What a day of football—that of the ball-kicking variety.
In the United States, New Year's Day has come to be synonymous with college football and some of the biggest postseason bowls of the year.
However, that wasn't the only football on the day, as every Premier League club was in action on Jan. 1.
From start to finish, New Year's Day featured great action. There were plenty of upsets coupled with teams staking a claim to the top spot.
Among the 10 matches on Wednesday, these four were among the most surprising.
|EPL Results Matchday 20|
|Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|Swansea City||2-3||Manchester City|
|Crystal Palace||1-1||Norwich City|
|Manchester United||1-2||Tottenham Hotspur|
Chelsea 3, Southampton 0
It's hard to believe there was once a time when Southampton were in the top four. Nobody believed the Saints would finish there, but few could've foreseen their free fall in recent weeks.
If you weren't of the opinion before that Southampton has been found out, surely you are now.
Chelsea walked into the St. Mary's Stadium and walked out with a 3-0 win on Saturday. The Blues arguably could've had four if not for Oscar looking for a penalty in the 55th minute rather than beating Kelvin Davis.
Southampton were unable to pass the ball effectively and had no other recourse to try to create scoring chances. They're much like Arsenal, in that once teams play defensively and eliminate their short passing game, they have no other recourse.
Although you wouldn't have fancied the Saints coming into the day, the way in which they were dispatched is alarming for supporters.
West Brom 1, Newcastle 0
Maybe we should become accustomed to the fact that this is what Newcastle are. The Magpies can beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and get a home victory over Chelsea, but they're equally capable of losing 3-0 to Swansea City and 1-0 to West Brom.
This is a West Brom side that's still without a manager and hadn't won a Premier League match since November.
Mathieu Debuchy's sending-off in the 62nd minute didn't help Newcastle, which itself was a bit of a surprise, as the French full-back had been on a good run of form.
Saido Berahino scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 87th minute, which cemented how much of a Jekyll and Hyde side Newcastle can be. They can't be considered any sort of legitimate top-four contender until they show some consistency on the pitch.
Tottenham Hotspur 2, Manchester United 1
This is why we can't have nice things, David Moyes.
Manchester United came into Wednesday having won their last four games, and then they promptly lost 2-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Surprisingly, Moyes believed his players performed well, per United's official site:
"We got done on the counter-attack for a couple of goals and made a couple of mistakes," Moyes said after the match, "but I thought the team played very well today."
"All you can do is play well, and then hopefully you take your opportunities when they come and you don’t make small mistakes."
It's this kind of attitude that will have supporters up in arms. The Red Devils had a penalty shot that probably should've been given, but that doesn't excuse losing to a Spurs side that has been sputtering the entire season. Moyes' club didn't play well, but he again covers up his players' frailties.
According to WhoScored.com, United had 61 percent of possession and six shots on target. Yet, that translated into one goal and no points.
Moyes shouldn't be on the hot seat by any means, but it's time that we stop treating Manchester United as anything more than a top-four contender.
Fulham 2, West Ham 1
West Ham are now in the relegation zone, and it may be some time before they can get themselves out.
Whether it was Sam Allardyce, the players or a combination of the two, you would've thought the Hammers had what it takes to at least secure a position around 15th or 16th—not too high up the table, but comfortably above relegation.
Instead, West Ham have been dreadful recently, and Allardyce may be looking at the sack very soon. Kevin Nolan's sending-off is another example that there's little accountability in the side and the manager is failing to get through to his players.
Ten men or not, there's no excuse for allowing Fulham to have 11 shots on target.
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