Liverpool, Arsenal, and Aston Villa have missed a chance to shine in the Premier League, while Manchester City, fresh from Club World Cup success, eyes a comeback.
In a weekend filled with surprises, the top five teams find themselves separated by just six points as Christmas approaches.
Manchester City, despite recent struggles, return from the Club World Cup triumph with renewed vigor, sitting fifth with a game in hand.
Pep Guardiola’s men, having secured victory in the Club World Cup, now trail leaders Arsenal by six points. The Gunners, leading the table for the second consecutive festive season, settle for a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
Arsenal aims for their first top-flight title in two decades, hoping to break the trend of failing to win when leading at Christmas.
Aston Villa’s remarkable 15-game home win streak ends with a 1-1 draw against bottom-placed Sheffield United. Despite the setback, Villa remains level on points with Liverpool, just one point behind Arsenal.
Manchester United’s dramatic past gives way to a period of mediocrity, suffering an eighth defeat of the season at West Ham.
Manager Erik ten Hag pins hopes on the return of injured stars Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez next month, but United’s top-four prospects are dwindling.
Struggling to find the net, United goes four matches without a goal, with Marcus Rashford stuck at two Premier League goals.
Chelsea, under Mauricio Pochettino’s guidance, faces a challenging season, marked by bleak statistics and a struggle for ruthlessness in front of goal.
Despite dominating the first half, Chelsea succumbs to a 2-1 defeat to Wolves, increasing their 2023 Premier League losses to a staggering 19. Pochettino acknowledges their own shortcomings, emphasizing the need for goal-scoring prowess.
As injuries plague Chelsea, the owners, having invested significantly in players, anticipate a swift return on their investment.
Pochettino’s optimism contrasts with the stark reality of Chelsea’s struggles, highlighting the urgency for a turnaround in fortunes.