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Premier League: Five talking points from week 16, including Chelsea's 10-game winning streak

Friday 16th December 2016
There was a full set of midweek fixtures played in the Premier League, which witnessed five of the top six teams record victories. While at the Hawthorns, Salomon Rondon produced a heading masterclass. Here are the main talking points from matchday 16.

Everton dent Arsenal's title aspirations

Arsene Wenger's side travelled to Goodison Park aiming to keep their Premier League title challenge on track, but Everton had other ideas. Alexis Sanchez got Arsenal off to the perfect start when his deflected free kick found the net. However, Ronald Koeman's players fought back: Seamus Coleman's deft header levelled the scores before half-time and late in the game, Ashley Williams sent the crowd wild as he headed in from a corner. Everton held on to secure a 2-1 win.

This defeat is a huge blow to Arsenal's title hopes. Wenger's team had control of the game early on but were then outfought, which exposed their recurrent frailties. Despite the defeat, Arsenal remain in contention at the top - six points off the leaders, but they can't afford many more defeats. Although Koeman's side began the campaign impressively, recent results and performances have been disappointing. Everton have a talented squad and after this win, they should target a place in the top six.

Chelsea make it 10 consecutive victories

Chelsea looked to extend their winning sequence to ten games when they came up against Sunderland. It proved a difficult game for Antonio Conte's side; despite Sunderland's troubles, they remained resilient. A solitary goal from Cesc Fabregas five minutes before half-time was all that separated the two sides. The Spanish midfielder showed composure to slot the ball into the bottom corner and late in the game, Thibaut Courtois produced an excellent save to preserve Chelsea's lead.

After their heavy defeat at the Emirates, Chelsea turned their season around in spectacular fashion. Winning ten successive games in any competition is terrific, but achieving it in the Premier League is immense. Fabregas showed that he still has a lot to offer the club by scoring the vital goal. Conte's side currently look unbeatable and they have opened a six-point advantage at the top of the table; there is still a long way to go, but Chelsea are now big favourites for the title.

Adam Lallana helps Liverpool overcome Middlesbrough

After conceding five goals in their previous two games, and picking up just one point, Liverpool faced a crucial game against a Middlesbrough side not to be taken lightly. Adam Lallana opened the scoring after 29 minutes and from that point onwards, Jurgen Klopp's team had full control. Divock Origi made it two on the hour mark before Lallana wrapped up the victory eight minutes later with his second of the game. There were no further goals: Middlesbrough 0-3 Liverpool.

Lallana's two goals take him to six for the season; the England international has improved in the past 12 months and he's now an important player for Liverpool. After this convincing win, Klopp's side have moved up to second in the table. At the other end of the table, Boro are just one place above the drop zone. Aitor Karanka's side have some quality players but have scored the lowest amount of goals in the league, with just 13. If that doesn't improve, relegation is a possibility.

Salomon Rondon scores hat-trick for West Brom

Maybe unexpectedly, West Bromwich Albion have recently been scoring a fair amount of goals under Tony Pulis, and that trend continued in midweek against Swansea City. Salomon Rondon was the hero for the Baggies: the striker headed in his first on the 50th-minute mark; his second came 11 minutes later, with his third hitting the back of the net not long afterwards to complete a quickfire hat-trick. Wayne Routledge pulled one back for Swansea, but Pulis' side won, 3-1.
Pulis is renowned for setting his sides up so that they are difficult to beat, which often ensures his team's survival. However, his West Brom side offers a genuine attacking threat this season - with Rondon the focal point. The Venezuelan international delivered against Swansea by scoring a hat-trick of headers - only the second player in Premier League history to achieve that feat. West Brom are now up to seventh in the table; Pulis and his players deserve a huge amount of credit.

Manchester United battle for three points and other key moments

After their recent win over Tottenham Hotspur, it was an important game for Jose Mourinho's side against Crystal Palace, as Manchester United looked to build momentum. Two late goals at the end of either half secured a second successive victory for Man United - Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic combined both times to finish with a goal and an assist apiece. It ended 2-1. Man United are showing fighting spirit, which they will need if they are to climb any higher in the table.

In the blue half of Manchester, Pep Guardiola's side defeated Watford 2-0, with goals from Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva. Man City are back to winning ways, but a serious knee injury to Ilkay Gundogan soured the occasion. Bournemouth moved into the top half of the table with a 1-0 win over Leicester City; Marc Pugh the scorer. It's exciting times for the Cherries' players and supporters. Elsewhere, Tottenham eased to a 3-0 victory over Hull City as Christian Eriksen struck twice and Victor Wanyama added a third.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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