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And that, my Premier League friends, is all for today. Thank you very much for following. We'll be back right here from 10:00 GMT on New Year's Day for a full set of Premier League fixtures including STOKE v MAN UTD and TOTTENHAM v CHELSEA. See you then!
Arsene Wenger hinted after today’s win over West Ham that he could be busy in January. Goal’s Reda Maher was in attendance at Upton Park and explains why Arsenal MUST spend when the transfer window opens despite a run of seven wins in nine.
Why Arsenal must spend in January
West Brom head coach Alan Irvine: "I believe that I am [able to turn West Brom's fortunes around]. I think the players believe we all are as well. I want to carry on. I want to still do this job and I want to turn it around. That's not going to change. But as I said, it is other people who make decisions as far as that is concerned."
Irvine: I'm right man for West Brom
Mame Diouf grabbed both goals for Stoke today against West Brom but will be missing in January due to the Africa Cup of Nations. "[I am] a little bit [frustrated]," said manager Mark Hughes. "Because obviously he scored two today and strikers can be a bit streaky."
Hughes: Diouf will be missed
0 - Man City have failed to beat a newly-promoted side at home for the first time since November 2009, when they drew 3-3 v Burnley. Repeat.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 28, 2014
Crystal Palace caretaker boss Keith Millen: "The players respect me. I've done it enough times and I enjoy working for the club... It's about respect. I respect the players and what they're about and hopefully they respect me for my knowledge and hard work with them."
The reaction is there is no reaction. Alan Pardew is not speaking to the media following Newcastle's 3-2 win over Everton, and assistant John Carver has not been allowed to discuss the manager by the club press officer. Interesting...
Bookmakers have Alan Pardew as favourite to succeed Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace. The Newcastle manager isn't *exactly* a fans' favourite at St James' Park but certainly is at Selhurst. Would he consider dropping down the league to a team battling against the drop?
"Almost Roberto's first words to me were 'I'll get you in the Champions League'"
- Bill Kenwright, July 2013. #Awkward.
We have to Stick together in this tough time I was pleased on a personal note to make my first premier league start, stay positive blues EFC— Luke Garbutt (@luke_garbutt) December 28, 2014
Not helped by a tricky fixture list pitting them against Chelsea and Arsenal, West Ham are the biggest losers of the last few days - they have lost two in a row and slipped from fourth to sixth. Everton and West Brom also failed to pick up a single point.
Two games in three days clearly took its toll on some teams, but not these unbeaten sides...
One win, one draw
Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Southampton, Tottenham
Chelsea maintained their three-point lead at the top over Manchester City, but how did the two clubs fare in the 2014 Premier League table? Well, we have the answers... and there's only one goal in it!
1 | MANCHESTER CITY
P38 W27 D7 L4 GD56 Pts88
2 | CHELSEA
P38 W27 D7 L4 GD55 Pts88
Nice Jose: "I will go to wish him a good year..."
Bad Jose: "...and say he will be ashamed when he sees it on television."
Yep. RANT. Keegan? Pah. Big Ron? Pah. The Chelsea boss was furious after Cesc Fabregas was booked for simulation and not given a penalty in today’s draw against Southampton. His lengthy post-match rant to Sky Sports may land him in some bother, though...
Mourinho blasts 'campaign' against Chelsea
Sam Allardyce after West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: "It was a really unbelievable decision to rule out Alex Song's goal, which was bewildering me that it was disallowed."
Cesc Fabregas after Southampton 1-1 Chelsea: “He had a really bad game... It happens to everyone, you have a bad day at the office.”
Newcastle are up to ninth in the table after ending a run of three defeats in a row, while Everton's third consecutive loss sees them stay 12th. Roberto Martinez's men are now 12 points off fourth and just five points above the drop zone.
Courtesy of our friends at Opta, a look at the best (or worst, if you’re a Toffee) stats from today’s action at St James’ Park...
- Everton have now made 10 errors leading to goals in the PL this season, that’s four more than any other side
- Everton have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D2 L5), including losing the last four in a row
- Leighton Baines collected his 44th Premier League assist; a joint-high amongst defenders in the competition’s history along with Graeme Le Saux
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