Southampton got their sweet revenge when they downed Top rung Leicester City 1-2 in their own backyard, the King Power stadium, on Saturday. The Saints had succumbed to one of their worst-ever defeats (0-9) when Brendan Rodgers’ men had visited the St. Mary’s stadium a couple of months ago. January 11th’s defeat makes it three winless games at home for the Foxes after their 0-4 loss to Liverpool and 2-2 draw to bottom-placed Norwich City. As a result, they now find themselves two points below Manchester City who have moved smartly up to the 2nd place after meting out a 1-6 thrashing to Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Argentine striker and City veteran Sergio Aguero became the highest overseas goal scorer in Premier League history after scoring his 12th career hat-trick in Sunday’s big win.
Meanwhile, at the bottom end, Watford’s dream run under Nigel Pearson continued as they registered their fourth win from five games, beating Bournemouth away at Dean Court 0-3. The Hornets who seemed to remain perpetually at the bottom of the table for months are now dramatically out of the relegation zone for the first time and now placed at 17th, while Aston Villa and Bournemouth have slipped into that territory after their weekend losses.
Tottenham Hotspur moved down two notches to the 8th as they went down 0-1 to a dominant Liverpool at home. There were opportunities to score at either end and the score line could have ended on level terms had Spurs’ Korean forward Son Heung-min not missed a sitter in the dying minutes of the match. Spurs were further handicapped by the absence of their talismanic striker, Harry Kane, owing to injury. For Jose Mourinho, this is the fourth defeat from the past ten games he oversaw as coach for the Lilywhites. On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are on a roll, having won 20 of their 21 Premier League games this season and breaching the 60-points mark after their Saturday’s win in North London.
Chelsea beat Burnley 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and secured their place in the Top Four with 39 points from their 22 outings. Frank Lampard’s Blues are still 6 points behind 3rd placed Leicester City’s 45 after the win but a neat 5 points ahead of Manchester United who moved to 34 points after their 4-0 mauling of a hapless Norwich City.
Meanwhile, Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolves are lucky to still find themselves in the 7th spot after they were held to a 1-1 by a visiting Newcastle at the Molineux Stadium. The Wolves have gone through three Premier League games now without a win and are at 31 points currently from the 22 games they have played.
The draw at the Molineux has allowed Sheffield United to steal a march over the Wolves. Chris Wilder’s Blades got the better of West Ham 1-0 at Bramall Lane and moved to the 6th place accruing 32 points and within 2 points of 5th placed Manchester United. The Hammers as a result of their defeat to Sheffield are just a point away from relegation candidate Villa’s 21 but having played one game less than rest of the sides, they are not yet in danger of slipping into that unwanted zone.
Arsenal hung on to the 10th spot after their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Gunners suffered a big blow when their only goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off on a red card by the video assistant referee (VAR) for a foul he committed.
Captain Aubameyang had put his side ahead early in the 12th minute with a well-worked team effort as Mikel Arteta’s side dominated the first half. Jordan Ayew’s deflected equaliser earned Crystal Palace a point that put them one ahead of Arsenal’s 28. The Gunners are now on equal points with Everton (11th) and Southampton (12th) and face the discomforting prospect of being dislodged from the Top half what with their talisman Aubameyang out for the next couple of games.
Team standings with points on the Premier League table after 22 games
* Denotes having played 21 games