend!
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