The Premier League is at the business end of the season and there are still so many narratives unfolding as the final games are played. Manchester City or Arsenal for the title? European spots on the line and a relegation scrap on the cards. Bet Central looks at the talking points from this past weekend.
Arsenal Title Challenge Falling Apart
After falling to their 3rd consecutive draw, Arsenal’s title challenge is very much out of their hands. Should second-placed Man City win all their remaining games, they will be crowned Premier League champions for a 3rd consecutive season unless they are able to stop them on Wednesday.
Arsenal came from behind to salvage a draw against a determined Southampton side at the Emirates, they now need to win against closest rivals Man City to maintain control of the title race which is much easier said than done especially since they will be playing in City’s backyard. Anything less than a win at the Etihad and their title will be all but over.
Southampton Miss Out On Golden Opportunity
The Saints, fighting for Premier League survival, had a fast start at the Emirates Stadium and until the 90th minute looked set to go home with all 3 points and take a significant step in their quest to get off the bottom of the table.
A win on Friday would have brought Southampton to 26 points and within 2 points from the safety of the 17th position – now on 24 points, the climb becomes steeper for the team who were last in the 2nd tier of English football 11 years ago.
Aston Villa Continue Unbeaten Run
What becomes clearer with every passing week at Villa Park is that Unai Emery was always good enough to coach in the Premier League, he just was not a good fit at Arsenal. Aston Villa were able to extend their unbeaten run to 9 games after an 87th minute equaliser from Douglas Luiz secured them a point.
This unbeaten run has propelled Aston Villa to the top 6 and now Unai Emery will hope that if they are unable to push for the top 4, they can at least make the Europa League – a competition he is a specialist having won the competition an incredible 4 times.
Newcastle Taking Significant Steps In Top 4 Race
It is hard to tell whether Newcastle’s 6 goal thrashing of Tottenham Hotspurs is due to Spurs’ shortcomings or whether Newcastle were just in sparkling form to get a buoyant victory over one of their closest rivals in the top 4. Either it was a significant step as they put some distance between themselves and Spurs.
Newcastle are now 3rd on the log and will hope Spurs do them a favour on Thursday by beating Man United and allowing them a bit of breathing space as they face a frantic end to the season with several tough fixtures ahead.
Liverpool Maintains Slim Top 4 Ambitions
An exquisite finish off a Trent Alexander-Arnold set-piece delivery from Mo Salah was enough to secure 3 points for Liverpool as they saw off a gallant Nottingham Forrest side 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at Anfield.
It meant Liverpool were able to maintain the slim chance of getting in the top 4 despite currently lying outside the top 6 – a team that needs a rebuild will be desperate to get into the top 4 so that they may acquire the best players on the market during the off-season. It seems far off, but one never knows with Jurgen Klopp at the helm.