Premier League talking points: Emirates goal-fest reveals shortcomings

1 EMIRATES GOAL-FEST REVEALS SHORTCOMINGS

Arsenal and Liverpool served up a festive feast in their 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium but, while the game was a thrilling contest, it also served to illustrate why neither side are contending for the title.

After going 2-0 up, Liverpool capitulated by conceding three goals in five minutes, with the idling Joe Gomez at fault for the first and weak-wristed goalkeeper Simon Mignolet culpable for the second.

Arsenal had been virtual bystanders in the first half but, having got their noses in front, their own frailties returned to the surface as Petr Cech could only palm Roberto Firmino's shot into his own net.

2 UNITED NOT QUITE ROLLING BACK THE CLOCK

With seconds left at the King Power Stadium, Manchester United were on the verge of a restorative victory. But Jose Mourinho hit the roof after his side allowed Harry Maguire to give 10-man Leicester a 94th-minute equaliser.

United have a history of scoring during "Fergie time" - a phrase coined to describe the extra minutes of stoppage time the Red Devils would get under retired manager Alex Ferguson. But they are now conceding late in matches.

They were embarrassed at second-tier Bristol City in their midweek League Cup quarter-final loss following an extra-time goal, and also conceded an 89th-minute winner in their Champions League group-stage tie against Swiss side Basel last month.

3 EVERTON DANCING TO BIG SAM'S TUNE

Everton have succumbed to some heavy defeats this season - 4-0 at Manchester United, 5-2 at home to Arsenal, 4-1 at Southampton - but since Sam Allardyce's appointment as manager, they have become a very different prospect.

The Merseyside club took their run of games without defeat since Allardyce took over to five with a gritty 0-0 draw against champions Chelsea and they have conceded only two goals in that sequence.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2017, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe