Manchester United have seen a mid-season revival post the sacking of Jose Mourinho as they make it 3 impressive wins in 3.
The crowd at Old Trafford, who have seen their side play a lackluster and uninspired style of football at times over the last few seasons, were treated to adventurous and free-flowing football over the festive period.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s appointment as the interim manager has shown promise so far as the players have enjoyed their newfound freedom on the football pitch in the last 3 games.
Paul Pogba made the headlines once again but another player that saw himself back in the lineup was Eric Bailly. The Ivorian who fell behind Smalling, Jones and Lindelof under Mourinho, was reinstated in the defence against the Cherries and he made sure he stood out.
Although his performance was eventually overshadowed by his two-footed tackle that had him sent off, the confidence pumped into him by his new manager was on full display as the centre-back was seen bringing out his tekkers against Bournemouth.
Manchester United fans were treated to some audacious football action in the first half as Bailly pulled off a volleyed back-heel flick pass during a moment in the game.
Check it out below –
It was a December delight for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers who beat Celtic 1-0 on Saturday. Besides earning the bragging rights over their cross-town rivals and the win moved Rangers level on points with the defending champions.
Gerrard has reignited Rangers ever since his appointment and he tactically outsmarted his former manager, Brendan Rodgers, who faced his first defeat in the Old Firm derby.
The former Liverpool captain has repeatedly answered his critics with his team’s impressive performances on the pitch as he continues to grow in stature amongst the fans, as was seen after the game against Celtic.
A moment captured by a fan in the stands at Ibrox shows how Stevie G has taken to the life at Rangers after he was spotted turning his back at Celtic players as everyone made their way back into the tunnel after the game got over.
Rangers fans loved this bit from their boss, check out the footage below –
Liverpool, who have had their best start to a Premier League season, sit comfortably on top as they enjoy a 7 point lead over Manchester City. The Reds remain undefeated so far and their progress under Jurgen Klopp has been impressive.
Liverpool have historically been one of the most successful English sides ever and it seems they are seeing a massive rise in their fan base after the addition of African superstars in Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.
An interesting piece of data that came out recently showed how Liverpool have the fourth highest kit sales in France this season, more than Lyon who are currently third in Ligue 1. Their sales exceed that of Manchester United, who failed to make the top 10 despite having French players in Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial in their ranks.
While the Muslim community in France can be held accountable for a majority of these numbers being put up by Liverpool, making it so high up in the list without a single French player remains incredibly impressive nonetheless.
Check out the graphic below –
Rangers put on a dominant display in the 415th Old Firm Derby as they beat Celtic by a solitary goal to move level on points with the defending champions, who still have a game in hand. The home team scored at the half hour mark when Ryan Jack found the net after a fine build up play.
A one-sided first half was the result of a tireless effort put in by the midfield trio of Scott Arfield, Ross McCrorie and the goalscorer Ryan Jack, who just didn’t allow their rivals to have any kind of passing game going at Ibrox.
The fight put in by Gerrard’s players was clearly highlighted by Scott Arfield’s vigour and determination to win a drop ball during the game. The Canadian was seen leaning in whilst on his toes to win possession from the drop ball.
Check out the the initial movement from Arfield before all the kicking began –
Arfield, who moved to Scotland in the summer after a 5 year stint with Burnley, has been quick to make his mark amongst the fans and after his moment of passionate display, he’s likely to be liked even more.
Liverpool rounded off the year in style as they came back from a goal down to thrash Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield last night.
A near perfect display was spearheaded by Roberto Firmino who scored twice within 90 seconds to put Liverpool in the lead, 5 minutes after they fell behind. Goals from Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and a second half penalty from Firmino capped off a convincing win over the Gunners.
Roberto Firmino, who has hit form at the right time for Liverpool, got a lucky deflection before tapping in his signature no look finish to restore balance.
The pick of the goals was the second he scored, only a minute later, where he danced through the Arsenal defence and passed the ball in the bottom corner of the goal.
The Brazilian was able to dribble past Mustafi and Sokratis before flooring Torreira and Leno with a fake shot and then finding the net. His fantastic performance was perfectly captured in this iconic image which popped up online after the game.
Check it out below –
Liverpool, who took their lead to 9 points after Spurs were shocked at home by Wolves, have been scoring for fun and have found the net 9 times in 4 days. They play a season-defining game on Thursday as they travel to Manchester where they face the defending champions in what could be a title decider.
With the contrast in respective forms of the two title contenders, Liverpool would be loving the possibility of yet another win that will boost their chances for a league title after 28 years.
Everton had a Boxing Day to remember as they beat Burnley 5-1 away at Turf Moor, bouncing back from a disappointing defeat at the hands of Spurs on the weekend.
Toffees, who have had a mixed start to the season, have shown a lot of promise with some new players cementing their position in the team.
Andre Gomes, Richarlison, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina have all been impressive so far, with the latter 3 finding the net against the Clarets.
Former Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne, who scored a brace on Wednesday, has been a revelation for the Toffees and looks to have taken over the baton from Everton legend Leighton Baines.
The English left-back who has made over 300 appearances in 11 years for the club, has been a fan favourite for a few years now.
Since the arrival of the French fullback, Baines has seen himself drop to the bench as a second choice, but he still remains all about the Everton life and it was witnessed yet again when the veteran defender was spotted exchanging a hearty smile with Richarlison in the tunnel before the kick-off.
Like any Everton faithful, Baines looked to be in an awe of the Brazilian sensation, who has scored 9 goals this season. Their exchange left the Everton fans in a glee, who took to social media to pour out the love for the duo.
Check out the clip below –
There sure is an air of positivity at Goodison Park, with the younger players being transitioned into the team and the senior players like Baines, playing the mentors. The team spirit looks high which gives the Everton fans a few reasons to be excited.
Leeds United were a part of yet another dramatic late finish as they came back to win 3-2 again with Kemar Roofe finding the scoresheet twice in added time.
Blackburn looked liked they had scored the match-winner when Charlie Mulgrew found the net in the 90th minute but their celebrations were cut short with an impressive fightback from Leeds.
Despite going down right at the death, Leeds players showed no signs of giving up as they raced back to kick off again.
Even the referee was put under the pump by Swedish international Pontus Jansson, who was spotted rushing the official to kick start the game.
The Swedish centre-back had one of his finest display in a Leeds shirt as he enjoyed the most ball recoveries on the pitch and a passing accuracy nearing 90%.
Moreover, his efforts to get the game going evidently paid dividends as they ended up scoring 2 goals in added time to end the Boxing Day with a win.
Check out the clip of the incident between Pontus and the referee below –
Liverpool complete an year since they broke their transfer record to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton and it is very evident he was what they needed all along.
Jurgen Klopp’s men since then have been on a dream run to Kyiv where they lost out to a sensational Real Madrid, spent the cash solidifying areas of weakness and added vital depth which sees them end the year on top of the Premier League table.
Van Dijk and Brazil number 1, Alisson, have been the two biggest signings of 2018 hands down. The former shutting down opponents left, right and center and the latter parrying off the odd one that does make it past the Dutch giant.
The Brazilian has carried on his form from his time with Serie A giants Roma, as he enjoys one of the highest save percentages in the Premier League. After impressive performances like the one in the derby and his double save against Newcastle well and truly mean he has earned his clean sheets.
Alongside Van Dijk, they truly are the spine of Liverpool and teams have to be at the top of their game to find the net against the Reds. Check out a photo of the duo doing the rounds below –
After yet another impressive performance, this time against former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United, the red half of Merseyside enjoy their best ever start to a Premier League season and they sit comfortably on top, favourites to win their first league title in more than 28 years and it all can be credited to their defensive stability which has seen them conceded a mere 7 goals and keep 12 clean sheets.
The Boxing Day in the Championship was filled with late drama as the top two sides scored two goals each in the injury time to add to an already exhilarating battle at the summit.
While Norwich City rescued a 3 goal deficit by snatching a draw against Nottingham Forest at the very death, Marcelo Bielsa’s men came back to win 3-2 yet again, this time against Blackburn Rovers.
Kemar Roofe, the match winner against Aston Villa, was again the hero as he downed Blackburn Rovers with two goals in the stoppage time to take Leeds 3 points clear of Norwich.
The Argentine manager, who has won over the fans with his team looking set to end the year on the top of the table, was quick to soak up the excitement of a late winner, asking his players to get back in the position.
It was almost poetic how he motivated his team to come back and win the game and then rallied his players to get back into position and see out the few remaining seconds.
Check out the moment in the video below –
With Premier League return in sight, Bielsa would want to keep his side focused as the fans continue to enjoy the festive period on top.