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United’s Night as Arsenal, City & Chelsea Fail to Win While Hodgson’s On The Brink

Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City (5) and Bacary Sagna of Arsenal (L) clash as Vincent Kompany of Manchester City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on January 5, 2011 in London, England. Zabaleta and Sagna are both then sent off.

Last night Arsenal and Manchester City had the chance to gain valuable ground on the now comfortable leaders at the top of this years very close Premier League, Manchester United. Neither team took their chance, and the game ended in a dull stalemate, mainly thanks to the incredibly negative, defensive performance from Manchester City.

They have one of the best squads in the whole League, with some fantastic attacking players with good strength in depth, yet City manager Roberto Mancini seems reluctant to show his attacking players off. Tevez played up front on his own for the whole game, and had next to no chances. Three defensive midfielders for City too, with Yaya Toure switching from his current attacking form, to slotting in with Barry and De Jong to stop any Arsenal attacks. With their four at the back and three just ahead, even Arsenal’s renowned passing ability, could not cut through the opposing defence.

The tale was attack against defence, and it only produced a dull, unimpressive stalemate, with few highlights. Arsenal hit the post a couple of times in the first half, but chances were so few as City got into their defensive mode, that the only exitement worth mentioning was the two sending offs, after Sagna and Zabaleta squared up and pushed against each-others heads with anger. It really summed up the frustration of Arsenal and all in the crowd, although Zabaleta seemed quite pleased with himself.

To Chelsea now, and if there were doubts as to whether they were out of the title race at the start of play, they can probably count themselves out now, bar a complete shambles of a run of results from the top three – which is unlikely to say the least. An early Boswinga own-goal saw Wolves hang on for the rest of the match to take all three points ahead of supposed title challengers Chelsea. The Chelsea of last season would have at least managed a late equaliser, but it was not to be, and Carlo Ancelotti’s job is as unstable as ever at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool lost 3 – 1 to Blackburn. I assume you will have worked out that the result doesn’t make Roy Hodgson any more popular than he was before, and it is likely that he may be out of a job very soon. Gerrard got the only Liverpool goal, won a penalty and missed it very late on. It sums up Liverpool’s season so far really. I have supported Hodgson as  don’t believe he was being judged fairly, with supporters looking for immediate solutions to quite obviously large problems within the club both off the pitch and on it. However, I can’t see Hodgson surviving this one – and if he does survive a little longer, he will see his side face Manchester United in the F.A Cup. I imagine a win there still wouldn’t save him from the sack but playing as they are, a win is unlikely.

They didn’t play, but all this is good news for Manchester United. Now two points clear of City, having played two games less, and four points clear of Arsenal having played one game less. Chelsea are nine points behind United and out of the title race so is this title United’s to lose now.

Tell me what you think!

Submitted by DBSFootball

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