English Premier League: Winners and Losers of Gameweek 16
The crowded winter Premier League schedule has begun with a not-so-thrilling gameweek 16.
It's not to say that this gameweek was particularly dull, but only a total of 18 goals were scored (compared to the usual 30 or so).
Although it wasn't a great gameweek, it was an important one nonetheless, so let's get to it.
Here are my winners and losers.
Winner: Stoke City
Stoke City's 2-1 win over Wolves at the Molineux marked their fourth victory in a row.
The Potters have been in stunning form, now threatening to break into the top six like people predicted they would at the start of the season. The Britannia has continued to be a fortress, and Tony Pulis' side is even starting to get points away from home, as well.
There couldn't be a better way for Stoke to be heading into their match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. They'll certainly be looking to take points from that match with the form they're in.
Wigan grabbed an unlikely point at home against Chelsea this weekend, thanks to an equalizer from Jordi Gomez in the dying minutes of the game.
It's been a rough season so far for Wigan, and Roberto Martinez's job has become very insecure. But the draw against Chelsea was a bit of a relief for the Lactics.
They're playing Liverpool on Wednesday at the DW Stadium. If they can stay strong and defend well, they may just grab another unlikely point.
Winner: Manchester City
Manchester City had arguably their narrowest victory of the season with a nervy 1-0 win over a stubborn Arsenal side on Sunday.
A scrappy 53rd minute goal from David Silva was all that separated the two sides, and the Gunners came very close to equalizing at the end. Joe Hart was forced to make a number of saves and was outstanding for the Citizens.
This win sees City remain at the top of the table. And, in a match where people expected Roberto Mancini's side to hit a road block, the Sky Blues continued to chug along.
Bolton have been absolutely horrendous.
With 16 matches played, Owen Coyle's side find themselves at rock bottom in the table with a mere 9 points. People expected the Wanderers to challenge for a strong, mid-table finish this season. But it's now looking like the rest of their season will be a relegation scrap.
They could very well be playing Championship football in 2012-13.
The strange thing is, Bolton have some decent players on their squad and a solid foundation.
They just can't win.
Loser: Bobby Zamora
Bobby Zamora is officially playing for Fulham Reserves after a fallout with manager Martin Jol.
I don't blame him.
Jol doesn't exactly seem like the most likable man alive, but Zamora had some good going for the Cottagers. It's a shame that that will go to waste. The English international's transfer in January is now inevitable, and my best guess is that he'll go to either QPR or Aston Villa.
Loser: Scott Dann
Scott Dann ruptured his right testicle while scoring a goal against West Brom this weekend.
Need I say more?
It seems like Blackburn have finally come to their senses and will sack Steve Kean after letting him get the Rovers all the way to Christmas with just two wins and an overall awful start to the season.
That's not the only problem at Ewood Park. The fans hate their manager and owners, and it's looking like the club may not be able to pay their players come the new year.
When Blackburn and Bolton face off on Tuesday, it's highly likely that the losing team's manager will be given the boot.
Loser: Petr Cech
Petr Cech's embarrassing error against Wigan this weekend allowed Jordi Gomez to grab an equalizer in the final minutes of the game
Thus, the Chelsea goalkeeper was at fault for the Blues dropping points from this fixture.
Cech has had arguably his worst season so far at Chelsea. He's enduring a number of errors, including a horrendous game against Arsenal. Something's just not been right with the Czech international.
Chelsea's slump isn't over just yet, as this certainly wasn't the result they were looking for heading into a crunch match against Tottenham on Thursday.
Arsenal's eight-match undefeated run going back to October came to a harsh and sudden end on Sunday.
The Gunners fell 0-1 to league leaders Manchester City.
The irritating thing for Arsenal fans is that their side played well and came extremely close to equalizing. But, ultimately they couldn't find the net. The performance was a good one, so hopefully they'll continue their good form into the winter fixtures and break into the top four.
A loss is a loss, but Arsene Wenger's side can at least be proud of a spirited performance.