Yesterday, once again it was proved why the Premier League is still one of the best league in Europe. It was one of those Saturday night in the Premier League when the mid-table team astonished league top teams. We already have seen a lot of surprising results in this season’s Premier League but yesterday, Crystal Palace has produced the biggest surprise of the season and beat the last season's Premier League champion Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. In a highly disappointing week for most of Premier League home teams, Manchester City and Chelsea lost first time this season at their home in their respective matches in a Premier League. Manchester City was stunned by a goal of Jefferey Schlupp, Adress Townsend, Luka Millivojevic at home. Before yesterday’s match, City had the 100 per cent win record at home in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Chelsea, who also had the wonderful home record this season under their new manager Maurizio Sarri, lost first time this season at Stamford Bridge. Leicester City beat Chelsea by the only goal from England striker Jamie Vardy.
The league leader Liverpool continued their unbeaten run in the Premier League and won very comfortably over the in-form Wolverhampton by 2-0 at Molineux Stadium in Friday night late kick-off. Crystal Palace stunning victory over City confirmed Liverpool will remain at the top of the table before this year Christmas. Currently, they are 4 points ahead of the second place Manchester City. In the last 10 seasons, 8 times the team who finished at the top of the table before the Christmas successfully managed to win the Premier League. Liverpool was the only team in a Premier League who failed twice to win the league in 2013/14 and 2008/9 seasons, despite finishing at the top before the Christmas.
Let’s have the quick look at some of the exciting results of yesterday’s matches:
Manchester City 2 – Crystal Palace 3
Yesterday in a very exciting match, Crystal Palace produced a shocking result against last season’s Premier League winner Manchester City and beat them after 28 years at City’s home by 3-2. City boss Pep Guardiola made the 8 changes to his side that won over Leicester City in their mid-week cup game. City started the game in a very high tempo and as expected they took the lead in the 27th minute of the match with the close-range header from the IIkey Gondogan. Manchester City’s lead lasted for only six minutes. In the 33rd minute, Jefferey Schlupp levelled the score with a wonderfully taken shot from the left edge of the box to bottom right corner of City’s goal post. Just two minutes later, Crystal Palace overturned the score and took the lead first in the match. Crystal Palace right-wing Andros Townsend scored with a wonderfully taken volley from nearly 30 yards. Townsend’s stunning goal is one of the be goals in this season’s Premier League.
In the second half, City manager Pep Guardiola made the early substitution and brought Sergio Aguero in place of Nicolas Otamendi. Just minute of his substitution, City conceded the third goal from Millivojevic penalty in the 51st minute. Palace got the penalty after Max Meyer was fouled inside the box by Kyle Walker. City continuously pressed at front searching for a comeback, Leroy Sane’s free-kick in the 76th minute struck on Palace goal post and went out. In the 84th minute, City pulled one back with the second half substitute Kevin De Brune goal. KDB’s cross from nearly the touchline surprisingly went over the Palace goalkeeper Gualta head into the far corner of the net. Then from that Palace somehow managed to keep their one-goal lead and produced the biggest upsets in to last season champion Manchester City home. Despite having 79 per cent ball possession, Manchester City tastes their first home defeat in this season’s Premier League.
Chelsea 0 – Leicester City 1
Leicester City who lost 3 consecutive matches including mid-week cup game against Manchester City has won over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and become the first team this season to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, who responded brilliantly after back to back away lost in the Premier League lost first game at home under their new manager Maurizio Sarri. In the first half, Chelsea missed a couple of chances. First, Willian failed to get any contact on the ball inside Leicester d-box after David Luiz placed a free-kick in his path from Chelsea's own half. In the 17th minute, David Luiz was just inches away to score from his head in a Willian corner-kick. In the 33rd minute, Hazard’s powerful shot was struck on the crossbar and cleared by Leicester defence. In the 40th minute, Chelsea Keeper Kepa produced a brilliant save in a wonderfully executed shot from outside of the box by Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and forced the ball go over the bar. Both teams couldn’t score in the first half and the first half ended goal-less.
The second half started with an early goal, Leicester City capitalized Chelsea's mistake and score a goal in the quick counter-attack. Chelsea midfielder Pedro was dispossessed by Leicester defender Ricardo Periera. Periera then played the ball to James Madison and Madison wonderfully placed the inch-perfect pass inside Chelsea box to Jamie Vardy. Vardy fired the powerful shot from the centre of Chelsea's box to hand Leicester an important lead. Chelsea kept pushing forward while searching for the equaliser but Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel made a couple of brilliant saves to deny Chelsea attack. In the 91st minute, Chelsea wing-back Marcus Alonso failed to level the score on one versus one with Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel. His shot was hit inside of the Leicester left the post and went out. Leicester gave the perfect Christmas gift to their supporters and won 2nd time at Stamford Bridge since 1960.
Cardiff City 1- Manchester United 5
In yesterday’s late kick-off Manchester United dismantled Cardiff City at Cardiff City stadium under the first game of in-charge of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a Manchester United care-taking manager. After last week defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, Manchester United sacked their manager Jose Mourinho and appointed former Manchester United striker Solskjaer as their care-taking manager.
Despite having a lot of controversy with Manchester United board and the former manager Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer included Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw in his first starting line-up for United. Looking at the current form of both team, everyone was expecting Cardiff to give the tough competition to Manchester United but, it only took 3 minutes for United to score the first goal under the new manager. Rashford’s powerful free-kick from nearly 25 yards swirl away from Cardiff goalkeeper Elthridge and entered into the Cardiff's goal-post. In the 29th minute, United stretched their lead to two goals with a goal from Ander Herera. Paul Pogba beautifully passed the ball in the Cardiff half to Ander Herera, who take the touch and tried to fire from the distance. His shot got the wick deflection and swerves inside the Cardiff goal post. After Marcus Rashford controlled the ball inside the box with his arm, Cardiff was awarded a penalty. In the 38th minute, home team pulled one goal back from a penalty spot, Victor Camarasa didn’t make any mistake from the spot and scored the goal. Manchester United reacted very quickly to Camarasa’s goal and Just 3 minute later, Manchester United’s this season top scorer Anthony Martial scored the beautifully created goal to restore the two-goal cushion. First-half ended Manchester United 3- Cardiff one.
The first-half lead gave confidence to the United players, they started to press from the very start of the second half. In the 57th minute, Manchester United stretched their lead into 3 goals. Jesse Lingard scored the goal from the penalty spot after referee Micheal Oliver showed a penalty for bringing Lingard down by Cardiff defender Bamba. In the 90th minute, Manchester United scored their fifth goal first time in the Premier League since the farewell match of their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012/13 season. That match was ended Manchester United 5- West Brom 5 at Old Trafford. Jesse Lingard scored United's 5th goal in a Pogba’s well-timed pass inside the Cardiff Box. The final scoreline of the match was Cardiff 1 - Manchester United 5.
It’s hard to believe that it’s the same team who was completely dominated by Liverpool just a week ago. In that match, Liverpool attempted total 36 shots in United’s goalpost. Manchester United are still eight points behind the Champions League spot but this win at least gives something to celebrate for United Supporters before Christmas.
In other matches, Arsenal Won over Burnley at home with a scoreline of 3-1. For Arsenal Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang scored the two goals and overtake Mohammed Salah to Premier League top scorer chart. The other goal was scored by Alex Iwobi in the 91st minute of the match. Ashley Barnes scored the consolation goal for Burnley.
Watford beat West Ham by 2-0 at London Stadium to end West Ham's 4 match winning run. Watford Troy Deeney opened the goal from a penalty in the 30th minute. And in the 87th minute, Gerard Deulofeu scored in the second consecutive match to seal the victory for Watford.