Arsenal have four losses, two draws and just one win from their past seven games, with the latest a defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup. Before Christmas they were flying high at the top of the league but there is a different picture now and Arteta needs to get things back on track quickly if Arsenal are going to look back on this season positively.

The problem is clear, the lack of a prolific goalscorer up front is where Arsenal are falling down, and they missed too many chances against Liverpool, who punished them late on through an own goal from Jakub Kiwior followed by Luis Diaz’s last-minute clincher. 

Arsenal were on top in the first half but just couldn’t find the net. Whether or not they fix that problem in January will have a big impact on where they finish up at the end of the season.

Liverpool then went on to win their second cup game in a week when they faced Fulham in the EFL Cup semi-final. Most people will now be expecting them to go and get the silverware at the final in Wembley.

Meanwhile at Stamford Bridge it was a tense opening half as Chelsea welcomed Preston, but in the second half the Blues kicked into gear and scored three goals in eleven minutes to wrap the game up before Sterling curled home a free-kick to make it 4-0. This would have felt like a continued confidence boost for Chelsea, but next came defeat in the EFL cup at Middlesbrough and those inconsistency problems cropped up again.

Another game in the limelight was the North East derby between Newcastle and Sunderland. This has often been a big Premier League derby but with Sunderlands drop down into the Championship it was the first time they’d met since 2016, and Newcastle’s first win against Sunderland since 2011. In the end it was relatively straightforward for Howe’s team, and a much needed boost after winning just one of their last six games in the league.

There’s a long way to go in the cup and there are still teams from the lower leagues competing like Eastleigh, Newport and Maidstone, so we’ll see some more magic I’m sure.