The weekend’s Premier League matches didn’t go according to plan with regards to Arsenal’s rivals in the pursuit of a top 4 finish. While Arsenal won the pulsating London derby against Fulham, North London rivals Tottenham, against all odds stacked against them came from behind to beat Manchester City at the White Hart Lane but it wasn’t so good for Chelsea as their three points were slashed into 3 at the death by Suarez after been set up by ex-Blue Sturridge. Moral of the story, don’t sell a disgruntled striker to a rival.
With these results, Arsenal still stay 3rd, a point ahead of Chelsea and 2 ahead of Tottenham though both London clubs still have a game apiece in hand and the interesting thing is that the game is against each other so at least one would drop points but it would be better if both do. It is obvious the race would be going down to the wire but the Gunners still have their future in their own hands. All we need do is win our remaining 4 games against Manchester United, QPR, Wigan and Newcastle. It can be argued that it won’t be easy especially with Manchester United in the picture but I don’t share such pessimism. The Red Devils are set to win the title tomorrow if they beat Aston Villa and if that happens, Ferguson would start giving fringe players who haven’t had up to 10 league games this season some game time so that they can also have the medal. If we cannot beat their first team, we should be able to beat their fringe players. And who says we can not beat their first team. I have watched them so many times this season, they are very much beatable. However, playing a weakened side makes it easier. While it is a welcome development to play a weakened Manchester United side, it is shameful to see us giving them a guard of honour at the Emirates.
As for Chelsea and Tottenham, it doesn’t get any easier. Tottenham have Chelsea to play in a match that would determine the team in the 4th spot as far as I am concerned. The Blues are still in the Europa League and their European pursuit will derail their top 4 pursuit. Extra fixtures that will give rise to tired legs could
just make them slip up. The fact that they also play Everton doesn’t help. The Toffees are chasing an European place and winning all their left games this season would be key.
Besides the top 4 race, the results posted today would go a long way in affecting Liverpool’s ambitions. The Reds now look set to miss out of a place in Europe. It is worthy of note to know that only the 5th spot qualifies for Europe (Wigan and Swansea) been the other representatives. Liverpool’s draw today puts them 5 points behind Everton that sit in the 6th spot and with Suarez’s antics by biting at Ivanovic, Liverpool might be set to loose the services of their top striker for the remaining fixtures of the season most crucially, the Merseyside derby.
The race for the top 4 hasn’t been smooth, it has been rough but we are gradually reaching our destination. All we need is concentration to win all our remaining 4 fixtures and our pseudo trophy will be in our hands and we could also end up celebrating St. Totteringham’s day.