Manchester United faced another setback with a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United over the weekend, while Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea regained some pride with a 3-2 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion. United's ongoing injury issues have been well-documented, but they pale in comparison to a depleted Newcastle side, forced to draw from their academy ranks to fill the bench.
Despite this, Eddie Howe's team outclassed Erik ten Hag's squad on a chilly evening in the North East, securing their deserved win in the second half with a goal from Anthony Gordon.
United had shown signs of improvement in the Premier League leading up to the festive period, winning five of their previous six matches and keeping three clean sheets.
However, their recent defeat to Newcastle, combined with a Champions League setback against Galatasaray, has dropped them to seventh in the league table. They sit five points below fourth-placed Aston Villa and have scored only 16 league goals in the 2023-24 season, the lowest among top-half teams.
At their home ground, the Theatre of Dreams, United has experienced mixed results in recent games, winning only two of their last five Premier League matches. In gameweek 14, United could learn from Chelsea's display of determination and resilience. Enzo Fernandez, who hadn't scored in 30 Premier League games, netted twice in a five-goal thriller against Brighton, securing a crucial win for Chelsea.
Despite the entertaining style of play, Chelsea has conceded 11 goals in their last four Premier League fixtures. However, they have demonstrated their attacking prowess, scoring an impressive 12 goals in the same period. Chelsea had a strong away record before a 4-1 defeat to Newcastle last month, and both teams can relate to their struggles at St James' Park.
In a twist of fate, Chelsea suffered a 4-1 defeat to Manchester United in May's Old Trafford clash, breaking a streak of five consecutive draws between the two historic clubs.