The Premier League: Six things we learned on New Years Day


Tottenham victories at Old Trafford are like London buses….

…You wait 23 years for one and then two come along at once. When Spurs broke their long standing Old Trafford winless run in 2012 little did they know they’d only have to wait 15 months for their next.

Emmanuel Adebayor continued his superb run of form under new manager Tim Sherwood and gave Tottenham the lead in the first half. Christian Eriksen added a second just after the hour mark but United hit back a minute later through Danny Welbeck to make it 2-1.

Despite pressure in the closing stages Tottenham survived numerous penalty appeals to hold out for the three points and their second consecutive win at the Old Trafford.

The result further dents United’s stuttering title defence. No team has won the English title after losing six of their opening 20 games since the 1961-62 season when Ipswich took were crowned champions.

Arsenal leave it late

Given the form Arsenal have been in this season no one could be blamed for thinking that they would make light work of a managerless Cardiff side at home. It just wasn’t that simple at the Emirates.

Arsenal, who were missing Olivier Giroud, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil through injury, could not penetrate the resilient Cardiff defence. The league leaders fought hard in the North London rain and only found a breakthrough in the 88th minute through Nicklas Bendtner.

The points were safe for the Gunners when Theo Walcott added a second in added time. The points mean that Arsenal stay top of the league after the busy Christmas period.

Ole Gunnar be boss

Sat next to controversial Cardiff owner Vincent Tan at the Emirates was former Manchester United super sub, now manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This is the clearest indication so far that the Norwegian manager will be taking over at Cardiff after the sacking of Malky Mackay.

Solskjaer managed the Manchester United reserves between 2008 and 2011 before moving to manage Norwegian side Molde FK. He will have a tough task ahead of him although, with Cardiff currently sitting just one point above the relegation zone, it is rumoured that Tan will make transfer funds available for the January window.

And the Oscar goes too…

The other guy. After a hard fought first half Chelsea made light work of Southampton at St Mary’s eventually winning 3-0. Fernando Torres opened the scoring before Brazilians Willian and Oscar completed a convincing second half display.

In the whole of 2013 no Chelsea striker scored an away goal in the Premier League, Torres’ goal means that they have scored away in 2014 in the first time of asking.

While Oscar did score he will be making headlines for the wrong reasons tomorrow morning, with the scores still at 0-0 Oscar got clean through on goal before diving in an attempt to get Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis sent off.

Referee Martin Atkinson saw through the Brazilian’s theatrics and booked the 22 year old.

Baines can’t miss

In the history of the Premier League there has never been a player who has taken over 10 penalties and scored from everyone, that is of course, until this weekend. Leighton Baines’ late spot-kick equaliser for Everton against Stoke means that the English defender has now scored all 11 of his penalties taken in the league.

Kevin keeps seeing red

The score was level at 1-1 and the game was finely poised at Craven Cottage when, in a moment of madness, Hammers’ Captain Kevin Nolan kicked out at Fulham’s Fernando Amorebieta off the ball. Referee Mark Clattenburg had very little choice and sent off the 31 year old in a game Fulham went on to win 2-1.

In his first 351 appearances in the Premier League Nolan picked up two red cards, he now has picked up two reds in his last four games after being sent off at Liverpool at the start of December.