Following that great result on Saturday for the now revised Swans, my attention turned to Sunday’s action and the huge number of Sunday which has been created by the £100 pound a month we pay for Sky Sports. I was slightly concerned that the match coverage starting at 11:30 in the morning, most people are thinking more about whether to have sprouts or peas for lunch instead of how Claudio Ranieri can get the best out of Danny Drinkwater. In terms of the pundits, what could Graeme Souness and Thierry Henry talk about for an hour about this kind of game? If it was a derby or top of the table clash I would understand but not a mid-table side game. They both looked bored senseless.
I was particularly interested in this Saints home game as they are Swanssea’s next opponents at the Liberty Stadium. I was also interested to see how last season’s champions Leicester City look as I haven’t seen much of them. Mind you, has anyone seen Leicester this season?
Based on this game I don’t think the Foxes will be champions again anytime soon, unless we are talking champions of the Championship next season. It was a really poor first half from the away team, meaning Southampton dominated and took a hold on the game through Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez.
The former looked a classy player, and the phrase “game over” before half time was no more true than in this game. It became a very easy win for the Saints as Tadic put the seal on the win with a penalty five minutes before the end. Swansea’s home game against Saints looks trickier than I first thought. As ever I am hopeful for a home win, deluded as ever in my optimism!
Onto the Arsenal game, and Burnley were the visitors to the big bowl of Islington known as the Emirates. Arsenal, with all the big guns back, had hammered the Swans recently so I had low hopes for the Clarets going into this one. However, I was really impressed with Sean Dyche’s men. They are a solid team unit and it’s not surprising that at home this season they have been formidable. Defour, Keane and Andre Gray were the stand out players for the away side.
Ozil and Alexis struggled in a tense encounter, the soulless Emirates Stadium played a negative part in a tight match. The second half brought joy for the home side in the form of a very non-Arsenal type goal. The corner came in, Mustafi flicked it on and it was 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Granit Xhaka is quite the character. He showed the darker side of this character by attempting to break Defour’s legs after the hour mark, and it was a straight red for the Swiss midfielder. It’s his 9th red in three years, proving what a calm head under pressure he possesses!
Arsenal were left with ten men after this decision from John Moss who went on to make himself the star of the show in injury time. There was a stupid challenge on Ashley Barnes by the substitute Coquelin and Burnley had a penalty. Andre Gray, the boyhood Arsenal fan, made it 1-1 and the potential for very interesting viewing for those who subscribe to Arsenal Fan TV on YouTube. I am one of those and was hoping it would stay level due to the sheer joy I get out of this.
I was to be left disappointed. Ben Mee, the Burnley centre half who played really well, decided to kick Koscielny in the face six minutes into injury time. Alexis stepped up to the plate and a beautiful panenka penalty made it 2-1 to the home side. What drama! What a win for Arsenal! John Moss isn’t going to get a birthday card from ether manager anytime soon that’s for sure.
The end to that game must have been squeaky bum time for Chelsea who watched the game unfold before their late kicko off against Hull. Hull gave a number of debuts while Chelsea welcomed Diego Costa back to the starting eleven, and that’s as good as a new signing really.
The now not Chinese bound Costa showed why he was wanted by whatever the team was called by putting Chelsea 1-0 up in first half stoppage time. Gary Cahill settled it for the league leaders who look on course to wrap the league before April is up. It was the same old story here, Chelsea are still good and Hull are slightly less bad but I am glad they lost for obvious reasons.
It was a great weekend for me personally. I have hope at last.