Breaking news

sport news Premier League - 10 things we learned this New Year

Manchester City have managed to maintain their 15-point lead as well as their unbeaten status throughout a hectic festive period. 

Meanwhile, the race to beat the drop has twisted and turned as Crystal Palace and West Ham rose from the ashes while West Brom and Stoke nosedived.

RALPH ELLIS looks at 10 things we learned from the New Year fixtures up and down the country...

Pep Guardiola kept Manchester City well ahead of the pack over their frantic festive fixtures

Pep Guardiola kept Manchester City well ahead of the pack over their frantic festive fixtures

Lingard form down to Mourinho

If Pep Guardiola gets credit – and rightly so – for the improvements in players like Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph then it’s time to give Jose Mourinho some kudos too for how Jesse Lingard has taken a leap forward. The 25-year-old has always been rated at Old Trafford as he’s come through their academy system but failed to show any real consistency.  

His goal at Everton, though, was his seventh in nine league games on a roll that began in the 4-2 win over Watford in November. During that time he’s scored a goal every 99 minutes on the pitch.

Jose Mourinho deserves credit for the rapid rise of Jesse Lingard under his stewardship

Jose Mourinho deserves credit for the rapid rise of Jesse Lingard under his stewardship

Stones picks up where he left off

John Stones has lost none of his quality on the ball during nearly two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. The England defender slotted happily back into the middle of Manchester City’s back four against Watford alongside Nicolas Otamendi as Pep Guardiola reunited the pairing that first got the club’s record winning run going earlier in the campaign. Stones played 74 passes in his 67 minutes on the pitch, failing to find a team mate only three times.

John Stones has lost none of his quality on the ball during nearly two months out injured

John Stones has lost none of his quality on the ball during nearly two months out injured

Captain Noble returns just in time 

Mark Noble’s return from injury has come at just the right time for the West Ham skipper and fans to lead the team against Tottenham on Thursday night. The 30-year-old, out since he damaged a hamstring in the 3-0 win at Stoke last month, came on at half time against West Brom and was one of the key reasons Hammers came back to win. He won the ball back seven times in the second half – no other West Ham player made more recoveries in the full 90 minutes.

Mark Noble’s return from injury has come at just the right time for West Ham

Mark Noble’s return from injury has come at just the right time for West Ham

Solanke justifies Chelsea exit 

Dominic Solanke’s first 90 minute appearance in the Premier League for Liverpool was hardly a roaring success with the young England striker having only one shot – off target – in the 2-1 win over Burnley. 

But from his point of view it confirmed his decision to walk out on Chelsea in the summer in search of regular football at a top club was the correct one. The 20-year-old has now made 17 appearances under Jurgen Klopp, which is 17 more than he got in three years as a professional at Stamford Bridge. 

Dominic Solanke’s first 90 minute appearance for Liverpool justified his move from Chelsea

Dominic Solanke’s first 90 minute appearance for Liverpool justified his move from Chelsea

Slimani is a sleeping giant

Islam Slimani’s

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news Leipzig CEO insists Naby Keita is NOT leaving in January
NEXT sport news Bayern Munich prepare for second half of season