The festive fixture list has just started, but before we get completely into the Christmas spirit, take a look back at what happened in November in the Premier League, when title challengers were tested and relegation fighters began to prove themselves worthy.
What we can see from the table
- Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table to six points after winning three out of four games in November.
- Manchester City leapfrogged Southampton into the second place, whilst Manchester United replace West Ham to complete the new top four.
- Newcastle’s good form continued and they carry on going away from the drop zone and are now ninth.
- Burnley are still in the bottom three but are a lot closer to safety after picking up their first wins of the season.
- Leicester picked up just a point last month to leave themselves at the foot of the table.
Player of the Month
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
I gave Sergio Aguero the Player of the Month Award for November last year, and the Argentine has once again delivered the goods with three goals and two assists in two games last month. He started the month as a goalscorer – netting the only goal in the Manchester derby and then grabbing a brace as City drew 2-2 at Queens Park Rangers. After the international break, Aguero turned provider, setting up Yaya Toure and then Gael Clichy in his side’s emphatic 3-0 win away to Southampton. He can be let off for making little contribution in City’s 2-1 win against Swansea. It was a month in which Manuel Pellegrini’s side established themselves as title contenders again, and Aguero staked his claim to be the best player in the division, by overtaking Diego Costa in the scoring charts – he now has 12 to his name this season, just five off his tally for the whole of 2013-14.
2nd – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
3rd – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Manager of the Month
Manuel Pellegrini – Manchester City
Last month we saw a West Ham double of awards, and this month both of the top prizes go to Manchester City, with Manuel Pellegrini picking up the Manager of the Month gong. The Chilean’s tactics meant that last season’s champions won three out of four games in November, the joint best record in the division. Starting off the month with a Manchester derby win, Pellegrini and City finished it by beating Southampton 3-0, meaning they began December in second place. They showed determination to come from behind against Swansea, whilst they were perhaps slightly unlucky to draw at QPR. Pellegrini conceded earlier in the season that it would take ten wins in a row for his side to catch Chelsea at the top, but he’s going about his job just fine and if he can keep City winning, it might not take that much to catch the Blues.
2nd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
3rd – Louis van Gaal (Manchester United)
Goal of the Month
Kevin Mirallas vs Tottenham Hotspur
2nd – Mile Jedinak vs Liverpool
3rd – Ayoze Perez vs West Bromwich Albion
Others worth mentioning
- Olivier Giroud vs Manchester United
- Wayne Rooney vs Hull City
- Robin van Persie vs Hull City
- Bojan Krkic vs Tottenham Hotspur
- Jeffrey Schlupp vs QPR
- Oscar vs QPR
- Victor Wanyama vs Hull City
Game of the Month
QPR 3-2 Leicester City
Charlie Austin was the match winner for QPR who moved off the bottom of the table by beating struggling Leicester. The visitors ended their five-game and 504 minuet goal drought early on as Esteban Cambiasso swept in from the edge of the area. QPR forced an equaliser as Wes Morgan put through his own net, before midfielder Leroy Fer put them in front, smashing home from close range. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy hit the bar, and Jeffrey Schlupp stroked in from outside the box but Austin’s header won it for Harry Redknapp’s side. In total there were 51 shots in the game – 32 for QPR and 19 for Leicester. Read the full match report here.
2nd – Crystal Palace 3-1 Liverpool
Read the full match report here.
3rd – Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United
Read the full match report here.
Surprisingly, there are still yet to be any managerial departures during this season. Surely at least one chairman will pull the trigger in December?
Games to look out for in December
We’ve already seen a bunch of midweek fixtures this month, but what else is to come in the hectic list of games?
- Manchester City vs Everton (06/12)
- Southampton vs Manchester United (08/12)
- Manchester United vs Liverpool (14/12)
- Newcastle United vs Sunderland (21/12)
- Liverpool vs Arsenal (21/12)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United (28/12)
- Southampton vs Chelsea (28/12)