Norwich City would be second in the Premier League (if it started at Christmas)
08:44 05 January 2016
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Only Tottenham enjoyed a better Christmas than the Canaries with Alex Neil’s men picking up an impressive nine points over the festive period.
Each team played four times between December 19 and January 3 and Spurs had the best record, winning three times and drawing once.
But perhaps the most impressive record belonged to City, who picked up three wins 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.
Unsurprisingly after their seven-goal thriller, games involving Stoke and Everton returned the most goals.
The Potters won 4-3 at Goodison Park and ended the four-game spell with eight goals for and seven against, while Everton scored seven and conceded eight.
Only Sunderland under Sam Allardyce conceded more goals (nine) during the period.
Games involving Swansea returned the least goals – just four, three of which came in their 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford – but Alan Curtis’ side managed five points overall to edge away from the relegation zone.