With another exciting Saturday of matches, the Barclays Premier League table saw some interesting shakeups, as well as continued dominance from some of the league's top teams to start off Week 18.
With a big win today, Liverpool are on top of the latest table, although that could certainly change over the next couple of days. They have a one-point lead on Arsenal, but the Gunners will be playing Chelsea on Monday, and both of those teams will be looking to continue to assert their dominance and try to grab the top spot in the table.
Below is a look at the updated table after all of the matches on Dec. 21, followed by a recap of some of the top games.
|Crystal Palace||0-3||Newcastle United|
|Manchester United||3-1||West Ham United|
|Stoke City||2-1||Aston Villa|
|West Bromwich Albion||1-1||Hull City|
Results for Saturday, Dec. 21
|16||West Bromwich Albion||17||3||7||7||16|
|17||West Ham United||17||3||5||9||14|
Table Updated After Saturday, Dec. 21 Games
Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City
With yet another big match, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez continued his blazing pace this season during the 3-1 win over Cardiff City.
Suarez got the Reds on the board first with a nice goal in the 25th minute. Things opened up at the end of the first half, with Raheem Sterling getting a goal in the 42nd minute and Suarez getting his second of the day just three minutes later before half-time. According to the Premier League Twitter account, that was the 10th goal for Suarez in December, making him the first player to ever do that.
RECORD Luis Suarez's second goal v Cardiff was his 10th #BPL goal in December; He's the first player to hit double figures in a single month— Premier League (@premierleague) December 21, 2013
Cardiff City were able to get closer early in the second half thanks to a goal by Jordon Mutch in the 58th minute, but they were unable to get anything else going for the rest of the match. Overall, the Reds had possession 69 percent of the time, out-shooting Cardiff City 27-10, with seven of them on goal opposed to Cardiff's three.
The win for the Reds moves them to the top of the table, at least for now. Still, this is a big move, and they'll be looking to stay near the top as the season continues. Cardiff City are currently No. 15 in the table, and the future of manager Malky Mackay is up in the air.
Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United
After a sluggish start to the season, Manchester United are beginning to turn things around, as they recorded their fourth straight win on Saturday over West Ham United.
The Red Devils got things rolling in the 26th minute thanks to a strike from Danny Welbeck. They got a second goal from Adnan Januzaj 10 minutes later off an assist from the England striker. It was the first goal at home for the 18-year-old phenom who's generating a lot of buzz.
It wasn't all good for the Red Devils, as Welbeck left the game early in the second half after limping off the field. Ashley Young was able to grab a third goal for Manchester United, and Carlton Cole was able to get West Ham on the board before the match ended at 3-1.
Things are looking good once again for Manchester, with that win moving them to seventh on the table for now—although that could change after this weekend. Still, considering how poorly this season started, things are looking good for this team. West Ham are certainly struggling, as they're one spot away from the relegation zone.
Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
It was the highest-scoring match of the day—and certainly the most intriguing one—as Manchester City could have had an embarrassing blunder cost them a win if not for two key substitutes stepping up late.
Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany were able to get City on the board in the first half to go up 2-0, but Fulham were still trying to pull off the big upset. Kieran Richardson scored for the Cottagers in the 50th minute, then something wild happened.
With just over 20 minutes left in the match, Kompany had a wild own goal. Suddenly, things were tied at 2-2 and not looking good for City.
Fortunately for them, two key substitutes were able to step up. In the 78th minute, Jesus Navas was able to find the back of the net, and James Milner was able to grab another goal just five minutes later, giving City the win.
It wasn't pretty, but it was still three points for City, as they're now second on the latest table, just behind Liverpool. Fulham is in the exact opposite situation, currently 19th in the latest table with 13 points all season. They're facing relegation if they don't turn things around.