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EPL week 14 review: Arsenal move into top 4; Cardiff out of bottom 3

TAGs: Arsenal, English Premier League

Week 14 of the English Premier League sees Arsenal move into the top four after a stunning 4-2 win against Spurs, and Cardiff emerges from the Premier League catacombs with a home win over Wolves. 

When I think of Man City’s defence of their Premier League crown, I think of a blind man driving down the street, rolling a cigarette, wheel on top of his knees.

EPL Wk 14 Review: Arsenal move into top 4; Cardiff out of bottom 3It’s that easy.

The latest team to fold under the mosquito-like nuisance of the Citizens was Bournemouth. As per the script, City took an early lead when Oleksandr Zinchenko floated a lovely ball over the Bournemouth defence. Leroy Sane was onto it like a whippet, but Asimir Begovic sniffed out the danger only for the loose ball to fall to Bernardo Silva to despatch with aplomb.

Considering City had won all of their seven previous home games, you would expect Bournemouth to get a pasting, especially since they arrived at The Etihad on the back of three defeats, but a Callum Wilson header on the stroke of half-time gave Eddie Howe’s team hope of maybe snatching a point.

Raheem Sterling buried any chance of that happening when he scored his eighth goal of the season in the 57th minute. Sterling charged aggressively towards the edge of the box before setting up Danilo on the right. The Brazilian fired in a low drive, Begovic saved, but Sterling arrived right on cue to smash the ball into the roof of the net. The game ended in the 79th minute, after Sane and David Silva played a neat one-two, Sane squared it low, and an unmarked Ilkay Gündogan finished with ease.

City went five points ahead with Liverpool facing Everton the following day. Once again it was a case of anything you can do so can we as a late, late Divock Origi goal settled the 232nd Merseyside Derby in Liverpool’s favour to return the gap to two points after beating Everton 1-0.

The Race For The Champions League

Chelsea returned to winning ways after the defeat against Spurs with a gritty win against Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham side. Pedro opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Ruben Loftus-Cheek continued his excellent run of form with a second in the 82nd minute.

Arsenal pushed Spurs out of the top four after coming out on top of a six-goal thriller at The Emirates. Unai Emery’s team came from 2-1 down to win 4-2 thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that sees the Gabon international hit the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with ten. Arsenal is now unbeaten in 19 matches, and the bookies brought their Champions League qualification odds into 6/5.

The outside shot for the Champions League remains Manchester United. Jose Mourinho told the press that his side had the nuts to make it into the top four before Christmas, and has since gone on to draw with Crystal Palace and Southampton. The Saints took a two-goal lead at St Mary’s only for United to pull level thanks to strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera. 

The Race to Avoid Relegation

From the deer hunters to the deer, and it looks like we’re going to witness a rambunctious relegation fight this year.

Cardiff moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in aeons after coming from behind to beat Wolves at the Cardiff City Stadium. Matt Doherty opened the scoring for Wolves, but a close-range equaliser from Aron Gunnarson and a spectacular winner from Julian Hoilett gave Neil Warnock a delightful 70th birthday present. The Bluebirds move up to 16th spot. Wolves drop to 12th and still haven’t won a league game since the beginning of October.

Burnley replaces Cardiff in the bottom three after losing away at Crystal Palace. James McArthur and Andros Townsend poured more misery on the team that started the season in the Europa League. Sean Dyche is a 16/1 shot to be the next manager to leave his position.

Southampton remains in the bottom three after losing that two-goal lead at home to Man Utd, and Huddersfield lies one point above them after losing at home to Brighton. Matthias Jorgensen opened the scoring for the Terriers, but things changed dramatically when the referee sent Steve Mounie for an early bath in the 32nd minute. Shane Duffy equalised deep into injury time before Florian Andone scored the winner with twenty minutes remaining.

Fixtures in Full

Cardiff 2 v 1 Wolves
Man City 3 v 1 Bournemouth
Leicester 2 v 0 Watford
Crystal Palace 2 v 0 Burnley
Newcastle 0 v 3 West Ham
Huddersfield 1 v 2 Brighton
Southampton 2 v 2 Man Utd
Chelsea 2 v 0 Fulham
Arsenal 4 v 2 Spurs
Liverpool 1 v 0 Everton

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 38 points
2. Liverpool – 36
3. Chelsea – 31
4. Arsenal – 30
5. Spurs – 30
6. Everton – 22
7. Man Utd – 22
8. Leicester – 21
9. Bournemouth – 20
10. Watford – 20
11. Brighton – 18
12. Wolves – 16
13. West Ham – 15
14. Crystal Palace – 12
15. Newcastle – 12
16. Cardiff – 11
17. Huddersfield – 10
18. Southampton – 9
19. Burnley – 9
20. Fulham – 8

Odds

To Win

Man City 1.4
Liverpool 7/2

Top 4 Finish

Man City 1/1000
Liverpool 1/200
Chelsea 1/4
Spurs 1/3
Arsenal 6/5
Man Utd 13/2

Relegated

Burnley 4/9
Huddersfield 4/6
Cardiff 8/13
Fulham 4/6

Top Scorer

Harry Kane 13/5 (8 goals)
Sergio Aguero 10/3 (8 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4/1 (10 goals)
Mohamed Salah 5/1 (7 goals)

Next Manager to Leave

Mark Hughes 4/11
Jose Mourinho 7/2
Nuno Espirito Santo 14/1
Sean Dyche 16/1

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