Good morning and welcome to Monday. The start of another glorious week. If only that was true. This is going to be a quick one because I spent some time this morning writing a preview of West Ham vs Stoke, which is tonight’s game.
Yesterday started up north at St. James’ Park, where Arsenal were beaten for the ninth time away from home this season. Newcastle did extremely well to win 2-1, and are now definitely safe from relegation. I think they were safe before the game anyway, but this guarantees it.
Arsenal took the lead in the first half through Alexandre Lacazette. They had quite a few chances early in the game, and really should have put it to bed. But they didn’t manage to do that, and Newcastle punished them. Ayoze Perez equalised after 29 minutes, before Matt Ritchie scored a second half winner.
The long ball over the top to Dwight Gayle was really hurting Arsenal in the first half, as he ran off the back of the defence and got on the end of it time after time. It was that long ball that resulted in the first goal being scored. Arsenal were once again exposed at the back, and once again Shkodran Mustafi didn’t cover himself he glory. He didn’t react quickly enough to the ball into the near post, and Perez nipped in front of him and finished. It was actually a lovely finish from Perez, deftly touching the ball inside the near post.
Fair play to Newcastle, who are 10th and have 41 points. There’s no way they’ll go down now, so congratulations to them and Rafa Benitez.
Arsenal lost their fifth straight away Premier League game. What is it with them? I just don’t understand why they can’t play away from home this season. It doesn’t make any sense at all. Their home record is actually quite good, and they are only bettered by the two Manchester clubs. It’s baffling to me, and baffling to Arsene Wenger, who said: “We had lots of other opportunities in the first half and unfortunately there were promising things in our game many times but we live at the level where we need to be realistic and transform all the chances.
“How do we address it? By not making the same errors we have up to now, it’s quite baffling because traditionally we have been very strong away from home. I believe as well that this week we had to give a lot on Thursday night and the players who played on Thursday night you could see the game was a bit in their legs.”
Anyway, Arsenal stay sixth, and are six points behind Chelsea.
West Brom actually turned up and put a good performance in as they beat Man Utd 1-0 at Old Trafford. Jay Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game with a second half header. Since United lost, Man City have now won the league. They definitely deserve it, as they have been immense this season. I don’t think they were expecting to win it this week, as I’m not sure anybody would have thought West Brom could have beaten Man Utd, including myself, as I completely wrote them off in the preview yesterday.
It just makes you wonder where this kind of performance has been all season from West Brom. It’s far too late now as they’ll definitely be relegated, but if they showed up like that earlier in the season they could be staying up. Obviously, the manager in charge of you has a big impact on that though. Maybe they should have give Darren Moore the job instead of Alan Pardew. I’m not sure if they would have managed to stay up anyway, and it’s pointless saying that now really. They just need to set themselves up for next season and try to bounce straight back up.
Back to Man City now. They really deserve this. I think the Champions League exit to Liverpool has taken the gloss off them a bit. People seem to be forgetting just how good this side are. They have been absolutely amazing this season, and have blown almost everyone they played away. I’m not sure if they’ll lift the trophy this weekend at home against Swansea or wait a bit later. I’m not sure if it’s their choice or if the Premier League decide. They still have home games against Huddersfield and Brighton after the Swansea game anyway.
Even though they have won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, the season will probably feel like a bit of a disappointment to them. It’s obviously huge to win those, and they’ll be buzzing after it, but they probably feel they have the potential to do more. They really wanted the Champions League, but then Liverpool bashed them. Maybe they can go one better next year.
How are other clubs going to make up the gap though? City have been miles ahead of everyone this season, and are undoubtedly one of the best teams we have ever seen in the Premier League. And they’re more than likely going to spend another fortune this summer as they improve their squad even further.
Guardiola will still be there, and they’ll likely blow everyone away and saunter to another title next season. I just don’t see anybody stopping them next season to be honest. Maybe it won’t happen, but we’ll have to wait and see. They can’t be as good as they have been again next season, can they? They probably can, to be honest.
Congratulations to the best team in the land.
That’s all from me this morning. You can keep up with all of today’s news on Twitter, and I’ll be back in the morning with more. Have a good Monday.