Saturday, September 22, 2018

Premier League Review: Matchday 36

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 1 May 2018

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Arsene Wenger’s final visit to Old Trafford ended in disappointment, with Manchester United tightening their grip on second place to the tune of a 2-1 victory.

Before kick-off, the outgoing Arsenal manager was celebrated on the pitch with former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho presenting him with a silver vase while the whole entire stadium rose to applaud.

Paul Pogba gave the hosts the lead sixteen minutes in before ex-United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan drew the visitors level soon after the restart.

Late drama

Then, fittingly in ‘Fergie-time’ Marouane Fellaini clinched the points for his side, who extend their lead over second place Liverpool to five points after Jurgen Klopp’s side only managed to draw with Stoke City in Saturday’s early kick-off.

That point saw Stoke move to within three points of seventeenth place Swansea City, who were narrowly beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – Cesc Fabregas getting the only goal of the game.

The Blues remain five points outside of the top four as Tottenham Hotspur also won, beating Watford by two goals to nil with Harry Kane moving a goal closer to Liverpool’s Mo Salah in the race for the Golden Boot.

Flourish

With four more as it stands, the Egypt international of course remains clear favourite to clinch the prize but considering Kane bagged seven goals in his last two games of last season you may be tempted to back him to emerge victorious at 6.0 (5/1).

Southampton boosted there hopes of survival by beating south coast rivals Bournemouth 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium while West Bromwich Albion live to fight another day after continuing their impressive run under caretaker manager Darren Moore with a 1-0 win at Newcastle United.

Crystal Palace moved up to eleventh place with a thumping 5-0 win over Leicester City, piling more pressure on Foxes manager Claude Puel…. ridiculously.

Level

Despite the defeat the 2016 Premier League champions are realistically one win away from securing a top half spot while they could even finish as high as eighth place which while obviously being far from the glories of two years ago is sure fair enough for a team of their stature.

They can’t quite catch Burnley, who all but secured European qualification despite drawing 0-0 with Brighton and Hove Albion, who are five points clear of safety ahead of a run in which sees them play Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.

The only team who can catch Sean Dyche’s side are Everton, though they would need a huge turnaround in goal difference if they were to have any chance of doing so.

The Toffees beat Huddersfield Town, who are just three points above the dotted line as are West Ham United, who were thumped at home by champions Manchester City on Sunday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deke Hardman


Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.

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