8th April 2018
Only one place to start this week, with the potential of City mathematically securing the title. I honestly could not see past Manchester City this weekend, even more so after their devastating loss to Liverpool in midweek. I expected them to bounce back time, and I thought I was right after 45. They were frightening in the first half, apart from Raheem Sterling’s finishing. Vincent Kompany opened the scoring with a powerful header after bullying Chris Smalling from a corner. Five minutes later Ilkay Gundogan turned nicely in the box to put the Light Blues two up. City’s football was a joy to watch in the first half as United looked uninterested and collapsed at their feet. Sterling had two clear cut chances to wrap up the game before half time but blazed them both over the bar.
Whatever Mourinho said at half time certainly worked with United coming out with much more energy in the 2nd half. Pogba got the devils back in it, 8 minutes into the second half, with a nice finish to finish off a slick move and a nice chest pass assist from Ander Herrera. Less than 2 minutes later Pogba delightfully headed in a pin point cross from Alexis Sanchez to equalise. Without anything special United were level and City looked like they had bottled it.
As the tackles started to fly in, and the game began to look more like a derby should, Chris Smalling made up for his earlier mistake and finished from point blank range, which can only be described as woeful defending from City. Pep called on De Bruyne and Aguero to save the day, but the game became more stop start, with a lot of fouls as Jose’s men looked to spoil the title party. However, City did have chances with Sterling hitting the post and De Gea making a wonderful save from an Aguero header. All in all, you can’t say that United deserved to win, as they only turned up for half of the game. But it did show that if you don’t take your chances you never know what can happen in football. One thing is for certain and that is that City will still win the league, but Guardiola’s men will have to wait a little longer.
Elsewhere, Spurs beat Stoke City 2-1 to further the gap between themselves and Chelsea to 11 points, albeit with a game in hand. Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen (still not sure who scored, but Kane will claim it) sealed the points for Tottenham in a hard-fought win. Newcastle got a huge victory against Leicester City, with Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez getting the goals and Vardy scoring late on to try and mount a comeback. They look set to stay up after their win, moving into 10th and on 38 points, 2 points from the magic number. Brighton v Huddersfield and West Brom v Swansea, both ended in 1-1 draws at the bottom of the table. And Burnley scrapped out another 3 points after coming back from 1 down to beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road. Sam Vokes scored with his first touch seconds after coming on and Jack Cork again, two minutes later.
On Sunday Arsenal came back from an early Shane Long goal to go 2-1 up through Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck. Charlie Austin came off the bench to equalise for the Saints in what would’ve been a massive point, but Danny Welbeck scored again soon after to put Arsenal 3-2 up. Both teams then were reduced to 10 men with Elneny and Stephens being sent off, but the game would finish 3-2 Arsenal, leaving Southampton still in the relegation zone.
Chelsea dominated West Ham in their encounter, but Javier Hernandez rescued them a point, in their fight for survival. Chelsea had 23 shots to West Ham’s 5, but Joe Hart also made a few decent saves to give them a hard-earned draw.