Results: Crystal Palace 1-0 Hull City, Liverpool FC 4-0 Everton, Manchester United 2-0 Cardiff City, Norwich City 0-0 Newcastle United, Southampton 2-2 Arsenal, Swansea City 2-0 Fulham, Aston Villa 4-3 West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United, Sunderland 1-0 Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City
Arsenal went into this midweek round of matches in January 2014 leading the Premier League title race but both Manchester City and Chelsea were snapping at their heels. This looked like being a crucial round of fixtures at both ends of the table.
The Gunners faced a tricky test away on the south coast away at Southampton and ultimately saw their five-match winning streak come to an end. After falling behind to Jose Fonte’s 21st minute header, Arsenal turned the match around with quick-fire goals early in the second half from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla. However, Adam Lallana’s 54th minute strike ensured the Saints got a deserved 2-2 draw against the Gunners, who also had Mathieu Flamini sent off 10 minutes from full-time.
That draw meant Manchester City could go into top spot in the table if they claimed all three points against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Danny Rose’s red card did help City’s cause but Manuel Pellegrini’s side cruised to an impressive 5-1 destruction of the north Londoners with goals from Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany. It meant they had scored 11 goals in two fixtures against the Lilywhites in the season and also inflicted a first defeat on new Tottenham Head Coach, Tim Sherwood. Manchester City had now won their last eight Premier League fixtures.
Chelsea lost ground on the top two after being held to a frustrating goalless draw by West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had an incredible 39 shots on-goal compared to just one for the visitors but they couldn’t find a way through thanks to last-ditch defending and wasteful finishing. It was the most shots on-goal a side had in a Premier League game without scoring since 2003-2004. After the game, Jose Mourinho was very vocal about the Hammers’ gameplay, calling it: “This is football from the 19th Century. The only (other) thing I could bring was Black and Decker (tool) to destroy the wall.”
Liverpool FC moved four points clear of city neighbours Everton after destroying the Toffees 4-0 at Anfield in The Merseyside Derby. Daniel Sturridge scored twice and only a wayward penalty denied the England ace his second hat-trick for the club. Skipper Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring from a corner early on and Luis Suarez capped the victory off with his trademark strike. It was only Everton’s third Premier League defeat of the season and first away from Goodison Park since early October.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made an emotional return to Old Trafford as manager of Cardiff City but he couldn’t spearhead the Welsh club to a surprising victory. Juan Mata made his debut for the Red Devils after his transfer from Chelsea and he played a part in the first goal of the game, scored by Robin van Persie. Ashley Young scored his first Premier League goal in nearly two years to cap a 2-0 victory for the reigning champions, who remained in a distant seventh place in the table.
Elsewhere, Sunderland climbed out of the bottom three after beating Stoke City 1-0. It was their third victory in six matches. Fulham replaced them in the relegation zone after losing 2-0 to Swansea City. Dimitar Berbatov scored an own goal in his last game for the club before completing a loan move to AS Monaco. It was also the last victory Michael Laudrup would experience as Swansea manager. He would be sacked a week later.
What else happened in January 2014?
- Legendary former Portuguese forward, Eusebio, who finished top goalscorer in the 1966 World Cup finals in England, dies of heart failure, aged 71.
- An inquest jury decides that Mark Duggan was lawfully killed by police in 2011. It was his death that sparked the summer riots in England.
- Lewis Clarke of Bristol sets a new world record after becoming the youngest person to trek to the South Pole. He is just 16-years-old.
- Latvia becomes the 18th member of the Eurozone after adopting the Euro as its official currency.
- BBC Radio 1’s official YouTube channel reaches the milestone of one million subscribers.
- The Met Office release figures that indicate parts of the Midlands and Southern England have experienced their highest January rainfall since records began 104 years earlier.
- Comedian Jim Davidson wins the 13th series of Celebrity Big Brother.