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Home   /   TOO GOOD, TOO BAD- 11th-13th December

Matchday 12 of the Premier League saw the race at the top of the league stutter with the top two, Tottenham and Liverpool, dropping points away to sides in the bottom half and Chelsea’s 17-game unbeaten streak in all competitions coming to an end at Goodison. It also saw arguably the worst Manchester Derby in Premier League history roll to a goalless draw, here are this weekend’s standout sides, but for different reasons.

TOO GOOD

SOUTHAMPTON

The Saints go marching into the top four after they put bottom-side Sheffield United to the sword to kick off Sunday’s action. Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong, and Nathan Redmond grabbed the goals in the three-nil win. Adams netted a typical poacher’s finish as he added his fourth goal of the season and his eighth since June. Armstrong added the second with a deflected effort before Redmond finished the scoring with a precise finisher across Aaron Ramsdale after linking up with Oriel Romeu. Saints have now won four of their six league games at St Mary’s this season; it took them 14 games to reach to four wins last season. It was also their biggest home win in over three years. Ralph Hasenhuttl really has Southampton dreaming with their 23 points this season the most at this point since 2014/15, where they ended up the season by qualifying for the Europa League. Could history repeat itself?

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WEST HAM UNITED

Another side enjoying a great start in the league is West Ham. The Irons came back from behind away at Leeds to secure a two-one win and temporarily climb to fifth on Friday night. West Ham found themselves behind only minutes in after Lukasz Fabianski brought down Patrick Bamford in the box. Mateusz Klich scored from the spot at the second time of asking after VAR ordered a retake with Fabianski off his line for the first. West Ham levelled on 25 minutes with Tomas Soucek yet again dominating in the air, this time beating Stuart Dallas and heading in from a corner. Only Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (4) have scored more headed goals than Soucek (3) since his arrival. The comeback was completed late on from yet another set-piece, West Ham’s eighth of the season, joint highest with Chelsea. Angelo Ogbonna’s towering header from Aaron Cresswell’s free kick earned the Iron’s a deserved three points.

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TOO BAD

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Wolves saw a stoppage time penalty from Anwar El Ghazi snatch the points as they lost the West Midlands derby one-nil. The ill-tempered match saw two red cards late on, with Joao Moutinho sent off in added time and now unavailable for the visit of Chelsea, to compound Nuno Espirito Santo’s misery. Wolves were denied on several occasions by Emiliano Martinez who had enjoyed another solid performance in the Villa goal. The post denied Wolves’ second youngest Premier League starter, Fabio Silva (18 years and 146 days), midway through the second half with Wolves dearly missing top-scorer Raul Jimenez. Adama Traore was yet again uninfluential as he has now gone 19 league games without a goal or an assist, the worst run of his Wolves career. The loss saw Wolves slip into the bottom half and go a point behind their West Midland rivals who have two games in hand.

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ARSENAL

Name something more synonymous than Arsenal and the ‘too bad’ section? Chances are you can’t. They are writing themselves in at this point as they’ve now fallen to four straight home defeats, the first time in 61 years. Mikel Arteta’s side were beaten one-nil by Burnley at the Emirates on Sunday. The win saw the Clarets climb out of the bottom three and worryingly for Arsenal, go just three points behind the Gunners. Disaster seems to follow Arsenal everywhere at the minute and this game was no different with Granit Xhaka seeing an inexcusable red card for grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat, adding only further questions on Mikel Arteta’s control over his group of players with seven red cards shown to his players since his arrival, the most in the league by far in that time. The goal came from their mis-firing talisman, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, who finally found the back of the net, but only for it to cost his side the win rather than earn it. His own goal with less than 20 minutes left of time, sealed Arsenal’s worst top-flight run at home since December 1959.

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Sub-Edited by Samuel Brady

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