Premier League Weekend in 20 Pictures: Goodbye 2013
The final round of Premier League matches in 2013 was an entertaining affair. All 20 sides were in action over the weekend. While their European colleagues take a rest, the English divisions press on with the traditional, punishing holiday match schedule.
A new Premier League leader was confirmed, while sides such as Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea gained much-needed wins. Here are some of the best snaps taken from around the grounds as we said farewell to the year's action.
Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay was a respected figure around the South Wales club. And the fans appear to have come down on his side following his sacking by the controversial owner, Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan.
This banner summed up supporter opinion against the empresario, who appeared to be the only man in the stadium not wearing the club's traditional blue.
The Cardiff owner himself did not appear to feel the pressure, though. Tan was up in the stands to cheer on the Bluebirds (Redbirds?) at home to Sunderland, although Cardiff's capitulation at the end would not have made for easy watching.
Manchester City star David Silva is a committed sort. Against Crystal Palace, not even the loss of one boot could hold back the Spain international as he strived to win back possession for the home side.
Grin and Bear It
Let's be fair, Tony Pulis' teams have often been rather difficult to watch. But it appears that even the manager himself cannot bear to witness new side Crystal Palace in action against Manchester City, grinding his teeth down to a fine dust in the Etihad Stadium.
Dinnertime in Goodison
Father and daughter take a break from the action in Everton to wolf down a bit of supper. The look on the little girl's face suggests that a bit of hot grub really hit the spot, although one eye is warily making sure Dad does not take too many chips.
Who Needs Starbucks?
Feeling the cold in Goodison Park? Why not take yourself down for an Everton-branded coffee to keep the blood pumping? The artistic and subtly designed takeaway cup is just another reason to treat yourself up on Merseyside.
Having spent some time out of the Manchester City front-lines, Joe Hart was back with a vengeance on Sunday. The goalkeeper pulled off save after save, including this spectacular one-hander, to assure his side a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
But the three points were not all Hart took away from the game...
You Should See the Other Guy
The England goalkeeper was certainly in the wars on Saturday. As well as that fingertip save, Hart got down low to foil Cameron Jerome, taking a boot to the face for his troubles. The shiner you can see above was the result of his heroics.
Uruguay international and former Bologna star Gaston Ramirez has struggled to reproduce his best form in England since moving to Southampton last year. But the playmaker is doing his best to endear himself to the Premier League, even with supporters from other clubs.
Funnily enough, the smiling youngster is an Everton fan, and the shirt came directly from Ramirez himself, earning a yellow card from his troubles after scoring for the Saints.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Adebayor
Emanuel Adebayor has found form again since the exit of Andre Villas-Boas, but who knew martial arts was also a forte? The striker suspends himself almost impossibly in mid-air, to the obvious discomfort of the Stoke defender.
One Is the Loneliest Number
We do not know whether this lone Hull City ranger was left as a solitary cheer section through the match, or if he fell victim to a friend's prank and accidentally turned up four hours early for the kick-off. The lad certainly enjoyed himself, as his team routed Fulham 6-0.
All Together Now
It is hard to say whether this enthusiastic Swansea pile-up with away fans is a product of genuine joy at equalising or merely an effort to stay warm at Villa Park. Either way, Roland Lamah's strike helped the Welshmen grab a point against Aston Villa.
The Face of Despair
Peter Cech and David Luiz can only look forlornly into the behind-goal camera as Liverpool net after just three minutes. Chelsea rallied quickly, and before half-time they would find themselves in the lead thanks to Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o.
Little and Large
Olivier Giroud dwarfs Santiago Cazorla as the diminutive Spain international congratulates his team-mate for hitting Sunday's decisive strike against Newcastle. At 5'6", Cazorla might need a step-ladder to complete that high-five with the 6'4" Giroud.
A Roaring Success
It is hard to say for certain, but I think we can assume that Danny Welbeck was rather pleased with his winner on Saturday, gifting Manchester United three points away to Norwich.
Talk to the Hand, Howard
It is a look familiar to school teachers everywhere when dealing with an unruly pupil. Howard Webb goes to great lengths to get his point across to Luis Suarez, who simply responds with a "Yeah, whatever" expression that equally expresses his disinterest.
A Tricky Customer
Javier Hernandez may not be the Premier League's most consistent performer, but when he gets going, the Mexican is a delight to watch. Perhaps not so much for his unfortunate marker, who was left in a heap as Chicharito sped away.
Twilight in Goodison
The short winter evenings in the northern hemisphere can be a depressing sight for some. But look on the bright side: Spectators are also treated to spectacular views like this sunset just over Goodison Park, home of Everton.
It was a big Sunday for Arsenal. A hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Newcastle ensured that the Gunners would start 2014 as Premier League leaders, and there were hugs all round at the final whistle.
This Is How It's Going Down
Tempers certainly were flared for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. Luis Suarez was not the only one to square up to referee Howard Webb; the whistleblower here lays down the law to captain Daniel Agger as the Reds slipped to defeat.
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