There is nothing like a full midweek fixture list from the Premier League to lift the early December gloom, though for Tottenham and Leicester fans the darkness descended.
In News.Ladbrokes tradition we have run a comb through the top-flight action and served up some lessons learned and any markets affected as a consequence.
Tottenham desperately need to reshape their porous defence – Chelsea 3-0 Spurs
Chelsea were the latest team to expose Spurs’ spongy side, as a mixture of individual errors and generally chaotic defending led the Lilywhites on a path to London-derby destruction.
Now way out at 8/1 for a Champions League berth, it was the third time that one of last season’s top four have inflicted a three-goal margin of defeat on Mauricio Pochettino’s 10th-place side.
Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches were particularly culpable on the night and having been linked with moves away in January, their performances will have done little to cement their Spurs futures.
Leicester and Nigel Pearson are in the deep stuff – Leicester 1-3 Liverpool
After Liverpool ensured a seventh defeat in nine games for Leicester and the manager was accused of launching a foul-mouthed tirade on fans at the King Power stadium, it’s fair to say the Foxes are in trouble.
David De Gea is becoming Manchester United’s new Peter Schmeichel – Man Utd 2-1 Stoke
A fourth league win on the bounce sees the Red Devils installed as fancied 1/3 shots for the top-four by Ladbrokes, but once again their Spanish stopper was the star attraction.
De Gea’s outrageous point-blank save from Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf in the dying stages was followed up by a Schmeichel-esque spread of the limbs to block another close-range effort to seal the points – with a little help from Ashley Young.
Manchester City can run Chelsea closer than we thought – Sunderland 1-4 Man City
Sergio Aguero once again conducted the City orchestra to help banish their Stadium of Light hoodoo in romping fashion.
Now harmonising in devastating fashion and only six points behind Chelsea, suddenly the 7/2 about the champions defending their title has an air of allurement.
Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck have struck up a promising understanding – Arsenal 1-0 Southampton
It was Alexis Sanchez who wrote the Emirates headlines once again, but it was the link-up play between substitute Giroud and Welbeck which stood out for the Gunners.
A burgeoning relationship bodes well for Arsene Wenger’s 4/9 top-four pokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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