After what feels like a game a day for the past couple weeks, the EPL will take a post New Year’s break as its teams prep to enter the FA Cup this weekend. But each club had one more game to get through.
The Main Event
The final two teams to face off in the new year pitted first place Liverpool against third place Manchester City. Coming into the match, Liverpool hasn’t lost a game in the Premier League all season, and Manchester City lost two of their last three. And both to squads they should have put away in Leicester City and Crystal Palace.
The match started with high pressing from City, and Liverpool struggled to push the ball out of their defensive third. Liverpool’s best opportunity came when Sadio Mane was played through by Mohamed Salah, but hit the post. John Stones then tried to clear, but it bounced off Ederson’s head and nearly crossed the line. They measured using goal line technology and found that it was 1.12 centimeters short of a goal. It really doesn’t get closer than that. Sergio Aguero then put one in the back of the net late in the first half to send City into halftime up 1-0.
Liverpool’s clever passing led to a beautiful headed goal by Roberto Firmino 20 minutes into the second half. Six minutes later, Leroy Sane put City back on top. Both keepers and back lines saved a large number of shots off the line. It was an exhilarating match start to finish.
The title race heats up
We’re more than halfway through the season, and the title race is thrilling to watch. City’s win brings them within four points of the top, and keeps Spurs within six. Chelsea and Arsenal mathematically have a chance, but both are double digit point totals behind Liverpool. It’s going to be fun to watch what happens in the coming months.