What’s that? Manchester City led a game at half-time and went on to win? Are you sure? I thought they had soft mentalities and all that? Surely, you cannot mean that they are actually worthy winners of the Premier League? But they had lost their last three big matches! Finished, they were. Finished I tell you! And was it even worth Manchester United even breaking a sweat last week, Jose?
Yes, the unthinkable happened at Wembley. No, not Tottenham Hotspur losing at the ground we all once thought was a curse to them. Manchester City dominated a first half of football and didn’t balls it up in the second half. And, as a result, they threw the baton over to West Bromwich Albion who only had to beat Manchester United to allow City to be crowned Premier League champions. Are we still thinking Hugo Lloris is in the same class as David de Gea? God, I hope not. He had another poor game as City shook off the disappointment of the previous ten days. Yeah OK, they’re still very disappointed. Especially after Liverpool drew Roma.
Speaking of King Kloppo’s men, they eased past Bournemouth 3-0 with Mohamed Salah scoring his 40th of the season. Yes, 40. It doesn’t matter how many goals Harry Kane claims he touched last, Salah is going to win the golden boot and has, potentially, seven more games to catch Ian Rush’s all-time Liverpool record of 47 in a season. But, enough about Salah. We all know he is good. What about Trent Alexander-Arnold? 19 years old, a local lad and he is making that right-back position his own. And, being English, everyone wants him on the plane to Russia this summer. Let’s not ruin him just yet, please?
With five games to go, who would you back to finish 6th? Arsenal or Burnley? Yeah, me too. It’s all about Sean Dyche’s men. The Ginger Mourinho has said he is happy to take on the ‘hassle’ of a Europa League campaign next season and 6th will definitely secure that honour. Or, if Arsenal do suddenly fancy playing like they can play, 7th might still be enough for Burnley providing Southampton don’t win the FA Cup. I know, right? Like that’s going to happen. Burnley started like a steam train as Leicester City seemed to be bringing their grievances against Claude Puel on to the pitch. That’s unlike Leicester, right? Putting in a poor shift because ‘they’ve lost faith in the manager’. The only issue with that is that Jamie Vardy loves scoring goals too much, so he almost made a game of it by making it 2-1. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the side are already looking forward to seeing what the new man in charge looks like next season.
As for Arsenal, they might well win the Europa League and find a backdoor entry into next season’s Champions League. But, that doesn’t mean they didn’t lose 2-1 to Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday. It’s almost as if they like messing with their fans, but I’ve been saying that for years. As for Arsene Wenger, if you do win the Europa League, leave a happy man rather than a broken one. Please.
Having watched Manchester United, Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba cut loose at the Etihad last weekend you’d have been right to assume that they would pick up where they left off when West Bromwich Albion came to play at Old Trafford. WBA would be relegated if they lost and City would be crowned champions if they won. But surely, United with their newfound ability to score three goals in a half, would obliterate WBA with a mouthwatering display? You nearly bought into that, didn’t you! Silly reader. Of course, that is not what happened. You see, the second half at the Etihad was the exception, not the rule United simply regressed to their mean – they became once again what they already are. Dull. Ponderous. Very unlikely to break down a team quite happy to stick 11 men behind the ball, even if those 11 men are wearing the strip of WBA. And then West Brom only went and scored. Jay-Rod, rightly cleared of being a racist during the week, scored from a set-piece that Tony Pulis would have been proud of. And so, in the pouring rain of Manchester, the bottom side bought themselves an unlikely stay of execution and clinched the title for the side the other side of town. It almost makes you wonder if it was worth United coming back from 2-0 down last week.
When Southampton found themselves 2-0 up at home to Chelsea, two things were going through my mind. Firstly, I was prepared to accept I might be wrong on my claim that Mark Hughes would fail to win a Premier League match as Southampton manager. Secondly, the image of Antonio Conte slumped in his chair out 5 minutes before his team for the second half showed me a man who really, really could not care less anymore. And then, in the blink of an eye, Chelsea were winning 3-2. How? Alvaro Morata, mate. No, not that he did anything on the pitch that instigated a comeback, oh no. Being subbed for being totally ineffective was the best thing Alvaro offered on Saturday. And his replacement did alright when he came on. Olivier Giroud came on, scored twice and nabbed man-of-the-match all in 30 minutes. It’s easy work if you can get it.
It wasn’t a bad half of football in the first 45 minutes at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace and Brighton hate each other, but that did not stop them putting on a goal-fest in the first period before realising they were all getting a bit carried away and providing no further goals in the second half. Amazingly, Palace scored three in a game and none of them were penalties. Wilf Zaha showed us all what he is truly capable of if he stays on his feet, scoring his first ever top-flight brace. As Roy Hodgson said, he “died a few deaths” watching that one.
To put it simply, Watford are a disgrace. We know that though, eh? Do enough to stay up, call it a job done for the season. Tom Ince scored a late, late goal for Huddersfield to give them hope of staying up.
Finally, today, how dull are Everton? I mean, really. How dull? They did absolutely nothing against Swansea City, yet found themselves in the lead. Then, they let Swansea back in it. What summed it all up though, remembering Everton are playing a team threatened by relegation, was Sham Allarfarce sending on Funes Mori for Yannick Bolasie to help them close out the 1-0. Yeah, you know what happened next.