By Niall Clarke

  • Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 16
  • Full results

Manchester City took a giant step towards the title with their win against Manchester United on Sunday. Is the title race over? That plus more in our Premier League match-week 16 recap.

 

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Man City have all but won the title

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We have not even reached Christmas yet, but Manchester City could have very well sown up the Premier League title after extending their lead to 11 points with a win over second place Manchester United.

City were rewarded for their first half dominance when David Silva opened the scoring after some poor defending from José Mourinho’s side. The Red Devils hit back almost right away however, levelling before the break through Marcus Rashford.

Pep Guardiola’s men retook the lead early in the second half after a scuffed clearance from Romelu Lukaku fell into the path of Nicolas Otamendi who lashed the ball home to make it 2-1. United felt they should have had a penalty late on, but referee Michael Oliver deemed that Ander Herrera dived, much to the dismay of Mourinho.

The victory not only extends City’s lead to what should be an unreachable 11 points, they have broken a Premier League record for the most consecutive wins with 14. With Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal also dropping points, the Citizens have also opened up a bigger gap to the rest of their rivals.

 

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West Ham up and running under Moyes

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The biggest shock of the weekend came at the London stadium as West Ham defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the London derby.

Marko Arnautovic curled home the only goal of the game after six minutes to seal the win for David Moyes’ side, his first since taking over as manager. The Hammers set about defending their lead for the rest of the game, and they did it well as Chelsea could not find a way through.

After coming close to getting something away at Man City last week, West Ham are looking revitalised under Moyes after back to back solid performances against the Premier League’s elite. The decision to bring Adrián into the side to replace Joe Hart has proved to be a good one as the Spaniard made some excellent saves in his two previous games.

The Hammers still remain in the bottom three, but there is hope that their season can turn around after this win.

 

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Tottenham are back in the win column

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After a small slump in recent weeks, Tottenham Hotspur are now back in the win column after thrashing Stoke City 5-1 at the London stadium.

Spurs took the lead after 11 minutes through a Ryan Shawcross own goal, but it was the second half when the floodgates opened. Harry Kane netted twice, and combined with goals from Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen they ran riot. Shawcross got one back for the Potters, but it as too little to late.

It was a relief for Mauricio Pochettino and the Tottenham faithful as they were winless in their last four games before this victory. It will also be good for them to see Kane back within the goals after recent injury struggles.

 

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Old issues cost Liverpool against Everton

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Liverpool were made to pay for missed chances as they were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbours Everton in the Merseyside derby.

The Reds were dominant for much of the game and were rewarded after a brilliant solo goal from top scorer Mohamed Salah. Liverpool pushed for a second, but did not find it, and with 13 minutes left they conceded a penalty. Jurgen Klopp expressed his frustration at the decision post match, and it would end up being a key moment as Wayne Rooney converted the spot kick.

In the end, Liverpool did not win due to their inability to convert their dominance into three points. They remain unbeaten in 10, but this felt like a missed opportunity with many of their nearby rivals dropping points.

Klopp’s decision to rotate the team will also come under scrutiny. He opted to bench Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, two of their most prevalent goal scorers.

 

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What else happened?

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Burnley continued their top six push after edging Watford in a tight encounter at Turf Moor that saw more than one controversial decision.

Arsenal needed a late goal from Olivier Giroud to rescue a point away at Southampton. It is getting tight in the top four race with just four points separating Burnley in seventh and Chelsea in third.

Arguably the most entertaining game of the weekend came at St James’ Park where Leicester edged Newcastle 3-2. The Foxes remain inside the top half, whilst Newcastle continued their downward spiral towards the bottom three.

Speaking of teams in the bottom three, Swansea picked up a much needed win as they beat West Brom 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium. Crystal Palace missed a last minute penalty in a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, and Huddersfield soundly beat Brighton 2-0.

 

Predictions round-up

Neil extended his lead to eight points this weekend, the main reason being his correct prediction of Crystal Palace drawing 2-2 with Bournemouth. Being bold has paid off so far for Neil, can Niall respond?

Niall (100)
Actual Score Neil (108)
West Ham 0-2 Chelsea West Ham 1-0 Chelsea West Ham 1-2 Chelsea
Burnley 1-1 Watford Burnley 1-0 Watford Burnley 1-1 Watford
Crystal Palace 1-0 Bournemouth Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth (3)
Huddersfield 1-0 Brighton (1) Huddersfield 2-0 Brighton Huddersfield 1-2 Brighton
Swansea 2-1 West Brom (1) Swansea 1-0 West Brom Swansea 1-1 West Brom
Tottenham 3-1 Stoke (1) Tottenham 5-1 Stoke Tottenham 2-1 Stoke (1)
Newcastle 1-2 Leicester (1) Newcastle 2-3 Leicester Newcastle 1-2 Leicester (1)
Southampton 0-2 Arsenal Southampton 1-1 Arsenal Southampton 1-3 Arsenal
Liverpool 4-2 Everton Liverpool 1-1 Everton Liverpool 3-2 Everton
Man United 1-1 Man City Man United 1-2 Man City Man United 0-1 Man City (1)

 

The Premier League returns on December 12th

 

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