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Arsenal look real deal, Newcastle relentless and Tottenham fickle as battle resumes

Arsenal look real deal, Newcastle relentless and Tottenham fickle as battle resumes

After a record-breaking mid-season shut-down due to the Qatar World Cup, the Premier League burst back to life in the holiday season with a record-breaking fixture schedule.

The stoppage of 44 days gave top managers to think about their plans and players who were not in Qatar could recharge their batteries. The resumption of Monday's session was also an opportunity for those who are jostling around the tables to put down a mark and the combatants to have the fresh start. What have we learned from this remarkable vacation that ends later on Wednesday when the champions Manchester City taking on Leeds United?


When Mikel Arteta's tabletoppers fell behind in the first half in the match against strugglers West Ham United there were murmurs in on the Emirates Stadium -- with supporters possibly fearing that Arsenal's pre-break momentum had gone away. How they responded however, highlighted the fact that Arsenal's lead over Chelsea in over the Premier League for the first time since 2007 was a good thing and could need to stop for a while,report by agen judi online malaysia.

There was a buzz about Arteta's players as they came back with goals scored by Bukayo Saka Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah to take 3-1 victory and give themselves a seven-point advantage. A former coach Arsene Wenger, in the stands would have been amazed by the way Arsenal demonstrated that winning their first league title following the French coach's triumph in 2003-04 could be a possibility.


Any thought Newcastle United might suffer a vertigo-like sensation in the break was put to rest after they returned to their campaign in a stunning fashion to move into second place. Boxing Day opponents Leicester City were in great form prior to the start of World Cup, but were stunned at home, when Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton all scored in the first 33 minutes of play for the hosts.

Newcastle has won 6 consecutive league matches scoring 15 goals and only conceding two goals during the same sequence. With new signings anticipated in January, Eddie's declaration that everything is possible is plausible.


The inability of Tottenham to play consistently in the an entire 90 minutes of play, became apparent during a draw 2-2 at Brentford. Antonio Conte's squad, featuring the squad with five World Cup players, were exhausted and beaten during the first 55 minutes at Brentford in the 2-0 deficit they had to overcome. But, as has been the case so often in the past, they proved that even trapped in self-inflicted pain they could actually appear like a top team.

Goals scored by Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg resulted in a point, and their dominance over the final half hour left pundits puzzled by the erratic nature of Tottenham. They've gained 14 points away from the bottom of their league this year, and while that's remarkable, it's not sustainable and their spot in the top four seems becoming increasingly shaky.


The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo's absence no more hovering over the club like clouds, Manchester United are playing with greater freedom, which was evident in their win on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest which left them one point clear of the fourth spot in the table. Marcus Rashford scored one and helped another in the process in his continued excel and Casemiro showed class in his midfield position as did Christian Eriksen pulled the strings.

After a slow debut with a shaky start at Old Trafford, manager Erik Ten Hag has his team to the same page and United as well as Liverpool are heading into January with a shaky outlook. Liverpool were too strong to be beaten by Aston Villa and while their chances of winning the title are long gone the anticipation of watching Liverpool and United compete for the top-four position will be exciting in 2023.


Christmas was not a happy time for clubs that are struggling to stay in the bottom. West Ham United look a shadow of the team who had such a great season last year and a third straight loss put more pressure on the manager David Moyes.

As West Ham, Everton are just a few points above the drop zone , but losing at home at Wolverhampton Wanderers was ominous and manager Frank Lampard will need positive results soon to put aside his critics. Wolves are optimistic because Julen Lopetegui's reign kicked off with a victory that lifted them up to 18th position, however this is not the case of Southampton under the management of new coach Nathan Jones after defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion left them in the bottom.