Wow, what a month. Full of great goals, great games and one outstanding individual performance which broke a Premier League record. Late goals were also a plenty in the most exciting month of the season so far, as the hectic Christmas fixture list did not disappoint. Remember all the action, drama and controversy below.
What we can see from the table
- Manchester City picked up 19 points from a possible 21, almost doubling their points tally in the space of a month.
- Arsenal lost their seven point lead at the top, but still sat in first as we went into 2014.
- After a fantastic start to the season, Southampton suffered a slump, picking up just five points and dropping to ninth.
- Crystal Palace moved off the bottom and climbed out of the relegation zone after picking up ten points.
- Going in the other direction, West Ham had a poor month, picking up just two points (the lowest in the league) as they fell into the relegation zone.
Player of the month
Luis Suarez – Liverpool
Who else but the Uruguayan was I going to give this month’s award to? Luis Suarez may have been ineffective against Manchester City and Liverpool towards the end of the month, but his performances before were enough to win him the award on his own. The one against Norwich City particularly stands out, as he grabbed four fantastic goals (all featured in my goal of the month section) and assisted one as Liverpool won 5-0. He seemed unstoppable at times and his second goal against Cardiff City on the 21st made him the first player in Premier League history to score 10 goals in a calendar month. That is tally he ended the month with, whilst he also got four assists.
2nd – Seamus Coleman (Everton)
3rd – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Manager of the month
Manuel Pellegrini – Manchester City
In a month that has really transformed their season, Manuel Pellegrini has guided Manchester City from 6th to 2nd. They picked up 22 points from a possible 24, doubling their points tally in the space of a month. Pellegrini also led his side to wins against title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool as well as transforming City’s poor away form. The Citizens are now being tipped by many to win the trophy come May.
2nd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
3rd – Tony Pulis (Crystal Palace)
Goal of the Month
1st – Luis Suarez (1st) vs Norwich
2nd – Gary Hooper vs Swansea
3rd – Fabian Delph vs Aston Villa
Others worth mentioning
- Sandro vs Man United
- Luis Suarez (2nd) vs Norwich
- Luis Suarez (3rd) vs Norwich
- Luis Suarez (4th) vs Norwich
- Pablo Osvaldo vs Manchester City
- John Flanagan vs Tottenham
- Wayne Rooney vs Hull City
- Dwight Gale vs Aston Villa
- Seamus Coleman vs Aston Villa
Game of the month
Manchester 6-3 Arsenal
Manchester City delivered an ominous message to their Premier League title rivals as leaders Arsenal were thrashed. Sergio Aguero gave them an early lead before Theo Walcott equalised. Alvaro Negredo and Fernandinho made it 3-1 but Walcott scored again before David Silva and Fernandinho again made sure of the points making it 5-2. But it wasn’t finished. Per Mertesacker made it look a little better at 5-3 with a header, but Yaya Toure restored the three goal lead, converting a penalty after James Milner had been brought down. The result meant Manuel Pellegrini’s side closed the gap on the Gunners to three points with another in a growing list of devastating attacking displays at home this season. Read the full report here.
2nd – Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea
Read the report here.
3rd – Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City
Read the report here.
Others worth mentioning
I don’t usually do this, but there were so many fantastic games in December that needed a mention.
- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
- Hull 6-0 Fulham
- Stoke 3-2 Chelsea
- West Ham 3-3 West Brom
Managerial Sackings (NEW!)
- Martin Jol from Fulham (01/12) – replaced by Rene Meulensteen (01/12)
- Steve Clarke from West Bromwich Albion (14/12) – yet to be replaced with Keith Downing in temporary charge
- Andre Villas-Boas from Tottenham Hotspur (16/12) – replaced by Tim Sherwood (23/12)
- Malky Mackay from Cardiff City (27/12) – replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (02/01/2014)
Games to look out for in January
January began with a couple of fantastic games on New Years’ Day with the FA Cup taking centre stage at the weekend. What other fixtures are there to look forward to this month?
- Manchester United vs Swansea (11/12) – only because of last week’s FA Cup drama between the two sides
- Chelsea vs Manchester United (19/12)
- Liverpool vs Everton (28/12)
- Tottenham vs Manchester City (29/12)