In-form Tottenham top of Christmas mini-league

Tottenham were top of the tree over Christmas as they picked up the most points during the Premier League’s festive fixtures.

Each team played four times between December 19 and January 3 and Mauricio Pochettino’s men had the best record, winning three times and drawing once.

But perhaps the most impressive record belonged to Norwich, who picked up nine points from games against Manchester United, Spurs, Aston Villa and Southampton.

That was enough for them to pip Premier League leaders Arsenal on goal difference to second place in the festive table.

It was a miserable Christmas on Tyneside, with Steve McClaren’s Newcastle managing just one goal and one point for the league’s worst record over the festive period.

Aston Villa were the only other winless side over the four games, with draws against Newcastle and West Ham followed by defeats at Norwich and Sunderland.

That 3-1 victory for Sunderland on Saturday gave Sam Allardyce’s side their only points of the period as they finished third bottom of the Christmas table.

Southampton’s 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal was their only success over the four games, but ensured their goal difference was good enough to finish above Sunderland.

It was a far cry from the Saints’ form over the same period last season, when Ronald Koeman’s side picked up 10 points for the league’s best Christmas record.

Manchester United escaped the festive bottom three by beating Swansea in their final game, but managed just four points from the period as the pressure ramped up on manager Louis van Gaal.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly an option to replace Van Gaal if United decide to change managers, but the Portuguese’s former side Chelsea prospered in his absence over Christmas.

In the four games since Mourinho left, Chelsea were unbeaten with a record of two wins and two draws from games with Sunderland, Watford, Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

Spurs and Chelsea were joined in the unbeaten club by fellow London side West Ham, who enjoyed victories over Southampton and Liverpool while picking up points against Swansea and Villa.

Manchester City’s late show against Watford on Saturday took them to seven points from their four games — the sixth best record.

Leicester started the Christmas period with a 3-2 win at Everton to take them top of the Premier League table, but the Foxes failed to find the net again and managed only a further two points.


Lifestyle

After years of saying no, Patrick Stewart tells Georgia Humphreys why he finally agreed to reprise his role as Jean-Luc PicardPatrick Stewart on boldly returning for Star Trek Picard

Cork teenager Jessie Griffin is launching a new comic-book series about her own life. She tells Donal O’Keeffe about her work as a comic artist, living with Asperger’s, and her life-changing time with the Cork Life CentrePicture perfect way of sharing Jessie’s story

Sorting out Cork people for agesAsk Audrey: The only way to improve air quality in Douglas is to move it upwind from Passage West

The Lighthouse is being hailed as one of the best — and strangest — films of the year. Its director tells Esther McCarthy about casting Robert Pattinson, and why he used 100-year-old lensesGoing against the grain: Robert Eggers talks about making his latest film The Lighthouse

More From The Irish Examiner