Tag Archives: Manchester United

Top 4 race set to go down to last game of the season

The race for the top 4 rolls on tonight as Arsenal face a tricky trip to Watford.

It was not too long ago that Arsenal were in 3rd place and in poll position to finish in the top 4. A couple of weeks and a single defeat later, Arsenal find themselves in 6th, playing catch up.

Victories for Manchester United and Tottenham have left Arsenal in 6th place, despite a defeat for Chelsea. Win tonight and Arsenal return to 4th.

Looking forward, 75 is still the magic number for 4th place.

To achieve this, Arsenal would need to win both their remaining home games, as well as beat Watford tonight.

With trips to Leicester, Wolves and Burnley still to come, coupled with Arsenal’s poor away form, those 2 away victories will not come easy.

Looking at the remaining fixtures, Chelsea and Manchester United have the hardest run ins.

Taking into account Manchester United’s poor form – despite getting the 3 points against West Ham, they were the worst team – it is unlikely they will come away from the next 3 games with 9 out of 9 points. They could find themselves cut adrift as we go into May.

Tottenham have 1 tough game, and it is up next against Manchester City. After that you would expect them to get 12 from 12. They will probably secure 3rd.

When you look at the remaining fixtures Arsenal face, you can see the importance of winning tonight.

Victory would take the Gunners into 4th place and, with Crystal Palace up after, Arsenal could find themselves in 3rd place with 4 games to go.

6 points from the next 2 games will see Arsenal up to 69 points. That will likely put them level with Chelsea (who will surely beat Burnley at home) and 2 points ahead of Tottenham in 5th (who surely will not beat Manchester City).

The next key weekend will be when Manchester United host Chelsea. At this point Man U will probably find themselves 5 points off Arsenal, and could result in the strange situation of Arsenal fans wanting Manchester United to win.

Were Arsenal to lose to Leicester, that would likely leave us in a situation where 2 points separate Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. With all 3 sides having 2 games to go, 1 at home, 1 away.

At this point, facing Huddersfield and Cardiff, Man U would have the easiest run in, but they would be 2 points off 4th.

This 2 point gap is likely to remain into the last game of the season.

At this point Tottenham would have secured top 4, and only need a draw to finish 3rd.

With 1 point between Arsenal and Chelsea, with both facing away trips to Burnley and Leicester respectively, it will be a straight shoot out between the 2 to finish 4th – at this point Manchester United would be relying on both sides to fail to win to be in with a chance.

And it all starts tonight with Arsenal facing Watford….


Dropped points remind Arsenal fans why we are where we are

The defeat against Everton was a reminder to everyone – fans, players and management- just how far we are off from challenging for the title.

I was actually surprised that Arsenal fans were surprised by the performance, by the defeat. It merely showed why Arsenal are in the battle for 3rd and not the battle for top.

Before kick off we were 19 points off of Liverpool in top spot, and 17 points off of Manchester City in 2nd place. We have never been in the title race this season, and there is a reason for that.

Too many dropped points.

It sounds obvious, but that is the crux of it. This was the 13th game this season Arsenal had failed to win.

Liverpool have only failed to win 8 games and Manchester City just 6 games.

Arsenal are why they are because they have dropped points this season against the likes of Crystal Palace, Wolves, Southampton, Brighton, West Ham and Everton.

They are the type of games you need to be taking 3 points in if you wish to mount a title challenge.

It is not just Arsenal who have dropped too many points against sides outside of the top 6, but also those sides around us.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have also dropped points in too many games against non-top 6 sides.

To state the obvious again, this is why they are fighting it out for 3rd, and not 1st.

The “dropped points against non-top 6” sides are in the same order as the teams placing in the Premier League table.

Liverpool leading the way and Chelsea bringing up the rear.

This is not ground breaking, revolutionary stuff. But it is a reminder to Arsenal fans that we are where we are for a reason. We are not good enough. And that with away games against Wolves, Watford, Leicester and Burnley to come, we will drop more points.

But Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham will also drop more points.

That is why I think 75 is the magic number to get op 4.

The defeat against Everton was a disappointing one, but it merely confirms why Arsenal are in 4th rather than 1st.

Unai Emery has improved us hugely this season from last season, but there is still a long way to go to make us title challengers again.


Top 4 “wide open” for Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United & Chelsea

Every weekend of football between now and the end of the season is going to be a “big weekend” such is the current tightness at the top of the Premier League.

Liverpool and Manchester City chasing for the title aside, there is a battle for top 4 which is red hot.

A few weeks ago it was 3 teams fighting for 2 places. At one point Arsenal moved from 5th to 4th, back to 5th, and then into 6th, without even playing a game.

The wheels falling off Tottenham has since dragged them into a 4 horse race for the 2 remaining places in the top 4 alongside Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

4 points separate Tottenham in 3rd and Chelsea in 6th.

One win would be enough for a side to make a team consider themselves favourites for the top 4, one defeat and they would feel out of it.

We saw this last week when Chelsea went to Everton, playing what was effectively their game in hand on the 3 teams above them.

A win would have put them into 5th place, level on points with Arsenal and just a single point behind Tottenham. They lost 2-0 and now sit 3 points and a goal difference of 7 worse off behind Arsenal in 4th.

it is so close that goal difference could be the deciding factor.

As it stands Tottenham have the greatest goal difference with 25. Arsenal are 1 behind on 24 (ironic considering they are also 1 point behind). Manchester United with 18 and Chelsea 17. This effectively gives Arsenal and Tottenham one more point than their rivals – although with 8 games still to go things can change very quickly.

So this weekend is a huge one for all involved, and especially for Arsenal.

Arsenal play Monday night, by which time Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham would have played.

Whilst Chelsea (Cardiff Away) and Manchester United (Watford Home) have relatively easy fixtures that they should win, Tottenham travel to Liverpool where they will look to halt a 4 game winless run. chances are they will lose.

This will leave Arsenal facing Newcastle at home on Monday night and a chance to go 3rd.

Home games are going to be important, and Arsenal have just 3 left starting with Newcastle on Monday. To stand a chance finishing top 4, Arsenal need to win 3 from 3.

After Newcastle, 5 of the remaining 7 games are away, Arsenal visiting Leicester City, Wolves, Everton, Watford and Burnley. These are not easy fixtures and Arsenal will do well to get 2 wins from the 5 games.

75 points should be enough to secure Arsenal a top 4 place.

If Arsenal win all 3 home games and twice on the road, they will reach that 75 point tally.

If results go as expected this weekend, there will be 3 points between 3rd and 6th.

After Newcastle, Arsenal will have to sit and watch as Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham play mid week.

They could quite realistically find themselves in 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th over the course of the mid-week games.

This weekend is just another big weekend in a long wrong of big weekend.

Just 8 to go, sit tight and try and enjoy the ride…