The title race in the English Premier League is tighter than ever, as this game week gave fans a variety of mixed emotions.
Stunning goals, clinical assists, remarkable saves and, to some extent, a lack thereof makes the game week something to look forward to. Here are the main highlights from this week’s fixtures.
Blue Flag Flying High
Xabi Alonso’s younger brother, Marcos, stunned the current premier league champions Leicester City F.C this weekend with a well- deserved brace. The lesser- known member of the Alonso family has been in excellent form this season and is Head Coach Antonio Conte’s first pick for the left wing back position in the Chelsea F.C. starting line-up.
With the return of Nathan Ake from loan, speculation came in that he may have to compete with Alonso over a starting role, but after this weekend, most would say that thought shouldn’t be entertained.
In star-striker Diego Costa’s absence due to an injury, the team fared well. Alonso scored his first goal off an assist from right wing back Victor Moses. The Nigerian speedster got a behind the heel pass from Willian Boergsma, crossed it into the opposing box and Alonso finished it up with a one- time volley into the lower left side of the net.
That opened the score line for the Blues as they demoralized a struggling Leicester side. The second goal came off an attempt from David “The Geezer” Luiz. The Brazilian center back headed a ball, which landed on Alonso’s right foot. With no hesitation Alonso knocked it in once again, with power off a deflection from the Leicester defense.
The Chelsea fans sang and cheered on as Chelsea continued to dominate, although some were hungry for a Marcos Alonso hat-trick. To the extent that they chanted “shoot” whenever the ball landed at his feet, regardless of where he was on the field. Later on, Pedro scored the third for the blues and that capped off a stellar performance from Conte’s men.
Bouncing back from a loss to Tottenham F.C., Chelsea now leads the league by a good seven points in first position. With 52 points in 21 games, Chelsea boasts a good threat to take the title thus far and Tottenham follows in second place with 45 points in as many games. Chelsea goes up against Hull City F.C. where they hope to make it two wins in a row on Jan. 22.
Pep’s City in Shambles
Manchester City F.C. fans woe this weekend as they suffered a loss to Ron Koeman’s Everton F.C side. Pep Guardiola, the new Manchester City Gaffer, came into the team after coaching world class teams such as F.C. Barcelona in Spain and F.C Bayern Munchen in Germany.
Although still early, it hasn’t been as smooth a sail as City fans may have expected. Losing to Everton by four goals and failing to score one didn’t show well from Pep’s side this weekend.
The first goal came from Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker got a pass from his fellow countryman Kevin Mirallas. Lukaku then slotted the ball in to the left side of Claudio Bravo, the Manchester City goalkeeper. Mirallas also got his name on the score sheet in the second half from an assist given by Ross Barkley.
Roaming in the opposing box, Mirallas slotted the ball into the far right side of the net to give Everton a comfortable two goal lead. The goal of the day came from Tom Davies who got a loose ball, ran across the field to the opposing side, did the famous Ronaldo-chop back between two defenders, laid it off to Barkley who returned it back to him and he chipped it into the net. Ademola Lookman closed the scoring from a tight angle to the left. He swung the ball in pass Bravo and capped off the game in the final minute of the game.
Man City goes up against Tottenham in the next fixture, where they hope to bounce back from the loss and revive their hopes in the title race.