After a six-week absence, Premier League action returned with an exciting and packed festive schedule, with Arsenal extending their lead after Everton shocked Manchester City.
Having been deprived of domestic football due to the World Cup in Qatar, English football fans were treated to a deluge of fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period. Here are the selected results from a packed week of Premier League football:
Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City – Pep Guardiola’s side ensured a winning return to club football as they swept aside Leeds at Elland Road. Erling Haaland continued to impress. After a lengthy break due to his absence from the World Cup, the Norwegian returned with a brace.
Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United – Mikel Arteta’s side kept up the pace with a comfortable win of their own. Bukayo Saka continued his World Cup form by scoring Arsenal’s opener. David Moyes’ position at West Ham continues to become more and more perilous.
Manchester City 1-1 Everton – In arguably the surprise of the two game weeks that took place, Guardiola’s side dropped points at home to relegation-threatened Everton. Haaland opened the scoring, but Demarai Gray scored a surprise equaliser in the second half, handing Arsenal the chance to increase their lead at the top.
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-4 Arsenal – Mikel Arteta’s side went into the fixture aware that a win would see them move seven points clear. The Gunners rose to that pressure. Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli all got on the scoresheet.
Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle United – The Gunners did finally slip up in the league. Eddie Howe’s men were good value for their draw, as they frustrated an Arsenal side, who believed they should have been awarded two penalties. Manchester City have to chance to reduce the gap when they face Chelsea on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Aston Villa – Unai Emery’s Villa shocked Tottenham on New Years’ Day. Emi Buendia and Douglas Luiz got the goals as Antonio Conte’s charge for the Champions League places came unstuck.
Brentford 3-1 Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp’s side are another top side to disappoint so far this season. They were the victim of an upset on Monday when they travelled to the Community Stadium in West London. The Merseyside club are currently in sixth.
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Chelsea – The Blues are experiencing somewhat of a transitional season, but they aren’t picking up wins along the way. Graham Potter’s side slipped to an underwhelming draw at the City Ground. The European giants currently languish in 10th and are behind West London rivals Brentford and Fulham. Improvement is needed if they are to ensure European football for next season.