Arsenal fight back to salvage draw, Big Sam rescue mission well and truly under way with Crystal Palaces’ shock win at Chelsea while Liverpool win Merseyside Derby against Everton. We discuss these and so much more in EPL TALKING POINTS Match Week 30.
Arsenal show fight to claim draw
Arsenal twice came back from a goal down against Manchester City at The Emirates, to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Man of the match Leroy Sane gave City the lead inside the opening five minutes before Theo Walcott poked home an equaliser on the 40th minute.
With half time approaching, there was still time for Sergio Aguero to score from an angle to send Manchester City 1-2 ahead, going into the break.
Shkodran Mustafi rose the highest to level the scores, just eight minutes into the second half and that’s the way the scores stayed to the final whistle. Though Pep Guardiola may feel slightly aggrieved as a handball by Nacho Monreal in the penalty area, at the death, went unnoticed. A draw was fair though Manchester City did have the better chances, with Sergio Aguero missing two clear cut opportunities when he had just the keeper to beat.
Arsenal demonstrated some fighting spirit at a time when fans are torn over their manager’s tenure, not helped by the awful form of 4 league defeats out of 5 matches, going into this game. They will need to build on this to have any hope of finishing in the top four, in what still may prove to be Arsene Wengers final season in charge?
Regarding the uncertainty over his future, Wenger stated to BBC reporters after the match:
“We are in a tough battle for the top four. I am professional and I have shown great loyalty in the past.
“I love this club, I don’t know how long I will be here, I am clear in my head, that’s the most important thing. The decision will be soon.”
A point helps neither sides challenge for a top four spot with Arsenal remaining in sixth place, seven points behind Manchester City in forth.
TALKING POINTS: Can Arsenal take confidence from this match or is a top 4 finish now beyond them? Can Manchester City blow open the title race and beat Chelsea in midweek? On another note, where’s Vincent Kompany?
Big Sam rescue mission well & truly on with shock Stamford Bridge win!
Wilfred Zaha and Christian Benteke got the goals to cause the upset of the weekend, as Crystal Palace beat league leaders Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Cesc Fabregas started then finished an impressive move, linking up with Eden Hazard to give the home side an early lead after just 4 minutes.
However, Palace struck back in quick succession, with two goals of their own to lead 2-1 with only eight minutes on the clock!
A barrage of Chelsea attacks followed to the final whistle, though Sam Allardyce’s side battled on resiliently to record their fourth successive win.
Chelsea’s lead has been cut to seven points over Tottenham after their victory over Burnley and Crystal Palace now find themselves 16th and four points from the relegation zone – with a game in hand.
TALKING POINTS: Is the title race now realistically back on? Are Palace as good as safe? Is Zaha now finally fulfilling his ‘wonder kid’ potential?
Liverpool routinely beat Everton at Anfield
Liverpool continued their fine form at home against Merseyside rivals Everton, to win this derby encounter 3-1 at Anfield.
Sadio Mane gave Liverpool an early lead before young Matthew Pennington lashed in the equaliser from 6 yards out to score his first ever Everton goal.
Man of the match Philippe Coutinho beat three players before curling an incisive shot into the top corner to put the hosts 2-1 ahead. Divock Origi sealed the win in the second half.
This victory puts Liverpool 3rd in the table, six points clear of fifth placed Manchester United. Everton remain seventh, seven points from the top 4.
TALKING POINTS: Will this goal help Coutinho rediscover his goal scoring form? How far are Everton away from competing with the top 4 sides next season?
Additional EPL Talking Points from Match Week 30….
Tottenham beat Burnley at Turf Moor thanks to goals from Eric Dier and Hon Min Son. Is the title race back on for Tottenham? Will Tom Heaton earn a move to a bigger club next season?
West Brom held Manchester United to a goal less draw at Old Trafford. Can Manchester United win their two games in hand? Will Zlatan make an immediate impact on is return next match? Should Tony Pulis be a contender for Manager of the Season?
Hull City kept their hopes alive of avoiding relegation by winning again at KCOM stadium, this time a 2-1 win over West Ham. Andy Carroll, Andy Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia scoring, respectively. The Tigers are now level on points with 17th placed Swansea. Do Hull have enough firepower to beat the drop? Amid the after match ‘vote of confidence’ from the West Ham board, is this Slaven Bilic’s final season in charge? Would the board be wrong to oust him?
Leicester City continued their fine form under new manager Craig Shakespeare beating Stoke City at the King Power Stadium with two stunning strikes from Wilfred Ndidi and a Jamie Vardy volley. This was Leicester’s fourth consecutive league win – meaning the manager joins an elite of names to have won their first four matches in the Premier League – joining Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink & Carlo Ancelotti. On this form, can Leicester City finish top half of the table? Why can’t Mark Hughes get goals out of Mame Diouf or Saido Berahino? Should Shawcross of seen red for early horror tackle?
Watford beat Sunderland 1-0 at Vicarage Road thanks to Miguel Britos’ goal. After a topsy turvy run of late, this much needed win for the Hornets now puts them 7 points above the relegation zone in 12th place. Surely Watford are now safe? Will Walter Mazzarri last beyond this season? Will Sunderland finish rock bottom and do they have the credentials to make an immediate return?
Finally, Southampton and Bournemouth fought out a 0-0 draw in this South Coast derby. Harry Arter missed a penalty – which has led a rumour to surface that Saints intentionally tamper with the right hand side of their penalty spots – all the takers are left footed and this recent miss by right footer Arter, follows on from Harry Kane’s recent penalty miss and one from Inter Milan in the Europa League. Is such a move, clever tactic by the Saints or just pure cheating? Sitting 11th, joint on points with 10th placed Southampton, can Bournemouth finish above Saints this season?
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