The Manchester derby on the weekend lived up to its billing of being a high octane clash at the top of the table.
City, the runaway leaders of this season went to their biggest rivals home and walked away with a dominant win to open the widening chasm at the top to 11 points.
City players were jubilant after the game and their celebrations didn’t go down to well with United manager Jose Mourinho, who walked into the away dressing room to ask them to pipe down the wild celebrations.
What ensued was a distasteful fracas of the highest order as over 20 members from both sides, players and staff included got into a brawl, throwing punches and wielding water bottles as the adrenaline spilled over.
Referee Michael Oliver wasn’t on the scene and neither were any television cameras, which meant reports of the incident were purely based on eyewitness accounts.
While stewards ultimately dispersed the feuding men, there was some collateral damage as City coach Mikel Arteta was left with a bloody face and players with tainted reputations.
Check out a break up of the events that unfolded in the Old Trafford tunnel –
Right click the image and open it on a new tab for a larger image.
Captain on the night, Philippe Coutinho was at the center of all the action as Liverpool ripped Spartak Moscow’s defence to shreds on Tuesday.
The Brazilian midfielder scored an impressive hat-trick, taking his tally to 5 goals in 5 UCL games this campaign. His performance midweek exemplified why Liverpool fought so hard to hold onto him in the summer.
The Brazilian was a menace for the Spartak defenders all night and pulled off a devastating run (seen below) during a moment in the game.
After receiving the ball on the left wing from Milner, Coutinho was quickly closed down by two Spartak defenders but the Brazilian made quick work of them and left them smelling grass with a scintillating run.
Drawing at home to Atletico midweek means the Blues can now only draw three teams in the next round- two of which are heavyweights PSG and Barcelona.
On Tuesday night, Belgian dynamo Eden Hazard was at his best again helping draw Chelsea level although his strike was classified as a Savic own goal later on. In a post match interview, the Belgian was rather upbeat about his team’s chance’s in the knockout rounds.
Finishing second in their group means the Blues can draw any of either Barcelona, PSG and Besiktas, all tough draws in their own right.
Another trip to Paris would be daunting especially because the Parisians dumped the Blues out of the tournament last time round. Eden Hazard however didn’t seem too fazed by the prospect of either a trip to Barcelona or Paris, saying that the Blues are a good team and can “do everything”.
In the Belgians own words, a “top team” shouldn’t have a problem facing anyone.
Chelsea fans were delighted with this confidence shown by their star man and will be hoping it rubs off on the entire squad. Check out the interview below –
"PSG and Barcelona are very good…but we are Chelsea!" 👊
Former Blues manager Rafa Benitez suffered another unsuccessful trip to the Bridge last evening as he saw his Newcastle side surrender an early lead to ultimately lose the game 3-1.
Chelsea were behind for a mere 8 minutes and drew level when star man Eden Hazard clinically finished a half volley in the 21st minute.
The diminutive Belgian was in his element, weaving circles around a hapless Newcastle defence, creating more and more chances for the Blues.
Hazard capped off his stupendous performance with an audacious Panenka penalty to score Chelsea’s 3rd of the afternoon.
The brace took Hazard’s tally to 8 goals in the season across all competitions and his 5th goal in the league in just about a month.
A graphic on MOTD showing the Belgian’s unreal statistics since the beginning of November went viral with the Chelsea fans and had them raving about his performances online.
The 26-year-old has had more shots on target and more dribbles than any other player in the league and there definitely is more to come in the busy festive period.
Rangers managed to keep their first clean sheet in 3 games as they secured a 3-0 win over Aberdeen midweek. Their defence on the night was impeccable with prodigy Ross McCrorie impressing yet again.
The 19-year-old centre-back was deployed in defensive midfield, forming the crucial link between defense and midfield and boy oh boy did he make an impression.
With crucial interceptions and defence splitting long balls, the young lad from Dailly made the position his own.
McCrorie has swiftly risen through the youth ranks at the Glasgow club, spending successive seasons on loan in the 3rd and 2nd tiers over the past two years and is now establishing his place in the Rangers squad as they challenge for the Premiership.
His performance midweek however showed his versatility and adaptability, something that would greatly benefit the Rangers squad.
The young lad’s splendid performance over the last few games has proved that he has now firmly broken in the first team, meritorious of a starting role and is no longer just an U20 player.
Check out his highlights against Aberdeen below:
Debut in a position you’ve never played at this level ✅
That debut in your second biggest home fixture ✅
Bossed it ✅ pic.twitter.com/GSnuCXMjVY
Rangers rounded off a dominant performance at the Ibrox Stadium last night after wing-back James Tavernier scored a brace either side of a Carlos Pena strike.
Aberdeen finished the game with ten men as midfielder Ryan Christie was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 84th minute. This loss meant the Dons have picked just 4 points in their last 4 league games.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, Rangers midfielder Carlos Pena returned to goal scoring form as he notched up his 4th goal of the campaign. This, after playing a part in only 8 league games.
Pena scored for the first time since mid-October, calmly slotting in a pin-point Jason Holt cross and sent the Ibrox into raptures. The best reaction however was by ESPN Mexico’s commentary team as they couldn’t contain their delight seeing the Mexican international score.
Reigning champions Chelsea eked out a hard fought win last night at the Bridge against a resilient Swansea side. The difference between the two sides, a second half Antonio Rudiger header.
The Welsh outfit put on a good show and would have been disappointed to leave the capital without anything to show for their endeavour. However, one player that was an exception to this gritty performance was unsurprisingly Portuguese wonderkid Renato Sanches.
A particularly bad moment for the Bayern Munich loanee was when he passed the ball straight towards the advertisement boards instead of a teammate.
The green and red colours of the Carabao logo on the advertising boards were indeed similar to Swansea’s away strip but that isn’t an excuse for the horrid display.
The Chelsea sponsors were quick to troll the Portuguese as they posted a clip of the incident with a witty remark.
Next season will be the 4th year running for New Balance as kit suppliers for Liverpool and it would be safe to say that the US based sportswear giants have surprised fans with some quirky yet attractive colour combinations in the past.
The 2018 kits will see the club revert to the plain liverbird crest with the L.F.C initials below it, dropping the gold colour and 125 year badge that adorns their kits this season.
The home kit will be the classy deep red much similar to this season’s kit but it’s the 2nd and 3rd kits that have got fans talking.
New Balance have opted for a never before tried deep purple Jersey with fluorescent green highlights as the Reds away kit while their 3rd kit will be something even more eye catching in pink.
Manchester United closed the gap at the top of the table to 5 points as they overcame an in-form Watford with a 2-4 win at Vicarage Road last night.
Former Hornet, Ashley Young scored a brace that included a sublime free-kick that nestled in the top left corner of the net, to help his side take another 3 points in London.
With the weekend game at the Emirates in mind, Jose Mourinho rotated his squad as Marcus Rashford made way for Jesse Lingard, who capped off a stunning solo run to score United’s fourth goal of the night.
Rashford came on after the hour mark to provide added speed in attack as United sought to withstand a late resistance by Watford. However, the youngster was a tad lethargic in tracking back to provide defensive cover.
This caught the eye of manager Jose Mourinho who gave the 20-year-old a earful for being lazy on the pitch and not helping his defenders out. Something that Mourinho did with the likes of Eden Hazard and Juan Mata while at Chelsea.
It was also something that reminded fans of a certain Sir Alex Ferguson, a hard taskmaster who wanted his players to always give a 100% on the pitch. This demanding attitude saw the Scotsman get the best out of the likes of Ryan Giggs & David Beckham and United fans will be hoping Mourinho can do the same with the young Rashford.