The Premier League's winners and losers of 2021
For some clubs, 2021 will go down as an unforgettable year in the Premier League.
For others, they will want to forget it as soon as possible and move on quickly.
LiveScore have picked out three winners and three losers from the top flight over the past 12 months.
It has been a simply sensational year for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.
After their last game of 2020, the Citizens were fifth in the Premier League and five points behind champions and leaders Liverpool.
They were not favourites for the title, yet they ended up winning by a whopping 15 points.
This time around they are top of the tree at Christmas, three points ahead of the Reds and are most people’s tip for the trophy after conceding just nine goals in 18 games.
Guardiola’s side are relentless and despite the disappointment of the Champions League final, domestically it has been another fine year for City.
Thomas Tuchel walked through the doors at Stamford Bridge at the end of January and the only way has been up ever since.
Chelsea’s form has dipped a touch in recent weeks but they remain firmly in contention for a first Premier League title in five years and that is a huge step forward.
Their best moment came in that Champions League final win over the Citizens but they have still impressed domestically.
Tuchel has drastically improved the defence and there were signs of some scintillating attacking football too before numerous injuries took their toll.
Bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge was a statement move in the summer and all signs point to some prosperous years ahead in West London.
There have not been many better years in recent West Ham history than 2021.
For a while it looked like they might crack the top four last term but finishing in sixth and securing Europa League football was no mean feat for David Moyes’ side.
They were only two points worse off than London rivals Chelsea and finished above Tottenham and Arsenal.
Despite playing extra games this season as a result of having more Irons in the fire, the Hammers have continued where they left off back in front of fans.
The likes of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen have been linked with big-money moves but the London Stadium is the place to be at the moment.
Honourable mentions: Liverpool, Arsenal
Ralph Hasenhuttl began the year crying tears of joy after Southampton beat Liverpool 1-0 at St Mary’s.
That was the high point of a frustrating and inconsistent 2021 for the South Coast outift.
Then sitting sixth, by April there were concerns of relegation as they plummeted down the table.
Though there have been signs if improvement this season, the Saints only sit five points above Burnley in 18th.
And with Hasenhuttl’s men picking up the least amount of points of the 17 sides to have played all of 2021 in the top flight, it looks set to be a worrying end to the current campaign.
The mood at Everton is bleak — and it shows no sign if improving.
Forget a European challenge, the Toffees look more likely to be involved in a relegation battle under Rafa Benitez and the fans are not happy.
The end of last season was satisfactory under Carlo Ancelotti, if nothing special.
But his unexpected departure, an underwhelming summer window, a squad short of depth and quality and the appointment of a Liverpool legend as boss have soured relations between fans and board at Goodison Park.
After four wins in their opening six games, they have only picked up six points from the next 11 and if this downward spiral continues, things could get even bleaker on Merseyside.
Leicester’s inclusion on this list is a touch controversial and maybe even a little harsh.
But the Foxes again stuttered in the second half of last season and ended up missing out on a Champions League spot on the final day for the second successive campaign.
It feels like Brendan Rodgers’ side have hit their glass ceiling and displays this term have dropped after that disappointment.
Currently sitting ninth, four points off seventh, there is every chance Leicester will not even qualify for the Europa Conference League this time around.
A memorable FA Cup win in May means no Foxes fan will ever forget 2021, aside from that it has been a frustrating 12 months at the King Power Stadium.
Honourable mentions: Burnley, Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester United