There’s not much to reflect in January as last month’s fixture list was hampered by two FA
Cup weekends and a winter break. Teams faced losing players whilst they represented their
countries at the African Cup of Nations and Asian Cup; with the likes of Mohammed Salah,
Andre Onana and Nicholas Jackson all absent. Would this have an effect on team’s forms?
Premier League football kicked off 2024 with a bang as Liverpool beat Newcastle United 4-2
at Anfield on New Years’ Day. A brace from Salah and goals from Curtis Jones and Cody
Gakpo were enough to cancel out strikes from Alexander Isak and Sven Botman. Of course,
what’s a game without VAR controversy! Two penalties were awarded to Liverpool, both of
which were soft (and that’s coming from a Liverpool fan!) so it was only fitting that Salah
missed one of them.
The subsequent game was the complete opposite. A stalemate. 0-0 between West Ham and
Brighton. The match was actually Brighton’s first clean sheet of the season; remarkable
considering it was their 21 st match. How Brighton didn’t come away with three points
though is astonishing as they managed 22 shots at goal during the 90 minutes, compared to
The Hammers’ 6.
Chelsea started their new year off with a win as they look to turn their backs on a dismal
2023, after rising star Cole Palmer converted his penalty to secure a 1-0 win over Fulham.
Newcastle United looked set to claim a point at home to Manchester City but teenager
Oscar Bobb scored an injury time winner to give City the win. It marked the first game back
for talisman Kevin De Bruyne who was making his first appearance since the first game of
the season back in August due to a hamstring injury. He capped off a fine performance off
the bench with a goal and assist.
Everton and Aston Villa shared the points in a 0-0 draw, Claret and Blue left-back Moreno
looked set to score the decisive goal but VAR rightfully ruled out his effort for offside. Points
were also shared between Manchester United and Tottenham too, but at least there was
goals in this one. Hojilund looks to have finally found some form for United as he got himself
on the scoresheet alongside team mate Rashford; Richarlison and Bentancur netting for
There was controversy down the bottom of the table as relegation contenders Burnley and
Luton drew 1-1. Burnley took the lead through Amdouni’s strike but Luton levelled late on
through Carlton Morris. Goalkeeper James Trafford appeared to have been aggressively
pushed away from the ball by Luton’s Adebayo allowing Morris to head into a relatively
Arsenal heaped pressure onto Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson as they thrashed them 5-0;
including a late brace from Gabriel Martinelli. Brentford overcame Nottingham Forest as
they edge a 5 goal thriller 3-2. There’s no need for a goal of the month as the goals in this
game was spectacular enough. Forests’ Danilo opened the scoring with a thunderous volley
from just outside the box whilst Maupay netted the winner on the half volley. Ivan Toney
made his first appearance for Brentford in 8 months as he returns from a betting ban. He’ll
be pleased with his return as he scored the first equaliser. Forest had their arguments that
the goal should have been ruled out as Toney moved the ball from the free-kick’s position
slightly. FA Laws say otherwise; and upon reflection Forest should have defended the free-
kick better anyway.
Sheffield United’s hopes of Premier League survival are already slim but a 2-2 draw with
West Ham could start a welcome turnaround. New loan signing Brereton Diaz netted for
them; fans will be hoping he is the catalyst in their search for survival.
Liverpool backed up their 4-2 New Year’s Day win with a further 4 goals away at
Bournemouth, but also managed a clean sheet. Nunez and Jota both claimed braces for the
Reds; erasing any fear that the Reds would suffer with Salah away on international duty.
Brighton drew another 0-0, this time with Wolves. It marked the 633 rd league appearance
for James Milner; he’s now only 30 behind record appearance maker Gareth Barry.
Arsenal survived a late scare at Nottingham Forest as they won 2-1 to keep their title hopes
alive. Jesus and Saka putting the Gunners’ ahead before Awoniyi netted a consolation at the
end. Fulham and Everton shared the points in another 0-0 in January; an entertaining
stalemate with the woodwork left shaking on several occasions with efforts also cleared off
the line from both sides.
Luton pulled off the spectacular against European hopefuls Brighton to keep their survival
hopes alive as they won 4-0. Adebayo secured a hat-trick; two of those goals were scored in
the opening three minutes.
Crystal Palace playmakers Olise and Eze shone in their game against Sheffield United as they
won 3-2. Newcastle United secured a 3-1 victory at Villa Park, one of a few teams to take
away any points in recent months, with a brace from Fabian Schar and own goal from
Manchester City look to have ended their somewhat poor form as they won 3-1 against
Burnley. Julian Alvarez scored twice whilst Rodri also netted. Spurs won 3-2 against
Brentford with Udogie, Johnson and Richarlison helping to secure the three points. Maupay
continued this purple patch in front of goal whilst Toney made it two in two for him.
Liverpool thrashed Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield in an emotional evening at Anfield, marking the
first home fixture since Jurgen Klopp announced his forthcoming departure at the end of the
season (more on this news to come in another post soon!). Jota, Diaz and Szoboszlai netted
for the Reds. Liverpool look to have found another emerging academy star as 20 year-old
right back Conor Bradley scored his first senior Reds goals whilst also assisting another two
goals. That result leaves Liverpool top of the table as January comes to an end; four points
off Manchester City whom have a game in hand.
It's certainly looking close at both ends of the table. I’ve never seen a Premier League
season like it. With Chelsea and Manchester United still struggling to sustain any consistent
form, will we see the any new additions to the ‘top 6’? Whilst Sheffield look to remain at the
foot of the table, a change in form for Burnley and Luton has kept their survival hopes alive.
Everton and Forest look to have points deductions in bound due to Financial Fair Play
breaches. Will that have an impact on their form and the bottom of the table?
February is short but full of fixtures. How will the table fare after that?