Premier League ups and downs - 17
The National staff | December 25, 2012
The holidays are upon us, so who has a present in their stocking, and who gets a lump of coal?
GOING UPFrank Lampard, Chelsea His contract may be up in the summer, but the midfielder marked his 500th Premier League game with a cracking goal from 30 yards – his 130th in England’s top flight – to overtake Chelsea legend Bobby Tambling’s record.
Stewart Downing, Liverpool It seems Brendan Rodgers telling him he can leave next month is the kick up the backside the England winger needed as he scored his first league goal and laid on his first league assist since joining in 2011.
Steven Fletcher, Sunderland Despite playing in a struggling side, the Scotland international scored his eighth league goal of the campaign as the Black Cats secured a rare – but crucial – win on the road against Southampton to ease their relegation worries.
GOING DOWNDimitar Berbatov, Fulham You could count on one hand the number of telling or meaningful contributions the Bulgarian made against Liverpool. His side needed a talisman, his languid style suggested they would not find it in him.
Kevin Nolan, West Ham The Hammers captain has lost his way in recent weeks. Substituted in the stalemate against West Bromwich Albion last week, the midfielder’s clearance resulted only in Steven Pienaar bundling the ball over for Everton’s winner.
Nicky Shorey, Reading Perhaps a tad harsh to find his name in here but the left-back’s lack of height and physical presence was severely exposed by Manchester City time and again before Gareth Barry climbed over him to head in a late winner at the Etihad Stadium.
- Luis Suarez thought Barca would balk after bite: ‘Thought I had ruined my career’
- Myanmar threatened with empty stands after pitch invasion following win over UAE
- Monday cover: QPR put two too many into own net
- Sunday cover: Sergio Aguero lights up Spurs
- Friday cover: A confident Gabriel Calderon checks in at Al Wasl
- ‘Spent a lot to regress’: Overpriced, underwhelming Liverpool defence microcosm of team
- Improbable post-season run reginited flame in Kansas City’s love affair with Royals
- Dubai Sevens pools announced, England and Australia to clash in Pool C
- Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic feature in Southampton stomp: EPL Team of the Week 8
- UAE youths gain experience – and a few medals – in US jiu-jitsu trip
- Pep Guardiola brings Bayern to Roma, where he once learned from Fabio Capello