Weekend recap: Arsenal eye 3rd, lucky Chelsea & Tottenham slump continues
Our weekly Premier League recap returns, after missing last week because of the international break. Here, we’ll look at Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Our weekly Premier League recap returns, after missing last week because of the dreadful international break. Here, we’ll look at Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates tonight, with the chance to move into third in the Premier League table. They’re currently fifth after the weekend’s results, but it hasn’t been the worst weekend for them because of Tottenham’s loss against Liverpool. They’ll go ahead of their biggest rivals with a win tonight and could be in a good position to celebrate St. Totteringham’s Day after a couple of years of absence.
In truth, they should beat Newcastle comfortably enough tonight. They haven’t been beaten in London by the Magpies since 2010 when Andy Carroll’s goal gave the visitors all three points in a 1-0 win. Home and away, they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games against their opponents from up north and should have far too much for them again tonight. The Gunners have been playing some good football and will be desperate to take this golden chance to move into third in the table.
Chelsea came from behind to beat Cardiff 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday. They fell behind through Victor Camarasa’s goal and didn’t play particularly well throughout. But some very poor officiating gave them a lifeline when Cesar Azpilicueta headed in from an offside position to make it 1-1. Antonio Rudiger should have been sent off soon after but got away with one, before Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored the winner. Cardiff also had a couple of penalty shouts turned down and will be bitterly disappointed with how the game’s gone for them.
It was a big three points for the Blues, though, who remain just one point outside the top four. They certainly still have a chance of finishing inside the Champions League qualification places. But once again, the spotlight is on Maurizio Sarri. He started the game with Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi all on the bench. During the game, there were clear calls from the Chelsea fans for him to be sacked. Cries of “you don’t know what you’re doing” met him when he brought Olivier Giroud on instead of Hudson-Odoi when making his final substitute.
Sarri isn’t helping his chances of keeping his job with the decisions he makes. It would be a surprise if he wasn’t relieved of his duties in the coming months. Winning the Europa League and finishing inside the top four may help his chances, but he needs to make better decisions and start playing Hudson-Odoi, or he’ll only have himself to blame when he’s sacked.
Tottenham were disappointingly beaten 2-1 by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, with Toby Alderweireld’s stoppage-time own-goal the difference between the sides after Hugo Lloris made another mistake. Mauricio Pochettino’s men fell behind after just 16 minutes when Roberto Firmino headed in from Andy Robertson’s superb cross, and at one stage it looked like Spurs may really struggle and be beaten well. But they stayed in the game and fought against the title contenders.
Lucas Moura equalised with 20 minutes to play after some quick thinking from Harry Kane. Kane took a quick free-kick, Spurs worked it out wide and Christian Eriksen put it on a plate for Lucas to finish. They had another huge chance when Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min were left one-on-one with Virgil van Dijk, but the Dutch defender did really well to stop Sissoko squaring it and forced him to shoot on his left foot, with the shot going well over the bar.
Alderweireld’s late own-goal was a hammer-blow to Spurs, who now face a tough battle if they’re to finish inside the top four. They’ll drop to fourth if Arsenal win tonight, and will only be ahead of Manchester United on goal difference. They have some tough fixtures to come, including a trip to Manchester City in the Premier League after their Champions League double-header. Of course, they can’t be ruled out of finishing in the top four as they’ve shown before they’re more than capable of putting a run of good results together. They need to get over this slump and get back to winning ways soon, though.
It’s not all negative for them, though, as their new stadium will host its first Premier League game on Wednesday when they welcome Crystal Palace. They’ll be hoping for a happy homecoming.
This article was written by PremPlace. You can see their website by clicking here.
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