The back end of the festive calendar and two rounds of the FA Cup meant that some teams only played three Premier League games in January, but we were still treated to some great games in the top flight and some even better goals…
What We Can See From The Table
- Despite losing their first league game since September, Chelsea still managed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to nine points.
- Tottenham Hotspur moved from fifth to second after winning three and drawing two in January. Manchester City won just once in three games as they dropped out of the top four.
- Spurs, Manchester United, Everton and Stoke City all went through January unbeaten. The Potters gained the most places in the division, jumping from 14th to 10th.
- Three wins from four games saw Swansea City rise from the bottom of the table to two points above the relegation zone. Hull are now bottom, whilst Crystal Palace have slipped into the bottom three.
- Liverpool, Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Sunderland all failed to win in January, with the reigning champions picking up the fewest points (1).
Player of the Month
Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur
It’s incredible to think that Dele Alli is just 20 years old. The Tottenham man is undoubtedly England’s biggest hope for the future, and netted five goals in five league games in January to take his tally to 11 for the season, already better than his 2015-16 total when he won the PFA Young Player of the Season. It also means that Alli has 21 goals in 55 Premier League games so far – a Tottenham strike rate matched only by Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham and Harry Kane. It’s a prestigious set of names that the midfielder now sits comfortably alongside. He began the month with two braces, first in the 4-1 win over Watford on New Years’ Day and then in the 2-0 win over Chelsea to end the Blues’ 13-game unbeaten run. He then took a break from scoring in the 4-0 thrashing of West Brom, but he did still get an assist for Harry Kane’s goal. Alli then began his team’s comeback with a goal in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City, before the whole Tottenham team drew a blank in a 0-0 stalemate against Sunderland. The youngster seems to have found his home in the second striker role just behind Kane, and the pair’s relationship helped to lift Mauricio Pochettino’s to second place in the Premier League table.
2nd – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
3rd – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Manager of the Month
Ronald Koeman – Everton
For much of the season so far, we’ve been talking about a Premier League top six, but if Everton carry on their excellent form they could well make their way back into that elite group and get us talking about a top seven. After two successive bottom half finishes, it was time for change at Goodison Park in the summer, with Ronald Koeman coming in after working wonders at Southampton. The Dutchman has given Toffees’ fans something to cheer about again, and led his team to three wins from three in January. The streak began with a 3-0 win over Koeman’s former South Coast employers, with all the goals coming in the last 17 minutes of the game. The team’s most impressive win of the month was a 4-0 thrashing of Manchester City that led to Pep Guardiola claiming that his side’s title chances were over. Everton ended the month with a slightly less convincing win, a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace courtesy of Seamus Coleman’s late goal. But it made it three wins from three nonetheless, all without conceding too. Koeman too must be credited with the emergence of 18 year old midfielder Tom Davies who netted one and assisted two in January, as well as some impressive business in the transfer market – bringing in Morgan Schneiderlin and promising youngster Ademola Lookman, who promptly scored just four minutes into his debut as a substitute against Manchester City.
2nd – Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)
3rd – Paul Clement (Swansea City)
Goal of the Month
Olivier Giroud vs Crystal Palace
2nd – Andy Carroll vs Crystal Palace
3rd – David Luiz vs Liverpool
Game of the Month
Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal
Arsenal completed a dramatic comeback at Bournemouth as they rescued a point in injury time having fallen 3-0 behind. The Gunners looked destined for a third away league defeat in a row before a late rally that began with a diving Alexis Sanchez header and gathered momentum when a stunning Lucas Perez left-footed volley reduced the gap to a single goal. Bournemouth went down to 10 men when Simon Francis was sent off for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal capitalised as Olivier Giroud headed a 92nd-minute equaliser. The home side had overwhelmed the Gunners early on and taken the lead when Charlie Daniels cut inside Hector Bellerin and stroked a shot past on-rushing keeper Petr Cech. Callum Wilson scored a penalty to extend Bournemouth’s lead and Ryan Fraser sent a shot through Cech’s legs for the Cherries’ third before the hour mark. But the hosts buckled under Arsenal’s late pressure as Arsene Wenger’s side moved eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea. Read the full BBC match report here.
2nd – Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City
3rd – Everton 4-0 Manchester City
Did You Know?
- Leicester picked up just one point from four games in January. They now officially have the worst record after 23 games by a reigning top-flight champion with five wins, six draws and 12 defeats.
- Mike Phelan sacked by Hull City on 03/01 – replaced by Marco Silva on 05/01.
- Paul Clement was also named as Bob Bradley’s replacement at Swansea on 03/01.
Games To Look Out For In February
- Chelsea vs Arsenal (04/02)
- Crystal Palace vs Sunderland (04/02)
- Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur (11/02)