Liverpool fans will be cautiously optimistic going into 2024 with their beloved club ending the calendar year at the top of the table. This was after Arsenal slipped up once again, this time to Fulham, and thus finished 2023 two points behind Liverpool. Aston Villa fans might still be scratching their eyes seeing their second club sitting second, two points above Manchester City at third and Arsenal and level on points with Liverpool.

Manchester United lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest(Action Images via Reuters)

Liverpool, though, have a game in hand on Villa and Arsenal, having played 19 games. City are also on 19 matches. Liverpool thus have a chance at going two points clear at the top of the table if they beat Newcastle United in the Sunday evening fixture. Meanwhile, Manchester United remained in a state of crisis. We take a look at these and more in our wrap up of the Premier League action this weekend.

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1. Arsenal slip at Fulham

Arsenal limped into the new year with what head coach Mikel Arteta called their “worst performance of the season”. They squandered an early lead at Craven Cottage, losing 2-1 to 13th-placed Fulham which kept the at 40 points and a fourth-placed finish to the year. This latest setback came despite Bukayo Saka putting Arsenal ahead after just five minutes as he turned in the rebound from a shot by Gabriel Martinelli, who had made a marauding run from inside his own area. There was little in the way of attacking threat from the visitors after that, though, and bad defending helped Raul Jimenez equalize in the first half and Bobby De Cordova-Reid poke in the winner after a corner in the 59th.

2. Nottingham Forest the latest to stun Manchester United

Manchester United slumped to their 14th loss of the season as they were stunned by Nottingham Forest away from home. Forest beat the ailing Premier League giants 2-1, even as news of Jim Ratcliffe’s investment and a potential change of hands in the day to day running of the club rumbled on the background. Erik ten Hag’s United team are struggling in seventh on 31 points after their 14th defeat this season in all competitions. It was Forest’s first Premier League win over United since 1994. The visitors were coming off an uplifting 3-2 victory at home to Aston Villa on Boxing Day that saw them recover from two goals down, but their inconsistency struck again and they were terrible at times on Saturday both in attack and defence.

3. Bournemouth’s run ends with Tottenham loss

Tottenham Hotspur brought resurgent Bournemouth down to earth with a flattering 3-1 Premier League victory thanks to goals by Pape Matar Sarr, Son Heung-min and Richarlison on Sunday. Bournemouth were unbeaten in seven league games with six wins in that sequence and they will wonder how that run was not extended as they dominated in rain-hit north London. Sarr gave Tottenham an early lead before he went off injured while captain Son and Richarlison scored late on after the home side had ridden their luck against a slick visiting side.

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