We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the 2021-22 Premier League season, with all the top teams now exactly on 19 played from 38 after Tuesday night’s results. Both Chelsea and Manchester City play tomorrow (Wednesday), then again over the weekend as we continue to grapple with various scheduling challenges amid the pandemic, but for one night, we can look at the table and get a complete picture of the title race.
And that race is suddenly looking very much like a one-horse race, when just a few weeks ago, it was very much a three-horse race. Manchester City now have a six-point lead over not only Chelsea, but Liverpool as well, after the Reds laid a goose-egg at the King Power tonight.
Liverpool failed to score in a game in any competition for the first time in eight months, despite getting Boxing Day off due to a postponement, and facing an undermanned Leicester City who were trounced 6-3 by Manchester City just two days ago. Mo Salah saw a penalty saved and also hit the woodwork while former Everton-man Ademola Lookman got the Foxes’ only goal with their only shot on target. Football!
In-form Arsenal continue to lead the chasing pack, though Tottenham could jump ahead of them if they win both their games-in-hand. Antonio Conte remains unbeaten as Spurs boss, though they also failed to impress in their 1-1 draw against 10-man Southampton today — even if VAR screwed them over this time with a ... shall we say ... questionable offside call on Kane. Then again, Kane shouldn’t have even been playing in this game after escaping a blatant red card in the previous game. Spurs also got lucky when Chelsea loanee Armando Broja missed a great chance at the end to steal all three points, even.
Speaking of loanees, Billy Gilmour drew the ire of the Norwich unwashed as they succumbed to another defeat, this time 3-0 to a Conor Gallagher-less Crystal Palace. It’s unclear why Gallagher missed the game (COVID is the obvious rumor, but it’s unconfirmed), but Palace clearly didn’t need him against such abject opposition (with or without Gilmour). Norwich remain rock-bottom of the league, though Newcastle, Watford, and Burnley are hardly any better, so survival is still a decent possibility for one of them.
Onwards to the second half of the season!