The Premier League round-up: What we learned from Boxing day’s matchups

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A day in the calendar that famously produces plenty of action, this year’s Boxing Day was no exception.

With 29 goals scored just in Wednesday’s Premier League fixtures, Liverpool confirmed their spot as league leaders entering 2019 with a 4-0 win over Newcastle at Anfield.

However, it also appears that a newcomer has emerged as a potential contender to Jurgen Klopp’s high-flyers.

Thanks to Tottenham making another statement in their 5-0 win over Bournemouth, coupled with Manchester City’s shock 2-1 defeat away to Leicester, Spurs now find themselves sat second in the table.

A Boxing Day that was filled with drama from across the country, what did we learn from Wednesday’s performances:


Manchester City are in a defensive nightmare

Well, at the start of December few would have expected to witness such a disastrous downfall for Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.

Suffering another shock defeat at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday, Manchester City have now lost three of their last four Premier League outings and have begun a worrying plummet down the table.

It has been a miserable festive period so far for Guardiola’s side, who have now twice surprisingly been beaten after scoring the game’s opening goal.

Despite Bernardo Siva giving the visitors the lead, they could only hold their advantage for five minutes before Marc Albrighton headed in from Jamie Vardy’s cross.

Unable to dominate the game in the same fashion they managed last season, Ricardo Pereira’s spectacular late strike now finds Guardiola enduring the most difficult spell of his tenure in Manchester.

Shipping two against Leicester, it will undoubtedly be their recent defensive issues giving the Spaniard the biggest headache.

City have now managed to record just one clean sheet in their last nine top-flight appearances.


Paul Pogba steals the show

Another performance that had the air of a Manchester United side playing with the shackles off, one man who epitomized their new-found optimism was Paul Pogba.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offering United a new attacking identity, the Reds have now scored eight in the last two and their 3-0 win over Huddersfield on Wednesday shows plenty of immediate improvements.

Picking up two goals and also leaving Old Trafford with the Man of the Match award, Pogba stole that show and put in arguably a season’s best showing.

Given the chance to express himself and focus on dictating the play in the final third, the World Cup winner appears to be relishing the opportunity to start a new chapter under Solskjaer.


Tottenham are title contenders

While City might be so publically struggling at the top of the Premier League table, the same can not be said for Tottenham.

Although many were concerned by their 4-2 defeat in the north London derby earlier in the month, Spurs have only gone from strength to strength and Mauricio Pochettino has installed a newfound belief in his side.

Pulling off a great escape to miraculously book their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Bournemouth now sees them extend their winning run to four league games on the bounce.

More impressive, also scoring six at Goodison Park last weekend, the Lilywhites have already netted 19 goals in December.

Now leapfrogging the defending champions to second spot, should Jurgen Klopp be looking at Pochettino as his most legitimate challenger?


It’s Liverpool’s title to lose

While Liverpool’s German boss will not let the smallest sign of complacency slip into his squad, Klopp will know that his side now sit in pole position.

Still the only team in the Premier League yet to taste defeat, the Reds’ 4-0 win over Newcastle means they now hold a six-point buffer at the top of the table, their biggest advantage of the season.

Goals by Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, Xherdan Shaqiri and substitute Fabinho, ensured they will start 2019 at the top of the table.

While Liverpool’s glimmering attacking lineup once again left Merseyside with the headlines, it will be their form at the back most impressing the former Borussia Dortmund coach.

Picking up yet another clean sheet at Anfield on Boxing Day, the Premier League high-flyers secured a 12th top-flight clean sheet of the season.

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