CURTAINS FALL ON ARSENAL’S TITLE CHANCES AND 5 THINGS WE LEARNT THIS WEEKEND

It was another thrilling weekend of football in the Premier League, 10 games saw 34 goals scored, three away wins and Chelsea consolidating their place as log leaders and comfortably putting one hand on the trophy with 14 games to go. It was a weekend that saw changes in the top four positions and the bottom teams putting up a fight whilst for Arsenal fans, it was a weekend to forget as it brought memories of seasons past where they saw their title aspirations fade within weeks, here are 5 major things we learnt from this weekend of action.

1. Chelsea crashes Arsenal’s hopes: In recent weeks, football lovers have called upon the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool to derail Chelsea’s seamless run to the title and make the top spot something to chase for yet again and on both occasions, both sides duly obliged with a defeat and a draw. It was Arsenal’s turn in Week 24 to yet again attempt to repeat what they achieved in the first round when both sides met and give their title hunt some glimmer of hope after their shock defeat at home to Watford last time out. It was however not to be as the Blues were rampant, convincing and totally tore their opponents apart to cement their position on the top of the table. Chelsea were dominant, went ahead through a controversial opener, doubled it with Hazard’s beauty and Fabregas put an icing on the cake before Giroud’s consolation. It may just be Week 24 but all hail the new champions because with the inconsistencies of the chasing pack, it will take something phenomenal for Conte’s side to let this slip.

2. For Manchester City, only Jesus can save: Manchester City faced a resurgent Swansea City led by talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Welsh side have seen a sort of resurgence since the new manager Paul Clement took over. Pep Guardiola started new boy Gabriel Jesus for the second consecutive game over Sergio Aguero and the Brazilian justified his manager’s trust with two goals in both halves including a late winner to help his team move to third on the log.

3. Same Old Liverpool: Often described as the Robin Hood of English football, as they have consistently found a way to win points off the big teams and hand it out for free to the smaller teams, the weekend was no exception as Hull City defeated the Anfield side by 2goals to nil. Hull City under new manager Marco Silva have also found a rich vein of form with 2wins and a draw from their last three games against teams that many predicted they would lose to. The defeat saw Jurgen Klopp’s side fall out of the top four and are now just a point above rivals Manchester United.

4. Manchester United stay sixth on the log: Jose Mourinho’s side have now gone 15 games without a defeat in the Premier League following their convincing 3 nil win over Champions, Leicester City. The game which looked like a bore fest for a major part of the first half burst into life in the 42nd minute with two quick fire goals from Mhkitaryan’s solo beauty and Zlatan’s 15th league goal of the season, Juan Mata completed the routing with an early goal in the second half which further compounded Leicester’s City woes to just a point above the relegation zone. Trouble for Ranieri is whilst his team lacked the desire or zeal to even put up a fight and looked a shadow of the side that won the league last season, the teams below them seem to have found some form and this may just be a repeat of Manchester City winning the league and getting relegated in the 1930s.

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5. Goals, Goals, Goals: There were plenty goals over the weekend with Romelu Lukaku bagging a double brace in Everton’s nine goal thriller against Bournemouth, bottom side Sunderland also recorded a surprising away win over Sam Alladyce’s Crystal Palace with a 4 nil win and star forward Jermaine Defoe scoring twice, West Ham recovered from their defeat to City to stun Southampton at St. Mary’s stadium and Watford followed up from their away win at Arsenal to defeat Burnley 2-1 and earn some reprieve from relegation worries moving to 10th on the log.

We are down to 14 more games, the drama is only expected to take more twists and turn as top and bottom four positions get decided.

Adeyemi Adesanya
Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan
http://www.halftimeng.com

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