Well, well, well. Has that made things interesting? I mean, considering Jose is putting his eggs pretty much in the basket labelled Europa League, United’s win at Old Trafford has to go down as a bit of a shock. Not just because they won at Old Trafford and didn’t draw, but because they beat the Champions elect meaning the gap between Chelsea and Spurs is now only four points with six games to play. I guess what we learned was that United can play without Zlatan, but Chelsea are rubbish without Marcos Alonso. Not many would have expected it to be that way round.
As for Tottenham, they are showing no signs of running out of steam this time round. “The world tried to kill Spurs” claimed Poch, referring to the reaction to last season’s title demise where, if you recall and how could you forget, Tottenham managed to come third in a two-horse race. No, we didn’t try to kill you Poch, but we’ve been here before with the boys from White Hart Lane. We know full well it is in their DNA to be complete bottle jobs. But, even you cannot throw away your lead over Arsenal now and, let’s be honest, that’s what it is really about, isn’t it? Spurs smashed Bournemouth 4-0 and Dembele even scored with his right peg. And that is as rare as Zlatan sitting on the bench happily.
Credit to Ross Barkley. I think he, and Everton, made their points succinctly over the weekend. Barkley did his talking on the pitch, rather than talking about the racist poison written by Mackenzie with his Crayola crayons in that dungheap of a rag. Everton have done the right thing by banning the “newspaper” and followed it up by beating Burnley 3-1. I doubt I will ever receive them, but I am in for some toffees if Everton do finish top six.
Manchester City cruised past Southampton, and I was shocked to see Kompany score for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he was playing. Secondly, the goal was in the second half so he had managed to go 45 minutes without getting crocked. Impressive stuff. Vincent said in the post-match presser that “City are playing well at a crucial time”. Vinny my old chap, I hate to disagree and all that, but surely the crucial time was earlier in the season when your gaffer couldn’t pick a goalkeeper from a line-up of the damn things? That would have meant you would still be in with a chance of winning the league, not clinging on to a Champions League place like your lives depended on it.
Liverpool went to the Hawthorns and won 1-0 which, amazingly, meant they failed to concede from a set piece which is brilliant for Liverpool, and even more brilliant when you remember they were playing WBA, they of the set-piece routines. The win keeps Liverpool in third, albeit City have a game in hand.
Leicester were cruising at 2-0 up against Palace, then remembered they are playing Atletico in the week and decided to put their feet up. Never one to miss the opportunity of a freebie, Big Sam managed to chew his gum frantically enough to magic up two Palace goals, keeping them on the right side of the relegation battle.
Stoke-a-lona made a brief reappearance, emerging from the winter long slumber as Shakiri scored a beauty in Stoke’s 3-1 win over Hull. Of course Stoke played well, they are safe from both relegation and Europa League football. Peter Crouch scored another headed goal, which is pretty good considering the common train of thought is that he is pretty poor in the air for a big man. Which, I guess, is the opposite to having a pretty good touch for a big man. We’ll all miss Crouchy when he is gone.
The question of the weekend is, “how did David Moyes react to the Sunderland fans turning against him?” By reminding them that he has the 4th (or 3rd, who cares really) best win record in the Premier League! Nice one Moysey, remind them that you used to be half competent at your job. That’ll win them round. Forget the fact that you are bottom of the table and the two you scored against the Hammers were the first goals in over a month, you tell those Mackems how good you were at Everton. Good on you. Lee Cattermole believes the point against West Ham gives Sunderland hope. Having watched some of his tackles over the years, this comment fully backs up my feeling that Cattermole is a little bit stupid.
Watford beat Swansea 1-0 meaning that no matter how many chances Hull are prepared to give Swansea to swap places, it just isn’t happening. Paul Clement has already proven he is a better manager in the Premier League than in the Championship, but the main problem he is now facing is that he is likely to be managing, albeit briefly, in the Championship next season. Still, Carlo will always give him another job.
For me, Sunderland and Boro are still done for and it will be one of Hull or Swansea joining them. But forget that. Let’s all enjoy the fact that at the time of writing Arsenal are sitting in 7th place. Nice one Arsene, you sign that new deal.