Weekend recap: Arsenal go 4th, Chelsea star a disgrace, Spurs slip-up in title race

By on February 25, 2019

Another weekend full of drama in English football has passed us by. Here, we take a lot at how Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham got on over the weekend.

Arsenal

Arsenal recorded a solid 2-0 win against Southampton at the Emirates on Sunday. Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the goals for Unai Emery’s side, who have now moved into the top four after Manchester United drew with Liverpool. The Gunners now sit one point ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, and three clear of Chelsea, but the Blues have a game in hand.

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal

Arsenal will hope they can finish in the top four, but it’s going to be difficult for them. Manchester United and Chelsea will fight for that final Champions League place. Arsenal may even be dreaming about catching Tottenham, though. They’re now seven points behind their biggest rivals. But Tottenham play Chelsea on Wednesday, before the north London derby on Saturday. If Spurs lose both of those games, Arsenal would be within touching distance of them. At the same time, though, Tottenham could very well win both of those games, so it’s all to play for!

Still, it was a good weekend for Arsenal with none of their rivals winning. Next up is another home tie on Wednesday night, when they play Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at the Emirates.

Chelsea

Chelsea lost on penalties against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday after the game finished 0-0. The Blues will be bitterly disappointed at being defeated in the penalty shoot-out, as it’s always an awful way to be beaten. But this game was about more than just the result. Maurizio Sarri needed a reaction from his players, who have been extremely poor of late, and he got one. The players showed up and performed well, which was evident in the fact that Man City didn’t manage to score against them, even with all their firepower. The Blues held them to a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes and extra time.

There were rumours that Sarri would be sacked if Chelsea lost the game. That may still be the case, but there’s a small chance the good performance may buy him some time. The players reacted for him and carried out his plan. There were certainly some encouraging signs to take from the game.

However, one moment ruined all the good about their performance. Kepa Arrizabalaga was about to be substituted because he was suffering from cramp. He signalled that he was OK to continue, but Sarri wanted to bring Willy Caballero on regardless. But Kepa refused to come off, and he and Sarri screamed at each other across the pitch. Kepa won the battle and stayed on, with Sarri extremely frustrated. He threw a water bottle in anger and attempted to leave the technical area before coming to his senses and walking back on.

Kepa undermined his manager. It was absolutely shocking from him and he should face disciplinary action from Chelsea. A player cannot go against his manager’s decision like that. It will be said that Sarri doesn’t hold any power in the dressing room because of this. He may not survive much longer as manager of Chelsea.

As mentioned, Chelsea face Tottenham on Wednesday in their next Premier League game. It remains to be seen whether Kepa plays any part at Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham

Tottenham had a great chance to put some pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City this weekend and really stake a claim in the race for the title. They had a chance to cut the gap at the top of the Premier League table to just two points on Saturday when they travelled to Turf Moor to play Burnley. But there was an upset and they were beaten 2-1. Chris Wood opened the scoring after 57 minutes, but Harry Kane equalised on his return to action just eight minutes later. However, it was Burnley who scored the decisive goal, with Ashley Barnes netting seven minutes from time.

Mauricio Pochettino tottenham

The title race isn’t completely over for Tottenham, but they’ve certainly missed a big chance. Winning on Saturday would have given them a huge confidence boost and would have seen them within touching distance of the leaders. Instead, they trail Liverpool by six points. If they go on a good run of form, they could get themselves back in the mix. But with two tough fixtures coming up against their two biggest rivals, their title challenge could be completely derailed in the space of seven days. It’ll be interesting to see how they react.

Even if they don’t challenge for the title, they should be extremely proud of how they’ve done this season. Not many gave them a chance at the beginning of the season after they failed to bring in a single player last summer. But they’ve been right up there and have played as well as anybody. They also have a likely Champions League quarter-final on the horizon, as they travel to Germany to play Borussia Dortmund with a 3-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie. Spurs can continue to dream.


This article was written by PremPlace. You can see their website by clicking here.

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