Chelsea maintained their three point lead at the top of the Premier League table in what was a thrilling weekend of action in the top-flight.
Antonio Conte’s Blues found it tricky to break down a stubborn West Brom defence on Sunday, but Diego Costa’s brilliant finish 14 minutes from time secured a 1-0 win for the hosts, and their ninth successive league victory.
They had lost top spot temporarily to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, who came from a goal down to overcome Stoke 3-1 at the Emirates on Saturday, yet fellow title contenders Liverpool dropped points at Anfield as they could only muster a 2-2 draw against struggling West Ham.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City suffered their second consecutive league defeat by losing 4-2 at champions Leicester, who picked up just their fourth league win of the campaign on Saturday, yet fifth place Tottenham didn’t take advantage of City’s slip up, as they lost 1-0 at City’s neighbours Manchester United on Sunday.
Watford moved up to seventh courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Ronald Koeman’s Everton on Saturday, while the Dutchman’s former club Southampton moved back into the top half after beating Middlesbrough 1-0 yesterday.
At the bottom, Swansea secured a vital 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium, Hull drew 3-3 at home to Crystal Palace at the KCOM Stadium, and Burnley recorded a fifth home victory of the season by beating Bournemouth 3-2 at Turf Moor.
In what was a thrilling weekend of action in England’s top division, there were 29 goals scored in the six games on Saturday, and this got many people talking on Twitter about the standard of defending in the Premier League…
29 goals in 6 Premier League matches today. Entertainment levels high, quality of defending low.
— AODH QUINLIVAN (@AodhQuinlivan) December 10, 2016
You do notice in the premier league just how poor the goalkeeping and defending is.
— debsthegooner (@DebstheGooner) December 11, 2016
Premier league is so poor. Defending is shocking every week
— MoustacheDembélé (@LordClarkStark) December 11, 2016
The defending in the Premier League this season has been shocking #EPL
— Scott Pease (@scottpease) December 10, 2016
One of the games of the weekend saw Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester dispatch Man City 4-2 at the King Power Stadium, with the Foxes coming in for praise on social media, yet questions were asked of Guardiola after another abject defensive display from his side…
— Joe Ejiofor (@joeejio4) December 10, 2016
Disgraceful performance but I'm not surprised at all, new Leicester were gonna turn up today #MCFC
— Louis (@Louismcfc) December 10, 2016
Would be far too easy to blame individual mistakes for City defeat today. Guardiola got tactics hopelessly wrong. No blame on Stones. #MCFC
— Gabriel Paine (@GabrielPaine) December 10, 2016
#mcfc get rid of Guardiola now before it's too late – he clearly looked a broken man after the game…clueless defending all season
— Jerry (@jeremyweltman) December 10, 2016
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool dropped points at Anfield on Sunday, drawing 2-2 with West Ham, and goalkeeper Loris Karius has once again come in for criticism after failing to keep out Dimitri Payet’s free-kick…
The result today shows why we won't win the league. Sorry but not a fan of Karius. #LFC
— Jordan Isaac (@jordanLFC777) December 12, 2016
— crozzer007 (@Crozzer007) December 11, 2016
Yet, some Reds fans pointed to the overall performance of their side as the reason why they didn’t get the win…
Overall, performance levels have dipped. Need to step things up at Boro. #LFC
— Nnamdi Uzoezie (@namo247) December 11, 2016
That performance though, hard to explain. Forced to play wide which is not us. Defending was just shambles. We could've done better
While many West Ham fans were delighted with their side’s display on Merseyside, and challenged them to keep it up in their next four games against Burnley, Hull, Swansea, and Leicester…
— Rick'Fry ⚒ (@rickhimself101) December 11, 2016
Very encouraging performance. Need to produce something similar in the next four games #whufc
— Bill West (@bill_west_) December 11, 2016
Better performance today from the hammers. Big 4 games coming up now. Into the new year. Come on the irons. #WHUFC
— Scott Parker (@scottparker2) December 11, 2016