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The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

December Premier League Update

The authors share the details from their top ten games from the month of December. Which game do you think was the best?
December Premier League Update
Wikimedia Commons

December was an action packed month for the Premier League. This is our list of the top 10 most impactful and entertaining games played in December, peppered with our expert analysis. As of January 4th, the top scorer is Erling Haaland (Manchester City) with 14 goals and four assists. In second place is Mohammed Salah (Liverpool) with 12 goals and seven assists, followed by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) and Heung-min Son (Tottenham Hotspur). The top scorers played a vital role in their respective teams, leading the frontline.

Liverpool versus Fulham

To start off, Liverpool played a historic game against Fulham. Up until the most recent game, the only Liverpool home win versus Fulham in 11 years took place two years ago. Seven minutes into the game, Salah scored, but the initial shot was offside. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) scored an unstoppable free kick off of the crossbar in the 20th minute, but Harry Wilson scored the equalizer for Fulham four minutes later. Liverpool continued their strong offense and Alexis Mac Allister scored a beautiful trivela in the top right corner, which was his first goal of the season. However, Liverpool’s defense wasn’t strong enough, and Fulham responded again as Kenny Tete scored his first goal of the season. Fulham had many great corner kicks, and Liverpool took advantage of the counter attacks, although Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) had two big misses. Fulham’s strong offense continued and Bobby De-Cordova Reid scored a header in the 80th minute. Liverpool wasn’t finished yet. Wataru Endo scored a great goal, and only a minute later man of the match, Trent Alexander Arnold, scored a volley for Liverpool, winning the game. This was one of the most exciting games in the Premier League and we recommend that you watch the highlights for yourself!

Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur

Another highly anticipated game during December was Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur.

Captain Son Heung-Min scored during the first Tottenham attack of the game. His celebrations were short lived, as Heung-Min scored an own goal from a free kick in the 9th minute. Manchester City conducted a multitude of great attacks, but they had some unlucky misses. Phil Foden (Manchester City) scored a clean tap in goal, putting them in the lead at halftime. The Spurs continued their attack and Giovanni Lo Celso scored the equalizer in the 69th minute. City fought back and Jack Grealish scored his first goal in 27 games in the 81st minute. Dejan Kulusevski scored a brilliant header for Tottenham in the 90th minute tying the score 3-3. Haaland was fouled. He played advantage, passing a through ball to Jack Grealish as the ref blew the whistle for a foul. City wanted the advantage, and that was their final opportunity to score.

Aston Villa versus Manchester City

Aston Villa shocked the world in their game versus Manchester City. Ederson made two great early saves for City, and Villa Keeper Martinez made a double save against Haaland. This game was closer than most people thought due to Manchester City winning the treble (all three major club competitions) in the last season. Attack after attack, save after save – Villa even “scored” an off-bounds goal. Manchester City couldn’t handle Villa’s offense, and Leon Bailey scored in the 74th minute. The game was over in the 90th minute, and Aston Villa beat the champions. City had 53% possession with two shots on target, and Villa had 22 shots on goal and seven on target. What a win for Aston Villa (1-0). This game put Aston Villa in 3rd place with Manchester City in 4th.

Arsenal versus Aston Villa

Aston Villa continued their journey to the top with a close game against first place team Arsenal. Villa played aggressively from the very beginning and Captain John McGinn scored. Arsenal had many chances as well as two missed shots by Martin Ødegaard. Arsenal scored in the 89th minute, but there was a handball by Kai Havertz and the goal was disallowed. Aston Villa are now on top of the world, and they climbed to second place, but they had one more opponent to face before reaching the top of the table, Manchester United.

Manchester United versus Aston Villa

Right away, things were looking good for Villa as John McGinn scored a free kick, yet another early goal for Villa, in the 21st minute. It looked as though Villa secured the win after Leander Dedoncker scored five minutes later. Manchester United came back strong, with an offside goal and two saves by Villa keeper Martinez. Alejandro Garnacho scored a well deserved goal for Manchester United in the 59th minute. Garnacho made more quirky, aggressive plays. This master playmaking scored him another goal in the 71st minute. Villa lost their composure and Rasmus Højlund scored his first goal for Manchester United in the 82nd minute. Villa failed to make it to the top of the table, but this win meant so much to Manchester United players and fans. This was one of their only big wins in the season, so this win gave them the joy and hope they have been deprived of for months.

Newcastle versus Nottingham Forest

The game between Newcastle and Nottingham Forest was one of the most surprising games of December. The ball went back and forth between both sides of the field with constant crosses and tackles. Nottingham Forest let a dangerous passing lane open in their defense. They made a reckless challenge and an immediate penalty was given to Newcasle. Alexander Isak scored in the 23rd minute. The game was still very close, and both teams made offensive advances. Chris Wood scored a tap in for Nottingham Forest after a well placed cross by Anthony Elanga. Forest continued their strong counter attacks and Chris Wood scored another goal in the 53rd minute. Forest were fantastic with their long passes this game as Chris Wood scored a hat trick. Newcastle tried desperately to score but Forest played great defense. The game ended 3-1 and the downfall of Newcastle continued with 6 defeats in seven games.
Luton played a surprisingly close game against Manchester City. City played very well offensively from the start but then couldn’t push through. Luton made a great cross and Elijah Adebayo scored a header right before halftime. Manchester City used the ball productively and Bernardo Silva scored a world class goal. Jack Grealish turned the game on its head as he scored in the 65th minute. Manchester City won and the game ended 1-2.

Fulham versus West Ham United

Fulham played a blowout game against West Ham United. West Ham were awarded a free kick and James Ward-Prowse was one free kick goal away from equalling David Beckham’s all time free kick record. Fulham overpowered West Ham’s defense and Raúl Jiménez scored a header for Fulham in the 22nd minute. Fulham kept every ball alive, as they put maximum effort into utilizing rebounds and William scored in the 31st minute. Tosin Adarabioyo jumped over West Ham’s defense and scored a magnificent header. Fulham started off the second half strong. Harry Wilson scored a beautiful goal in the top left corner. Fulham didn’t stop their great attacks and Carlos Vinicius scored a tap in during the 89th minute. The game ended 5-0.

Tottenham Hotspur versus Newcastle

Tottenham Hotspur played an exciting game against Newcastle. Both teams had a series of attacks from the very beginning and possession was switched frequently. Alexander Isak missed a one touch shot about 10 feet away from the goal. The Spurs continued their high press and strong playmaking, as Destiny Udojie scored his first goal for the Spurs. Richarlison scored in the 38th minute, thanks to a great ball from Heung-Min Son. The Spurs made a series of productive counter attacks and Richarlison scored another goal in the 60th minute. Newcastle couldn’t handle Tottenham’s strong offense and Heung-Min Son’s agility; they conceded a penalty. This is Tottenham’s first penalty since Harry Kane left and Heung-Min Son scored it. Newcastle didn’t give up and Joelington (Newcastle) scored a powerful strike in the 91st minute. However, Newcastle’s comeback was short lived and the game ended 4-1.

Liverpool versus Arsenal

Because of Arsenal’s many losses putting them in second and Liverpool’s several wins which got them to the top of the table, the most anticipated match of the month was between Liverpool and Arsenal. Both teams had fairly equal possession in the first half. Arsenal was awarded a free kick in the third minute and Gabriel Jesus scored a header. Liverpool and Arsenal took the same amount of shots on goal – 13 – and even shots on target – two – throughout the match. Salah scored his signature goal in the 23rd minute thanks to a perfect pass from Trent Alexander Arnold that flew over the defense. Now this game was even in almost every respect. The ball went back and forth constantly and it’s no surprise that this game had almost a completely even possession of 51%-49%. Liverpool had a very promising counter attack and Trent Alexander-Arnold had a huge opportunity to score, but in a moment of bad luck, he hit a high patch of grass and the crossbar. The game ended 1-1. This was possibly the most even game of the year. Both teams were playing great defense; neither team was largely favored to win.

Crystal Palace versus Liverpool

The last game we are going to cover is the one that promoted Liverpool to the top of the standings, against Crystal Palace. Both teams created productive opportunities with the ball in the first half, and Alison made a great save for Liverpool. Palace’s offense started to overwhelm Liverpool. Palace stole the ball from Liverpool very close to the box. World renowned defender Virgil Van Dijk conceded a penalty and was given a yellow card in the 29th minute. However, the yellow card was revoked when Palace committed a foul against Wataru Endō. Crystal Palace continued their strong offense, and had a chance to score, until Jean-Philippe Mateta was taken down in the box. The referee didn’t call it until five minutes later, when he checked the VAR and it was a penalty for Crystal Palace. Mateta took the penalty and he scored in the 57th minute. Palace was unable to keep their lead and they committed many fouls, including by Jordan Ayew, who received a red card. As the game progressed, Crystal Palace lost confidence and Salah scored his 200th goal for Liverpool in the 76th minute. Then Liverpool broke through Palace’s weakened defense and Harvey Eliot scored a great goal in the back of the net. Palace had a great opportunity when they went for a header, but Alison made a great save. This was a physical and fast-moving game with many fouls and lots of scoring. Ultimately, Salah became the 5th person in Liverpool’s history to score 200 goals and Liverpool went to the top of the standings, a point clear of Arsenal.
December was a great month for the Premier League, with the main rivalry between Arsenal and Liverpool. It was a special month in that many records were broken, big teams didn’t completely crowd the upper half of the table, and underdogs won crucial games. However, Liverpool is still number one followed by Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Arsenal.

Honorable mentions:
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Fulham vs Arsenal
Everton vs Newcastle

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  • J

    JulianFeb 6, 2024 at 10:05 am

    I personally thought that Tottenham vs West ham was the best game so far!