Manchester City keeps rolling towards Premier League title

Monday, December 18th, 2017

By Andrew Ryan
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Frustration has clearly set in for the rest of the English Premier League.

Manchester City was physically dominant against Tottenham at the Etihad over the weekend to the point that the normally mild-mannered Harry Kane and Dele Alli took shots at Man City players that should have resulted in red cards. The 4-1 victory was comprehensive in nature, and it was a second straight weekend for the Citizens putting away a title contender without muss or fuss.

With as well as Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and the gang are playing, it's tough to see City dropping 11 points the rest of the way after rolling off an EPL-record 16 victories and counting. The Citizens have amassed 56 goals already just shy of the halfway point of the campaign, and they'll probably end up netting 100 by the time the season is said and done with.

The bigger story about the weekend was probably how poor Tottenham was. The Spurs aren't the first to be made to look bad at the Etihad this season, but the fact that this team is now just 9-4-5 and looking up at Burnley on the table is a problem.

Sure, there are only three points separating Liverpool in fourth and Tottenham in seventh, and at some point, the Clarets will surely start to fall. But those points between Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool are going to be crucial if we go under the assumption that Manchester United and Chelsea will both finish with top-four spots.

Things have gotten a lot more interesting at the bottom of the table as well.

Crystal Palace is suddenly surging. The Eagles have positive results in seven straight matches to not only clear off the bottom, but to get all the way up to 14th position as well. The team went without a goal for seven matches before beating Chelsea. All of a sudden, CP has 15 goals, six more than Swansea and two more than West Brom. While amassing 17 points in 11 fixtures.

The gap between ninth place and 20th place is just 10 points at this point, and it would take a brave man to try to forecast relegation at this point.

Alan Pardew is under a lot of heat right now for the way he's managing West Brom. He admitted that he picked the wrong side against Manchester United in a 2-1 loss over the weekend. That was a match that was there for the taking, but the team is now winless in 17 matches across all competitions dating back to a match against Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup on August 22.

Stoke City has run into hard times as well, leaving manager Mark Hughes with more questions than answers. Hughes has blamed poor officiating more than once during this recent lull, but the Potters flat out have to play better soccer. They were beaten 3-0 at home this past weekend by West Ham, leaving them without a single point in their last three.

As we head into the crowded holiday part of the schedule, Stoke sits just a point clear of relegation ahead of Newcastle and two in front of West Brom. Swansea City is last on just 12 points. The Potters, though, have the worst goal differential in the Premier League by a wide margin at -20 and will surely end up losing tiebreakers throughout the end of the season unless things start to really turn around.

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