With the English Premier League being so competitive, it is important to take advantage of every opportunity to get points. Some clubs had a hard time accomplishing that in Matchday 19.
Saturday's fixtures started with a wild 3-3 match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion, and the day got even stranger from there. Manchester City struggled against Crystal Palace and barely escaped with a 1-0 home win, while Manchester United also only earned a 1-0 victory over the poor defense of Norwich City.
Still, this was just an appetizer for Sunday, which will feature eight of the top 10 clubs in the table entering the week.
All of the action played a big role in the standings from the top to the bottom. Here is an updated look at the table after the league's most recent matches.
|Dec. 28||West Ham United||3-3||West Bromwich Albion|
|Dec. 28||Aston Villa||1-1||Swansea City|
|Dec. 28||Hull City||6-0||Fulham|
|Dec. 28||Manchester City||1-0||Crystal Palace|
|Dec. 28||Norwich City||0-1||Manchester United|
|Dec. 28||Cardiff City||2-2||Sunderland|
|Dec. 29||Newcastle United||0-1||Arsenal|
|Dec. 29||Tottenham||3-0||Stoke City|
via ESPN FC
Manchester City were expected to have an easy time against Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium, but they struggled offensively in a scoreless first half.
As NBC Sports Soccer notes, the club was able to finally get a goal in the 66th minute from Edin Dzeko, but it was not easy:
Still, earning a win is all that matters, as City have now won all 10 of their matches at home this year.
Manchester United also struggled offensively on the road against Norwich City, scoring only a second-half goal off the foot of Danny Welbeck. The forward entered for Ryan Giggs at halftime and provided a positive contribution in the win.
Also notable was the offensive outburst of Hull City, which scored six times in a dominant victory over Fulham. Although this will not change much in the table, it was still an impressive showing for a team that has been inconsistent all year.
Of course, the most exciting match of the day did not play a big role in the table. West Ham held a 1-0 lead for much of the first half before Nicolas Anelka scored twice for West Brom to earn a 2-1 lead before intermission.
Still, the action was just getting started as West Ham regained the lead with scores by Modibo Maiga and Kevin Nolan, followed closely by an equaliser by Saido Berahino. BBC Sport captured the excitement of the action:
Goal: West Ham 3 -3 West Brom (Berahino). #WBA equalise to bring the scores level again! Three goals in five minutes at The Boleyn ground.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 28, 2013
The battle ended with a 3-3 draw, which will keep both sides low on the table.
On Sunday, the action will continue with some high-profile matches between the top clubs in the league. Arsenal will try to retain first place with a match against Newcastle, a squad that has performed extremely well as of late.
Liverpool will continue a difficult stretch with a matchup against Chelsea. The Reds are coming off a 2-1 loss to Manchester City that knocked them out of first place in the table.
Everton faces Southampton and Tottenham takes on Stoke City in what should be a thrilling day of football.
All of these contests will play a big role in the standings as every club fights for as many points as possible heading into the new year.
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