26 Dec 5 things we learned from Boxing Day’s Premier League action
The festive Premier League fixtures continued on Boxing Day, with 16 of the division’s 20 sides in action.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five things we learned from the latest round of top-flight games.
1. History-maker Kane looks more deadly than ever
Harry Kane just seems to get better and better. The Golden Boot winner for the last two seasons set a new record for Premier League goals in a calendar year as Tottenham beat Southampton 5-2 at Wembley, scoring three times to take his tally to 39 in 36 appearances in 2017. He went into the game joint-top of the list with Alan Shearer – scorer of 36 goals in 42 matches in 1995 – having also netted a hat-trick three days earlier against Burnley, and it is six league trebles in total for Kane over the year.
2. An unhappy Christmas for United
After being held to a 2-2 draw at Leicester on Saturday, Manchester United again ended up with only a point as their home clash with Burnley ended with the same scoreline. The Red Devils had been denied victory by a stoppage-time goal at the King Power Stadium but this time they were grateful for one as substitute Jesse Lingard rescued them from defeat with his second goal of a game in which they had trailed 2-0 at half-time. Boss Jose Mourinho will hardly feel like celebrating the late salvage job with the table now showing that his second-placed side will be 15 points behind Manchester City if the leaders extend their historic winning streak to 18 matches by beating Newcastle on Wednesday.
3. Toffees super-solid under Sam
Everton’s goalless draw at West Brom was hardly a thriller but it meant the Merseyside outfit have now gone six league matches unbeaten following Sam Allardyce’s appointment as their manager – a sequence in which the defensive record has been particularly impressive. The one secured at the Hawthorns was a fourth clean sheet in the six games, and there was only one goal conceded in each of the other two outings.
4. Swift appointment needed at Swansea
Lying bottom of the table, Swansea took action last Wednesday by sacking boss Paul Clement – and judging by the mauling they suffered at Liverpool six days on, they need to get a permanent successor in very soon. The 5-0 defeat, their second match under Leon Britton’s caretaker management and seventh successive away loss, left the Welsh outfit five points adrift of safety.
5. Arnautovic produces again
West Ham are the club currently just above the relegation zone, with there still a point between them and 18th-placed Bournemouth after the two sides battled out a 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium. While the Hammers were left frustrated by the Cherries’ controversial late equaliser, there was another positive contribution from Marko Arnautovic, who is looking increasingly vital for David Moyes’ team. The Austrian, criticised at times this season following his club record move from Stoke over the summer, scored a brace to make it five goals for him in his last five league appearances.