New Year report: How the Premier League clubs rated over Christmas
After the Premier League festive fixturefest of four games in 12 days, how did the top-flight outfits fare? Presenting the Christmas winners, losers and (fnurk) drawers...
1. Man City
Actual position 2nd, festive results WWWW – 12 points out of 12
Boxing Day win against Liverpool caught the eye but also remained calmly confident in the wins at Fulham and Swansea and at home to prickly Palace. And all without Aguero.
3rd, DWWW 10/12
Having held Arsenal, they did what they needed at home to Swansea and, impressively, Liverpool before slapping Southampton. Lurking ominously on Arsenal's shoulder.
6th, WDWW 10/12
Self-confessed "gamble" Tim Sherwood looking good with three wins in their unbeaten festive fixtures, including nine goals, 4-4-2 and another win at Old Trafford. Who's this Adebayor bloke he's found?
1st, DWWW 10/12
Couldn't get past Chelsea but despatched West Ham, Newcastle and (eventually) Cardiff in the professional manner of a team with real intent.
5. Man United
7th, WWWL 9/12
Moyes questioned again after a six-win run was ended by home defeat to Spurs. After a quiet summer transfer window, January may be an interesting month for a new manager who must make the top four by May.
5th, WLWD 7/12
Sunderland home defeat was the surprise of the festive season, while struggle at Stoke suggests they lack a little strength in depth – but make no mistake, Martinez is doing a very good job.
16th, LWLW 6/12
Curate's egg of a Christmas: two big six-pointers won, 10 goals shipped in the other two games. Mind you, it's an improvement on their form under Martin Jol.
8. West Brom
14th, DDDW 6/12
Welcome win over Newcastle after three draws for a club somewhat treading water while they wait for the right head coach – one ready to work in a strict structure. New man could literally go either way: up… or down.
8th, WWLL 6/12
Whacked eight past Palace and Stoke but edged out by Arsenal and, disappointingly, West Brom. As usual, success likely to be decided by transfer market trial and error.
4th, WLLW 6/12
Easy home wins bookended key defeats in successive six-pointers, but the Reds were far from unimpressive in 2-1 defeats at Chelsea and (especially) Man City. Need to strengthen this month.
10th, DLWL 4/12
Losses to Liverpool and Man United overshadowed by joyous 6-0 demolition of Fulham. Look flexible enough to avoid being dragged downwards into a dogfight.
12. Crystal Palace
18th, LWLD 4/12
Revival under Pulis has somewhat stalled with one point from two home games with Newcastle and Norwich. Expect a busy January as the new man reshapes his squad.
20th, DWDL 4/12
Surprise win at Everton and spirited comeback at Cardiff somewhat spoiled by goalless home struggles against Norwich and Aston Villa. Home form could save them or doom them, so Poyet needs a good January.
12th, WLLD 4/12
Would've been easier to forget the two terrible trips, with eight shipped at Spurs and Newcastle, if Leighton Baines' late equaliser hadn't denied them a second festive home win.
15. Aston Villa
11th, LLDW 4/12
Win at Sunderland vital after home troubles against Palace and Swansea had a vocal section of Villa fans questioning Paul Lambert's regime.
9th, LWLL 3/12
No shame in home defeat to Chelsea but it's one win (and five losses) in nine now. Pochettino needs purchases - especially with Wanyama waylaid.
15th, DLLD 2/12
Nervy Norwich needed not to lose at Palace, after gutless Boxing Day home loss to Fulham was followed by improved show against Man United. Toothless squad too close for comfort to the relegation zone.
13th, LLDL 1/12
Somewhat unlucky single-goal losses to Everton, Chelsea and Man City can't hide the fact that the Swans, with 39 points in 2013, are struggling to cope with their fixture list. Laudrup needs reinforcements.
19. West Ham
19th, LLDL 1/12
Losses to Man United and Arsenal might not hurt as much as the loss of key centre-backs. With an unbalanced squad in woeful form, it's all gone a bit Newcastle for Sam Allardyce - but can the Hammers afford to sack him?
17th, LLDL 1/12
Lost three games, a manager and all respect. Bizarre owner seems to have put his faith in a relatively untried manager with someone else's team perched just above a huge financial trapdoor. Intriguing.
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