Premier League talking points: Spurs pay for negative tactics, Arsenal wins at last

The Premier League's top pile Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester United all drew in the weekend while Arsenal shook off bad form to beat Chelsea.

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"I am frustrated with the result. We had control of the game. But we had 89 minutes to score goals, and we didn't," Jose Mourinho said, chiding his team for lack of ambition.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Arsenal beat London rival Chelsea 3-1 for its first league win in nearly two months this weekend while the Leicester City and Manchester United, second and third in the table before the weekend, drew 2-2 at the King Power Stadium.

The draw saw Liverpool keep its top position despite a frustrating 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion. Manchester City meanwhile managed to beat a lowly Newcastle 2-0 to move up the table.

Here are the talking points of the Premier League weekend:

Is anyone ready to challenge Liverpool?

Jamie Vardy celebrates with teammate James Maddison after scoring Leicester City's second goal during the Premier League against Manchester United at The King Power Stadium.   -  Getty Images

 

Manchester United's 2-2 draw at Leicester City was an entertaining enough affair with plenty of goals and chances but neither side made a compelling case that it can dethrone Liverpool as Premier League champion.

Liverpool's surprising 1-1 home draw with struggling West Bromwich Albion 24 hours later stopped Jurgen Klopp's side stretching its lead but the truth is that it is three points clear without even being at its best this season.

Premier League: Manchester City goes fifth with Newcastle win, Everton beats Sheffield United  

United and Leicester's priority will be a top-four finish as will Everton's, while Tottenham Hotspur has stuttered after initially looking capable of going toe-to-toe with Liverpool.

A newly-pragmatic Manchester City might end up being the most likely side to topple Liverpool having moved into the top six with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United -- its 13th clean sheet of the campaign.

Arteta buys some breathing space as Arsenal wins at last

Bukayo Saka celebrates Arsenal's third goal during the Premier League match against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Under-pressure Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta earned himself some respite with a 3-1 victory over a rudderless Chelsea side, the first Premier League victory for the Gunners since they beat Manchester United 1-0 on November 1.

"It's a really big win for us. We were really disappointed with the results -- not so much the performances. Our players were suffering, our fans were suffering," Arteta said after bringing the club's supporters some much-needed Christmas cheer.

Premier League: Out-of-form Arsenal stuns Chelsea with 3-1 win  

The question now will be whether Arsenal can build on the excellent win or whether it was a flash in the pan.

Can Allardyce save West Brom from relegation?

Liverpool was unable to get past a stubborn West Brom defence in the second half.   -  getty images

 

Sam Allardyce made an inauspicious start to life as West Bromwich Albion manager with a 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa but Sunday's 1-1 draw at Liverpool suggests that keeping the Baggies in the top flight may not be an impossible mission.

West Brom is still deep in the relegation zone but is second-half performance against Liverpool, when it stifled the champion and league leader while grabbing a late equaliser, showed grit and character.

Premier League: Stuttering Spurs held to 'frustrating' draw by Wolves  

Allardyce has the tag of saviour, having managed 11 clubs without being relegated, and he will need every bit of his vast experience to steer West Brom out of trouble. Its fans will have some hope, however, as it heads into a new year.

Tottenham pays for negative approach

Romain Saiss of Wolves celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux.   -  Getty Images

 

When Tanguy Ndombele scored after 57 seconds for Tottenham Hotspur at Wolverhampton Wanderers, it looked perfectly set-up as a showcase for Tottenham's counter-attacking ability.

Yet it offered virtually nothing going forward after a bright start, opting instead to let Wolves has the ball and just sit deep and absorb pressure.

It failed to have a shot on target after the 21st minute and when Romain Saiss headed in a late equaliser it was nothing more than the host deserved.

Premier League: Manchester City goes fifth with Newcastle win, Everton beats Sheffield United  

Tottenham led the table in the run-in to Christmas but after four games without a win, albeit during a tough run, and its style of play not easy on the eye, it feels they are drifting.

A more expansive approach will be demanded by fans when Tottenham hosts Fulham on Wednesday.

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