Weekend recap: Arsenal’s huge win, Chelsea stumble & Tottenham in battle for top 4

By on March 11, 2019

Another week of Premier League action has come and gone. Here, we’ll have a look at how Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham did over the weekend.

Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang-arsenal

Arsenal moved back into the top four a 2-0 win against Manchester United on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium. Granit Xhaka opened the scoring after 12 minutes when his strike from 25 yards caught David de Gea off guard and curled past the Spanish stopper. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the Gunners’ lead after 69 minutes when he calmly slotted a penalty away.

Arsenal were generally the better team in the game. When they had the lead, the decided to sit back a bit and soak up some United pressure before hitting on the break, but they never really defended for their lives and always had three attacking players left high up the pitch. Some will argue that the penalty they were given was soft when Alexandre Lacazette looked to go down easily in the box, but the referee had given plenty of decisions against them up to that point and they’ll feel something had to go their way eventually.

Unai Emery’s men moved ahead of Man United and into fourth with the win. They’re now just one point behind Spurs, who are third. The Arsenal fans sang: “Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you” at the end of the game. Arsenal will be confident of finishing ahead of their biggest rivals and nailing down a third-placed finish, as they don’t have to play anybody from the top six between now and the end of the season, while Spurs have to go to both Liverpool and Manchester City.

Chelsea

Chelsea rescued a point at the death of their game against Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when Eden Hazard scored a superb equaliser in stoppage time. Wolves took the lead after 56 minutes when Raul Jimenez’s scuffed shot took a deflection and looped up over Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal. It was an extremely defensive performance from Wolves, and it looked as though Nuno Espirito Santo’s game-plan was going to see them take all three points. But Hazard showed his importance to this Chelsea side when he fired in a strike from outside the box in the 92nd minute. His shot went into the bottom corner and salvaged a point for Chelsea.

Even though the Blues picked up an important point when it looked like they would get nothing from the game, it feels like an opportunity missed for Chelsea, but they can’t be too disheartened by this result. They’re still in with a good chance of finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season’s Champions League. They’re just three points behind Arsenal in fourth and four behind Tottenham in third. And Maurizio Sarri’s men have a game in hand. They have plenty left to play for this season and shouldn’t feel too down about not winning on Sunday. The top four battle is wide open and they’re more than capable of finishing inside it.

Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino tottenham

Tottenham dropped points again on Saturday when they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton at St. Mary’s. There was a boost for them before the game as Dele Alli returned to the team. He set up the opening goal; clipping the ball in for Harry Kane to finish. But Spurs couldn’t manage to add a second goal and there was always a chance that Southampton could get themselves back into the game. And they did with just 14 minutes to play when Yan Valery scored an equaliser. Just five minutes later, James Ward-Prowse sent a free-kick into the top corner, which was his second free-kick goal in a week after he scored one against Manchester United last weekend. Southampton held on and won the game 2-1.

Tottenham’s defence can take plenty of blame for Valery’s equaliser, as three defenders had the chance to clear it but didn’t. Danny Rose may take the most blame as he strangely stepped over the ball and allowed it to get to Valery in the box. He scuffed his finish, but it looped over Hugo Lloris. For the second goal, the free-kick was conceded by Kyle Walker-Peters, but he can’t take too much blame as he did quite well stopping a dangerous counter-attack. There’s not much you can do about a strike like Ward-Prowse’s.

Spurs remain in the top four but have a slender lead over rivals Arsenal. They’ve taken just one point from the last 12 available in the Premier League. Many thought they’d be buoyed by Tuesday’s big win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and they’d get back to the team we know they can be, but that wasn’t the case. They need to sort their form out quickly because they’re a mess at the moment. They won’t finish in the top four unless they really turn things around.


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

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