In the exciting English Premier League, here are a few matches and thoughts that have stood out for the past few days.
REDS SLUMP TO MISERABLE DEFEAT AT THE KCOM STADIUM
The return of Sadio Mane in the match day squad provided some sort of optimism for the Reds, as their front four of Mane, Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho were all starting for the first time since…
Liverpool’s woes in 2017 continued after a disastrous 2 nil loss to Hull. The Reds have taken a possible 3 out of 15 points in 2017.
After an impressive start to the season, the magical “Heavy metal football” of Liverpool in 2016 has disappeared and has been replaced with lethargic performances.
Now the Reds have dropped out of the Top 4.
Will they qualify for the Champions League this season? Only time will tell.
CHELSEA GET CLOSER TO THE TITLE
Chelsea continued the journey to the title with a thumping performance against their London Rivals, Arsenal.
After two tough fixtures against title rivals, Chelsea only dropped two points out of 6 points available and is now 9 points clear at the top of the league.
Their 3-1 victory over the Gunners was another tactical triumph for Antonio Conte as Chelsea sealed their ninth straight home wins on Saturday.
Yet again the gunners are not good enough to win the title. Chelsea’s counter-attacking master class proved too much for Arsenal. This was Arsene Wenger’s fifth straight defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal was toothless and weak, Olivier Giroud’s late goal offering no consolation. Arsenal’s title race is over now. And they have to maintain composure or may end up finishing outside the Top 4.
Gabriel Jesus keeps on shining
Manchester City’s season has been characterized by possessive attacking football in the first half and lack of composure in the second half of games. In their match against Swansea over the weekend, they took the lead in the 1st half with some sizzling attacking play from their forward which led to the opening goal of the match.
Late drama saved Pep Guardiola in this match as a stoppage time winner by City’s new boy, Gabriel Jesus sealed three points for the Citizens.
City’s Brazilian midfielder provided more proof of his enduring worth and versatility against Swansea by operating at right-back. The 31-year-old operated in the ‘inverted’ full-back role, an experiment Guardiola tired earlier this season.
City’s defense may be the difference in their pursuit for the title this season. The EPL title isn’t won in February and Manchester City should be buoyed by that fact to strive harder to maintain the victories both home and away to stand a chance of winning the title this season. But will the defense aid their title aspirations or derail it?
United continue the hunt for Top 4
Manchester United displayed their attacking prowess week in week out with a 3-1 victory against the defending champions, Leicester City.
Henirkh Mkhitaryan starred and scored a fine opening goal in the match. Goals from Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata take Leicester City closer to the relegation battle. As they are now 1 point away from the relegation, Leicester’s defense of the title is one of the worse title defenses in the EPL’s history.
The Red Devils have been able to put together an unbeaten run spanning over three months. With frustrating performances against Stoke City and Hull City, this victory against the Foxes was a welcoming one for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Up next for the Red Devils, in their pursuit of a Top 4 place is Watford.
WRITER- Kwesi Otoo- threesixtyGh writer/contributor.