With the festive season out of the way and the focus turned to January football, let’s take a look back at December. Every year, thousands of fans look forward to enjoying the Premier League action to get them through to the New Year, and 2021 was no different. December saw plenty of quality action, including farcical red cards, the near failings of Manchester United, and a cracking goal from Demarai Grey. Whether you managed to catch the football or not, we’re here to let you know what our favourite moments of December 2021 were.
1. The Intense Battle Between Chelsea and Leeds
Leeds United went up against Premier League elites Chelsea, where they put on a fantastic show but missed the win at 3-2. Throughout the match, Leeds and Chelsea were evenly matched, with Joe Gelhardt managing to score the equaliser at 83 minutes. With less than ten minutes of the game to go, a point split fate appeared likely for both of these teams. Then, in the midst of stoppage-time, Antonio Rudiger was the target of a foul committed by Mateusz Klich. Making the most of this highly late penalty, Jorginho found the back of the net and scraped the victory for Chelsea.
Chelsea currently sits second on the League table, with their next three games pitting them against Chesterfield, Tottenham, and current leaders Manchester City. If you think Chelsea can overthrow Man City, put your money where your mouth is with Nektan. You can play all your favourite Nektan games, all conveniently reviewed for you, while cashing in on the Premier League action.
2. Demarai Grey Shows Off
Everton held their own against Arsenal when they stole the points with a 2-1 win. At the end of the first half, the Gunners had the edge and were feeling hopeful. However, within the last 10 minutes of the game, Everton came back with goals from Richarlison and Demarai Grey – the latter being our favourite goal. In a goal that turned heads, Demarai Grey snuck in a stoppage-time screamer. From outside of the box, Grey pelted the ball at the net and scored off a post rebound; Aaron Ramsdale didn’t stand a chance.
3. Tottenham & Liverpool Clash
Following an unfortunate bout of Covid-19, Spurs returned to the action when they went up against Liverpool. England’s Euro 2020 hero and Tottenham captain Harry Kane managed to grab his second goal of the current season. In this goal-for-goal duel, each team took it in turn to make contributions. When Robertson found the net in the 69th minute, it seemed as though Liverpool were in with a good chance of winning. Fortunately, Son Heung-min secured an equaliser, and both teams were left sharing the spoils.
4. Leicester Hold Back Liverpool
Keeping on a Liverpool theme. They went out against Leicester in a game that should have been easy for them. Leicester City managed to score three times in the first half, with Jamie Vardy and James Maddison sharing the glory. At the end of the first half, the score was 2-1 to Leicester. Fortunately for the Reds, Diogo Jota and Minamino found secure equalisers, with the last of the goals being conceded during stoppage-time. During the game, Mo Salah had the opportunity to net a penalty but was denied the opportunity when Kasper Schmeichel fought back.
5. Raul Jimenez Sees Red
Raul Jimenez has had a difficult year, after suffering a devastating head injury that could have killed him. Luckily, the Mexican striker was able to return to the field in 2021, which is the most heartfelt story for the season so far. Unfortunately, he found himself sent off during a clash between Wolves and Man City. Despite being a funny scenario, which was all his own doing, it was completely avoidable. Jimenez earned himself a foul in midfield, which gained the opposition a freekick. For reasons unknown, Jimenez decided to unfairly block the freekick, which landed him a warning. Minutes later, he challenged the very same freekick and received his second yellow card.
6. Brentford Bloom Against Watford
Newly promoted EPL sides Brentford took on Watford in an intense clash that saw the comeback heroes bloom. Watford secured a first half goal and looked set to win when the game reached the final minutes. However, thanks to an 84-minute goal from Pontus Jansson and a successful penalty taken by Bryan Mbeumo, Brentford managed to steal the win.
7. Manchester United’s Newcastle Scare
Newcastle has been struggling this season and have only managed to secure a win against Burnley. With this in mind, fans fully expected them to get annihilated when Manchester United travelled to St James’ Park. In a plot twist that wowed all, Newcastle put on their first premium show of the season. An early goal by Allan Saint-Maximin showed promise for the Toon-based team. Managing to keep the Red Devils on the ropes for around 70 minutes, Edinson Cavani scored the equaliser.
8. Leicester Fought Hard Against Man City
Manchester City is currently sitting at the top of the league table, with Chelsea and Liverpool following close behind. On Boxing Day, they went up against Premier League underdogs Leicester City, where they managed to dominate with a 6-3 win. Despite suffering defeat, Leicester put on an incredible show and almost found a comeback.
Man City was quick off the mark when they hit 4-0 by the end of the first half. However, Leicester pushed back with three goals within ten minutes of each other. Just when a comeback looked hopeful for the underdogs, Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte found the back of the net. Considering the differing skill level between these two teams, this was a fantastic show of football.
December always promises plenty of football action, and 2021 was no different. There were jaw-dropping moments alongside plenty of chances for underdogs to shine brightly. Of all the moments above, our top pick has been Jimenez’s pointless red card. With only half the season down and the first week of 2022 packed full of drama, the remainder of the Premier League is guaranteed to bring plenty more intense moments.