Sport Gus Poyet has made his first move of the January transfer window with a bid of £2.5m for Liam Bridcutt

The midfielder joins from Brighton

The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 31 December 2013

Baines unlikely to make United window switch

Gus Poyet has made his first move of the January transfer window with a bid of £2.5m for Liam Bridcutt

Transfer news: Gus Poyet targets Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt and QPR's Shaun Wright-Phillips to help Sunderland's fight for Premier League survival

Gus Poyet has made his first move of the January transfer window with a bid of £2.5m for his former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

Four things we learnt from Saturday’s Premier League action: Aston Villa relegation battle; Fulham's thin broth; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Cardiff worry; Manchester United flourishing

Villa are relegation candidates

When Aston Villa lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, their manager’s reaction was telling. At least, said Paul Lambert, they had worked hard. Given that last season Villa had the seventh-highest wage bill in the league, owner Randy Lerner may feel entitled to more than hard work. After a lucky 1-1 draw against Swansea, Lambert said: “We are not in a relegation fight”. As they are four points off the drop zone and averaging less than a point a game at home, others may feel differently.

Joe Hart needed six stitches in an eye wound on Saturday

Manchester City show a new-found stomach for the battle after Liverpool win

The last time Manchester City reached the top spot of the Premier League, they looked imperious, bulldozing Aston Villa 5-0 early in November 2012. But they then proved to be considerably less than that – losing their place at the  summit within a week and  little knowing that 2013 would virtually be over before they were kings of the castle again, 419 long days later.

Beside themselves: Alan Pardew (left) does not see eye to eye with Arsène Wenger but says ‘we owe him a bit of a debt’

Alan Pardew's Frenchmen follow in fashionable footsteps of Arsene Wenger

This time last year Newcastle were in deep trouble but owner Mike Ashley dug into his pockets to find bargains overseas and it has paid rich dividends

Jack in the box: Jack Colback fires in the second Sunderland goal in injury time at the Cardiff City Stadium

Cardiff City 2 Sunderland 2 match report: Jack Colback stuns hopeful Cardiff with late leveller

Cardiff were cruising at 2-0 up but two goals in final stages gives Sunderland a share of the points

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has claimed Malky Mackay's decision to air the club's

Malky Mackay sacked: ‘Far too much dirty linen has been exposed to the public gaze’ claims Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan

Tan released a statement to confirm the reasons why he chose to sack Mackay in which he claimed the situation could not be allowed to go on further

The Sport Matrix: Friday 27 December 2013

Rodgers fumes at 'horror' refereeing as Liverpool lose

Manchester City's match-winner Alvaro Negredo (top) celebrates with his fellow goalscorer Vincent Kompany at the Etihad

Manchester City 2 Liverpool 1: Brendan Rodgers fumes over ‘horror’ refereeing

Liverpool manager was indignant about Mason’s performance, with the wrong decision to rule out a Sterling first half goal one of number of calls he felt contributed to a 'horrendous' performance

Jake Livermore of Hull City celebrates scoring

Premier League: Hull City v Fulham match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s match at the KC Stadium

Malky Mackay remonstrates on the sidelines during Cardiff's 3-0 loss to Southampton

Premier League: Cardiff vs Sunderland match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Premier League fixture at the Cardiff City stadium

Luis Suarez faces Manchester City today having scored 19 Premier League goals in just 12 games for Liverpool this season

Manchester City v Liverpool: 'More than Luis Suarez to Reds,' says City manager Manuel Pellegrini

The two top-scoring teams clash at the Etihad on Boxing Day

Leighton Baines could return for Everton against Sunderland

Premier League: Everton vs Sunderland match preview

A look ahead to the Boxing Day clash at Goodison Park

Ross Barkley celebrates Everton's winning goal against Swansea on Sunday

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley 'could shine in Brazil' for England at World Cup 2014, claims Roberto Martinez

The youngster scored a fine free-kick at the weekend to ensure Everton beat Swansea

Gus Poyet’s Sunderland are as far from safety as on day one
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