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Premier League title race: How Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea stand after latest games | Football News

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It’s advantage Man City at the end of 2021 – but where do Chelsea and Liverpool stand after the recent round of Premier League games?

In a pivotal midweek, which saw Liverpool lose at Leicester and Chelsea pegged back by a last-minute equaliser by Brighton, Manchester City pulled eight points clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 win at Brentford.

Chelsea are second, with Liverpool nine points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, with a game in hand – although that gap could stretch further before Chelsea and Liverpool meet on Super Sunday.

Here, we run through the contenders, their festive schedules, injury lists, stats and more…

Analysis of the midweek results: Man City take control as Chelsea, Liverpool falter

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate on Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s finely-tuned machine was not functioning as it should have done in Leicester. The space was out wide for Liverpool but the midfielders were too slow to find it. When they did, the delivery from the flanks was not quite what it should have been.

Chances were still created but when they were, they were wasted. Most notably by Mohamed Salah in squandering the chance to score from the spot but there was also a huge miss by Sadio Mane and a series of half-chances spurned by the wasteful Diogo Jota.

Fatigue should not have been a factor and Klopp appreciated the irony of losing to a team that had played on Boxing Day given his fixture complaints. But the feeling persists that the sheer relentlessness required to keep pace with Manchester City has caught up with them.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s win against Liverpool in the Premier League.

Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones on Chelsea

Chelsea were three points clear of Liverpool and four points ahead of Manchester City after 12 Premier League games at the end of November.

They now trail leaders City by eight points and are just one ahead of Liverpool having played a game more.

The west Londoners have gone from 15/8 shots with Sky Bet for the title all the way out to 16/1. And there won’t be many takers at that price considering Manchester City’s form, and Chelsea’s for that matter. Despite only losing their lead in stoppage time vs Brighton, they were second best for large parts to a team who pressed efficiently, passed intelligently and looked more confident than their supposed title challenging rivals.

Such is the relentless pace at the top of the Premier League, you simply can’t afford to go through a spell of winning just four out of 10 games like Chelsea have. In the blink of an eye, the title has slipped out of their grasp.

Sustaining attacks and creating quality chances is becoming a real problem for Thomas Tuchel, who cut a frustrated figure in his media duties after dropping yet more points. Their lack of sustained, quality attacks can be showcased through an expected goals figure of just 0.67 in the 1-1 draw.

Romelu Lukaku’s goal came from a set-piece, as did most of Chelsea’s chances. Remember this is a team that against Arsenal on the second week of the season created 18 chances from open play in one fixture. Such is their current malaise, they have created a total of 18 chances from open play in their last three fixtures combined against Brighton, Aston Villa and Wolves.

It was the same story in the 3-2 win over Leeds where two Jorginho penalties got them out of jail and papered over the cracks of their lack of cutting edge in the final third. This is now more than just a blip for Tuchel and Chelsea. They have questions to answer.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s draw with Brighton in the Premier League.

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds on Man City

The title contenders are fine teams but are made to look like they have too many flaws, when up against this runaway City train. Here, they were at their ruthlessly efficient best, scoring through Phil Foden 56 seconds after Joao Cancelo had cleared the ball off his own goal line.

‘Boring, boring City’ sang the Brentford fans as their opponents stroked the ball around in the closing stages. Boring, maybe. But given the Liverpool and Chelsea results over the past 24 hours or so, a win here was extremely valuable to City in the bigger scheme of things.

They roll on, perhaps over the hill now in the title race.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Brentford in the Premier League.

How the table stands

Man City are pulling away, with an eight-point gap between them and second-placed Chelsea. Third-placed Liverpool have a game in hand so could close that difference to six points – but Guardiola’s side are in control now.

The title chase

Current form: City pulling away?

Ten in a row for City and they’re in ominous form.

As for Liverpool, they followed up their draw at Tottenham with defeat and failed to score for the first time in 29 Premier League games.

Chelsea have drawn three of their last four.

Festive fixtures: Crunch Super Sunday clash


Live Renault Super Sunday


Sunday 2nd January 4:00pm


It’s all eyes on Stamford Bridge for the Super Sunday match-up between Chelsea and Liverpool, live on Sky Sports.

Guardiola and his City players will be watching that one with interest. Incredibly they could be 11 points ahead of Chelsea by that point, with their next match against Arsenal coming on Saturday lunchtime.

With the way this fixture has fallen, we could see Chelsea or Liverpool knock their opposition out of the title race altogether, while a draw would only really suit City at this stage.

Top scorers and creators

Liverpool dominate the top of the goals, shots assists and chances created standings…

Injury lists

Who could be off to AFCON?

The Africa Cup of Nations will run from January 9 to February 6, with 40 Premier League players potentially being called up for duty for the tournament in Cameroon.

Those called up to AFCON could miss at least one Premier League round (weekend of January 15/16), the FA Cup third round (weekend of January 8) and the Carabao Cup semi-finals (w/c January 3 and January 10) in the best-case scenario.

However, depending on when clubs release their players, and how fit they are on return, in the worst case, players could miss more Premier League rounds, both Carabao Cup semi-finals and both the FA Cup third and fourth rounds.

Watch title race unfold on Sky Sports

Sunday January 2: Chelsea vs Liverpool, kick-off 4.30pm

Saturday January 22: Southampton vs Manchester City, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday January 23: Crystal Palace vs Liverpool, kick-off 2pm

Sunday January 23: Chelsea vs Tottenham, kick-off 4.30pm



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Chelsea and Liverpool prove Premier League excitement, even if title is a foregone conclusion

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LONDON — Manchester City have shown themselves to be in a league of their own, so the Premier League should be thankful that Chelsea and Liverpool are still able to keep us all entertained. Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge helped neither team and only consolidated City’s vice-like grip on the top spot, but football is about jeopardy, risk and overcoming flaws, and when it all comes together, you get an unforgettable game like this one.

Even before City moved 11 points clear at the top of table with a 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday, this second-versus-third clash was always a case of both sides needing to win to maintain faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola’s winning machine. City’s win at the Emirates was their 11th successive Premier League victory and they have all been won with such monotonous ease, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven, that every three points is now met with little more than a shrug of inevitability.

Barring an unlikely collapse in the second half of the season, City will win a fourth league title in five years and you will struggle to count on the fingers of one hand the times they have had to dig deep into their reserves to overcome adversity during that period. Guardiola has built one of the all-time great teams in English football history during his six years at the Etihad, but they may simply be too good to contribute to games like this one.

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Chelsea and Liverpool gave us such a pulsating encounter because they both have weaknesses that can be exploited by their opponents. And as a result, they both had to take risks in an attempt to secure a crucial victory.

And they also had to go into the game with unwanted distractions hovering over both clubs.

Chelsea, with three wins from their past eight in the league, were without £97.5 million striker Romelu Lukaku, dropped by coach Thomas Tuchel because of an outspoken interview about his failure to impress so far at Stamford Bridge since returning to the club from Internazionale in the summer. And Liverpool were without manager Jurgen Klopp, goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino — all isolating because of COVID-19.

City, in contrast, have enjoyed a remarkably serene run of successes since losing to Crystal Palace in October, which is why they are free-rolling to another title. But the Premier League is regarded as the most exciting in world football because of games like this, and teams like Chelsea and Liverpool and the drama they create.

From the first minute, when Sadio Mane was fortunate to escape a red card for appearing to strike Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with an elbow after just 14 seconds, the game was incident-packed. Azpilicueta later said it was a “clear red card” when interviewed after the game.

Christian Pulisic, playing centrally in the absence of Lukaku, wasted a golden chance to open the scoring on seven minutes when, with only stand-in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to beat, he was indecisive and allowed the youngster to smother the ball. It proved a costly miss when, two minutes later, Mane took advantage of his lucky escape from a sending off by pouncing on a mistake by Trevoh Chalobah to score.

Chelsea were in disarray and Liverpool looked like the team that won the title in 2019. When Mohamed Salah made it 2-0 on 26 minutes with a stunning near-post finish after gliding past Marcos Alonso, it seemed as though Liverpool were about to give Chelsea the kind of hammering they inflicted on Manchester United during a 5-0 rout at Old Trafford earlier this season.

Liverpool were unable to score a third, though, and two Chelsea goals in the space of three minutes at the end of the first half turned the game on its head.

When Kelleher punched Alonso’s in-swinging free kick clear on 42 minutes, the keeper looked to have done well to deny the Chelsea defender. But the ball dropped the Mateo Kovacic on the edge of the penalty area and, as he was backpedaling, the midfielder somehow guided a volley beyond Kelleher and into the net. It was a spectacular display of technique by the former Real Madrid player and it gave Chelsea a foothold back into the game.

And it took them just three minutes to score the equaliser when Pulisic atoned for his earlier miss by latching onto N’Golo Kante‘s pass before beating Kelleher with a precise left-foot shot past the Republic of Ireland international. As the chaos continued on the pitch, Mason Mount almost put Chelsea 3-2 up in first-half stoppage time with a scuffed volley that bounced just wide of the post.

When a game is so eventful in the first half, it rarely delivers a second half of the same quality because of coaches plugging the holes that had led to the earlier excitement. But while the goals stopped flowing, the entertainment didn’t.

Salah forced a crucial save from Edouard Mendy with a 25-yard lob on 57 minutes and Mane was also denied by the Chelsea keeper. Kelleher, not to be outdone, then produced a stunning save to prevent Pulisic from scoring his second of the game.

In total, there were 25 chances over the 90 minutes, with both sides registering six on target. Neither could find a winner, though.

“For the outside world it was quite a good game to watch, but we came here for three points and didn’t get them,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said.

Even if one team had done enough to claim all three points, it’s difficult to imagine they would have been able to close the gap on City, who are destined for another title. And the challenge facing both chasing clubs only grows more daunting in the next month, with Salah (Egypt), Mendy and Mane (both Senegal) now heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

But the Premier League still knows how to excite, even if the title is already a foregone conclusion.

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Michael Scudamore has Do Your Job in mind for Doncaster | Racing News

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Doncaster’s Lightning Novices’ Chase could be next on the agenda for Do Your Job following his creditable effort in defeat at Kempton over the festive period.

Runner-up to My Drogo and Belfast Banter in Grade Two and Grade One novice hurdles in the spring, Michael Scudamore’s stable star made a successful start to his chasing career at Warwick in November.

The eight-year-old fell at the eighth fence when stepped up in class for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, but bounced back to finish second to Edwardstone in the Wayward Lad last week.

With Scudamore keen to avoid a rematch with the winner, who is seemingly bound for the Kingmaker at Warwick, Do Your Job could instead bid for Grade Two honours at Doncaster on January 29.

Reflecting on his Kempton performance, the trainer said: “I was very pleased. He jumped well and travelled well and did everything right, he was just beaten by a better horse on the day.

“The main objective was a clear round really and maybe if we hadn’t fallen at Sandown we might have pressed on a bit more and made it more of a staying race.

“The most important thing was to get a clear round under his belt and get some more experience over fences for him.

“I think we’ll stick to novice races while we can and we might look to the race at Doncaster. That is what we have pencilled in at the moment, anyway.

“It would certainly be Plan A to try and avoid Edwardstone and I was very pleased to read he was going to go for the Kingmaker. Hopefully they stick to that plan!”

While Do Your Job looks set to remain in novice company on his next start, Scudamore admitted is considering a step into the handicap arena for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham – a race he won with Next Sensation in 2015.

He added: “I’m sure he’ll have an entry in that. He also ran very well at Aintree last year, so there’s that to consider as well.

“He looks like a horse that could have the right sort of profile for a Grand Annual and we’ll see nearer the time.

“In some ways it might make more sense to go for a handicap now, but as we saw at Kempton some of these novice events don’t have a lot of runners in them and there’s some decent prize-money on offer, so it seems silly to pass them over when you’ve only got one chance to run in them really.”



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Adiwang hopes to fight Saruta next

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Lito Adiwang was booted out of ONE Championship strawweight rankings after coming up short against Jarred Brooks. ‘The Thunder Kid’ is already itching to step back inside the cage and hopes to fight a ranked fighter next.

Of the fighters in the ONE Championship strawweight division rankings, the 28-year-old Filipino seeks to score a date with No.2-ranked Yosuke Saruta.

“I want a big comeback. I still want a big name. I want to challenge Yosuke Saruta. Maybe if ONE allows it, and he wants it, then I’ll take it. Saruta is someone who I really want to test myself against,” said Adiwang in an interview with ONE Championship.

The 28-year-old admits it is a dangerous fight and a huge risk to take. The high-risk, high-reward scenario is something that Adiwang would like to take as he seeks to put his name back in the rankings again by beating a former champion.

“It’s a big risk for me because I’m coming off a loss, but I want a great comeback and a big name in my return so I don’t fall far off from the rankings.”


Lito Adiwang seeking for a better year in 2022 at ONE Championship

Adiwang now holds a professional record of 13-4 and has been competing in ONE Championship since October 2018. He won his first five fights before receiving his first loss against Koha Minowa via a split decision two years later.

The Benguet-based fighter had three fights in 2021. However, he also suffered his second loss in ONE Championship against Jarred Brooks.

Still in his prime, Adiwang goes back to the drawing board and seeks to polish his MMA skills in 2022.

“I have to check my mistakes inside the Circle, but I also have to check my mistakes outside the Circle. It has to be a balance. Sometimes, I forget other personal obligations and those are the things that I have to work on. I have to balance things out based on last year. I have to correct this in 2022.”




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