There was plenty of FA Cup magic to enjoy last month as the Premier League perhaps took a step back, but there was still the usual drama in England’s top division. New Years’ Day saw goals galore and the rest of January wasn’t too bad either…
What we can see from the table
- Despite being level at one point, the gap between Chelsea and Manchester City at the top is now five points.
- Tottenham Hotspur overtake Arsenal into fifth position, whilst Liverpool’s season is gathering momentum as they are up to seventh.
- Stoke City are into the top ten after a positive month, whilst around them is much the same.
- Aston Villa and QPR picked up just one point last month, with the latter falling into the relegation zone.
- Hull City are now also in the bottom three, with Burnley and a transformed Crystal Palace moving out of the drop zone.
Player of the Month
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
If Roy Hodgson doesn’t pick Harry Kane for England’s internationals in March, there will have to be some sort of inquest. The 21 year old striker scored in three out of Tottenham’s four games last month, and chipped in with an assist as well. He started the year off with a bang, just as Spurs did, scoring two and setting up in a a man of the match performance in his side’s 5-3 win over league leaders Chelsea. He then gave his team the lead at Crystal Palace before they went on to lose the game, and excelled in a 2-1 win over Sunderland but failed to score. Kane then ended the month just as he started it, by bagging two goals in an emphatic 3-0 win over West Brom. One cheeky reporter asked Mauricio Pochettino in a press conference whether the striker could play for Ireland, but come on Roy, he’s well worth a shot…
2nd – Oscar (Chelsea)
3rd – Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Manager of the Month
Ronald Koeman – Southampton
Due to the FA Cup, Southampton only played three games in January but they were three games that really tested their top four credentials and Ronald Koeman guided his team through unbeaten. A 2-0 win at home to Arsenal on New Years’ Day began 2015 in style for the Saints before 10 days later they won at Old Trafford for the first time since 1988 thanks to Dusan Tadic’s strike. Finally a 2-1 win over Newcastle topped off a superb month in which they finished 4th, but only because United had played a game more. Koeman’s business in the transfer market last month wasn’t too bad either as his only signing Eljero Elia, a loanee from Werder Bremen, scored both goals in the victory at St.James’ Park.
2nd – Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool)
3rd – Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)
Goal of the Month
Harry Kane (1st) vs Chelsea
2nd – Jack Colback vs Burnley
3rd – Sebastian Larsson vs Tottenham
Others worth mentioning
- Yaya Toure vs Sunderland
- David Nugent vs Liverpool
- Andy Carroll vs Swansea
- Diego Costa vs Newcastle
- Scott Arfield vs QPR
- Robin van Persie vs Leicester
- Christian Eriksen vs West Brom
Game of the Month
Tottenham Hotspur 5-3 Chelsea
Chelsea were stunned by a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham to surrender their lead at the top of the Premier League. Diego Costa’s tap-in put Chelsea ahead, but Kane’s 20-yard drive levelled and then Danny Rose followed up a rebound. Kane was tripped by Gary Cahill for an Andros Townsend penalty, with Kane’s turn and shot giving Spurs a fourth. Eden Hazard’s low shot gave Chelsea hope, but Nacer Chadli’s deflected effort meant John Terry’s late close-range goal was only a consolation. It was only Chelsea’s second defeat of the season and meant that they were only top of the division based on alphabetical order. Read the full report here.
1st – Manchester City 3-2 Sunderland
Read the full report here.
2nd – Burnley 2-3 Crystal Palace
Read the full report here.
After a frantic few days of sacking to end 2014, there were no managerial departures in January, but John Carver was appointed Newcastle manager until the end of the season after Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace.
Games to look out for in February
- Tottenham vs Arsenal (07/02)
- Everton vs Liverpool (07/02)
- Liverpool vs Tottenham (10/02)