SPORTS

EPL week 21 review: Spurs move into second; Arsenal and United book wins

TAGs: Arsenal Football Club, English Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 21 of the English Premier League sees Spurs return to second in the table after a resounding victory in South Wales, and Arsenal and Man Utd close ground on Chelsea in the battle fort Champions League qualification.

Cardiff 0 v 3 Spurs

EPL Wk 21 Review: Spurs move into second; Arsenal and United book winsConsidering the quality of football coming from Anfield and The Etihad this season, you could be forgiven for thinking that Mauricio Pochettino’s side is a solar system apart. So, it’s a testament to how well Spurs have played this season that their win over Cardiff leaves them a mere six points behind the summit of the English Premier League (EPL).

Spurs travelled to South Wales to face a rejuvenated Cardiff side after stumbling to a 3-1 home defeat to Wolves. It was the perfect away fixture for the men in white, despite Cardiff winning four of their last six at home, as the Welsh side are incapable of beating the Big Six.

Spurs needed a solid start, and that’s what they got when with just three minutes on the clock Harry Kane was the fortunate recipient of some less than stellar defending from the Cardiff crew, poking home from close range after the ball rebounded off him from the thigh of Sean Morrison. The goal, Kane’s 14th league goal of the season, means that the England captain has now scored against every side in the current EPL.

Spurs put the game to bed by the time the clock struck 30-minutes. First, Christian Eriksen netted with a sweet strike from the edge of the box on 26-minutes, and Song Heung-min scored his eighth goal in as many EPL games with a fantastic finish from the right-hand side of the six-yard box.

Spurs take the second spot from Man City who faces the league leaders, Liverpool, at The Etihad on Thursday.

The Chase for Champions League Qualification

Chelsea allowed Arsenal and Manchester United to close the gap to three and five points respectively, as the chase for that final Champions League place continued.

Southampton held Maurizio Sarri’s men to a goalless draw, the first time the south coast club had kept a clean sheet in 11 EPL games, and the third time in the past five games that the home side had failed to score in front of their fans.

Arsenal reacted brilliantly after Liverpool handed them an arse-whooping by beating Fulham 4-1. Granit Xhaka had given the Gunners a first-half lead, and second-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed the win, with Aboubakar Kamara making a fist of things for a period at 2-1.

It was a timely win for Unai Emery’s side with Man Utd winning their fourth game on the spin since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm. Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scoring the goals late into the second half against Newcastle to cement the Red Devils’ position sixth in the table.

Relegation Update: Burnley Beat Huddersfield

At the other end of things, Burnley won a crucial relegation battle with Huddersfield. The 2-1 win sees Sean Dyche’s side move out of the relegation zone. Huddersfield remains bottom after losing for the eighth successive league game, and David Wagner is now favourite to become the next EPL manager to have to move his favourite plant from the window ledge. Fulham remains in the bottom three after their thumping at Arsenal, as do Southampton despite that fantastic results at Stamford Bridge. Cardiff and Newcastle are the other two sides in the mix after both lost against Spurs and Man Utd respectively.

Here are the results in full.

Results in Full

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

To Be Played (Thu, 3 Jan)

Man City v Liverpool

Premier League Table

1. Liverpool – 54 points
2. Spurs – 48
3. Man City – 47
4. Chelsea – 44
5. Arsenal – 41
6. Man Utd – 38
7. Leicester – 31
8. Watford – 29
9. Wolves – 29
10. West Ham – 28
11. Everton – 27
12. Bournemouth – 27
13. Brighton – 26
14. Crystal Palace – 22
15. Newcastle – 18
16. Burnley – 18
17. Cardiff – 17
18. Southampton – 16
19. Fulham – 14
20. Huddersfield – 10

Odds

To Win

Liverpool 8/15
Man City 7/4
Spurs 20/1

Top 4 Finish

Spurs 1/7
Chelsea 4/11
Arsenal 7/2
Man Utd 3/1

Relegated

Huddersfield 1/10
Fulham – 1/2
Burnley 8/11
Cardiff 10/11
Newcastle 3/1

Top Scorer

Harry Kane 2/1 (14 goals)
Mohamed Salah 5/2 (13 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 3/1 (14 goals)
Sergio Aguero 9/1 (9 goals)

Next Manager to Leave

David Wagner 6/4
Claude Puel 54/1
Rafa Benitez 8/1

Comments

views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CalvinAyre.com