Analysis; updated Premier League table; festive fixtures; league positions by matchday over the season so far; current form; top scorers and creators;
It’s an advantage for Man City at the end of 2021 – but where do Chelsea and Liverpool stand after the recent round of Premier League games?
In a pivotal midweek, which saw Liverpool lose at Leicester and Chelsea pegged back by a last-minute equalizer by Brighton, Manchester City pulled eight points clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 win at Brentford. Chelsea is second, with Liverpool nine points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, with a game in hand – although that gap could stretch further before Chelsea and Liverpool meet on Super Sunday.
Here, we run through the contenders, their festive schedules, injury lists, stats, and more.
Analysis of the midweek results: Man City take control as Chelsea, Liverpool falter
Jurgen Klopp’s finely-tuned machine was not functioning as it should have done in Leicester. The space was out wide for Liverpool but the midfielders were too slow to find it. When they did, the delivery from the flanks was not quite what it should have been.
Chances were still created but when they were, they were wasted. Most notably by Mohamed Salah in squandering the chance to score from the spot but there was also a huge miss by Sadio Mane and a series of half-chances spurned by the wasteful Diogo Jota.
Fatigue should not have been a factor and Klopp appreciated the irony of losing to a team that had played on Boxing Day given his fixture complaints. But the feeling persists that the sheer relentlessness required to keep pace with Manchester City has caught up with them.
Chelsea was three points clear of Liverpool and four points ahead of Manchester City after 12 Premier League games at the end of November.
They now trail leaders City by eight points and are just one ahead of Liverpool having played a game more.
The west Londoners have gone from 15/8 shots with Sky Bet for the title all the way out to 16/1. And there won’t be many takers at that price considering Manchester City’s form, and Chelsea’s for that matter. Despite only losing their lead in stoppage time vs Brighton, they were second best for large parts to a team who pressed efficiently, passed intelligently, and looked more confident than their supposed title-challenging rivals.
Current Situation in Premier League:
Such is the relentless pace at the top of the Premier League, you simply can’t afford to go through a spell of winning just four out of 10 games as Chelsea have. In the blink of an eye, the title has slipped out of their grasp.
Sustaining attacks and creating quality chances is becoming a real problem for Thomas Tuchel, who cut a frustrated figure in his media duties after dropping yet more points. Their lack of sustained, quality attacks can be showcased through an expected goals figure of just 0.67 in the 1-1 draw.
Romelu Lukaku’s goal came from a set piece, as did most of Chelsea’s chances. Remember this is a team that against Arsenal on the second week of the season created 18 chances from open play in one fixture. Such is their current malaise, they have created a total of 18 chances from open play in their last three fixtures combined against Brighton, Aston Villa, and Wolves.
It was the same story in the 3-2 win over Leeds where two Jorginho penalties got them out of jail and papered over the cracks of their lack of cutting edge in the final third. This is now more than just a blip for Tuchel and Chelsea. They have questions to answer.