It was the return of the festive games and it did not disappoint. In the early match Fulham entertained West Ham in a crucial match for both sides. West Ham prevailed 3-1 with slack defending often on display from both sides. Carlton Cole proved prolific with two goals to his name, continuing his good record against Fulham. With that win the hammers climbed off the foot of the table. There was also a notable win for Wigan against relegation candidates Wolves with Tom Cleverly once again on the scresheet. Mick McCarthy could be taking the long road home if he doesn’t turn these kind of matches into wins. Stoke beat Blackburn as Danny Wilson wrapped up the points late on to make it 2-0. Bolton also won as they climbed up to 5th place following their 2-0 win over West Brom.
But the main focus was on both teams of Manchester to perform and to set the pace and they did just that.
United took the lead as early as the 4th minute against a lifeless Sunderland side, who were only seven points off United. You wouldn’t have been mistaken to think this was a training session for United as everything seemed so simple with Anderson & Giggs pulling the strings in midfield.
The second goal arrived mid way through the second half and it was always coming for United as they had completely dominated up to it. Berbatov received the ball and tried flicking it to the far corner with the outside of his boot but it took a cruel deflection off Anton Ferdinand, leaving Craig Gordon stranded.
We were off to St. James’ park next as City had to keep the pace with their rivals, and did so in fine form beating weary Newcastle. City grabbed two early goals through Gareth Barry & Carlos Tevez and remained comfortable however Newcastle started to pick up the tempo and when Andy Carroll scored you wouldn’t have bet against them for an equaliser. Neecastle went in search of that equaliser and committed numerous men forward and were dealt an ultimate blow when City made it 3 late on. Johnson crossed for Tevez who jigged and curled home ending all hope of a comeback for the magpies.
The pressure is now on Chelsea and Arsenal to gain maximum points in their clash tomorow. A win for Chelsea would see their recent slump diminish but a win for Arsenal would prove for once they could actually mix it with the big dogs.