Something rather unusual was in the air this weekend in the Premier League. Last weekend, it looked like the top six were separating themselves from the rest of the league. This weekend, the rest of the league roared back.
Well, except Arsenal.
4 - None of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City or Man Utd have won in the Premier League this weekend, the first time they've all played and failed to win in a weekend since 6-7 February 2016. Unusual.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 13, 2020
The only roaring at Arsenal was from the fans, who voiced their displeasure at braving the elements and the pandemic to sit thorough yet another (hilarious) home defeat, 1-0 to Burnley — powered by a most idiotic red card from Granit Xhaka (even by his standards), plus an own goal from Aubameyang. Only five teams have been worse than the Gunners through the first dozen matches of the season. Mikel Arteta surely favorite for the sack race now.
One of those five did Chelsea a solid this weekend however, as Fulham took two points off Liverpool with a 1-1 draw. Agent Ruben started the match and was withdrawn 15 minutes from time, at which point newly promoted Fulham were still leading 1-0. They’d give up an equalizer from a Mo Salah penalty, but it was still a most magnificent result for the struggling friendly neighbors. They’re still in the relegation zone, but in touch with those just above them.
18 - Liverpool have won their last 18 Premier League matches against newly-promoted teams – in top-flight history, only Chelsea (27 between October 2002 and November 2006) have ever had a longer winning run in such fixtures. Bullies. #FULLIV pic.twitter.com/FvuryTFY8c— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 13, 2020
We got another favor from another London team as well, as England’s Brave Gary Cahill’s Crystal Palace fought back to also take two points off Spurs with a 1-1 draw. Mourinho once famously claimed that winning 1-0 is the easiest thing, but they sure Spursed that up yesterday, giving up a late equalizer to Palace from a set piece. Most dangerous lead, that 1-0, it would seem. (Michy Batshuayi was an unused sub.)
Earlier this weekend, Manchester United and City drew 0-0 in a most boring Derby, which means that while Chelsea lost at Goodison, the damage to our season aspirations was fairly minimal — dropping just one point further behind the leaders. Leicester City did win, beating Brighton 3-0, which puts them third, while the rest closed up as well and blurred the line between contenders and pretenders.
This could get messy, which is all the more reason to get back to winning as soon as possible.