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EPL week 34 review: Arsenal with a messy win against Watford

TAGs: Arsenal Football Club, English Premier League

The last remnants of Week 34 of the English Premier League have been brushed under the carpet, and Arsenal moves into a Champions League spot after narrowly beating ten-men Watford at Vicarage Road.

EPL Wk 34 Review: Arsenal with a messy win against WatfordWhile the whole world watched Daenerys Targaryen settle into Winterfell with all the compatibility of dill and a cut of fillet steak, Arsenal slipped into the Champions League places.

The Gunners pull into the parking space marked ‘4th’ courtesy of a +5 superior goal difference ahead of London rivals Chelsea. Spurs remain a point ahead of them in third, and Man Utd lag behind by two points in sixth.

The performance was more Bognor Regis than Broadway with Watford the superior team throughout, despite playing for 80-minutes a man light after the ref sent Troy Deeney to put his baseball cap on backwards after elbowing Lucas Torreira in the mush.

It was a hysterical moment for Arsenal fans after Deeney declared at the end of this fixture last season that the men in red and white lacked ‘cojones’ and whenever he plays them he thinks to himself ‘let me whack the first one and see who wants it.’

The referee, I guess.

While Deeney’s elbow was a tad loopy, Ben Fosters’ howler on ten-minutes was as nuts as a blind man with one leg rollerblading down the M1 in the wrong direction.

‘Danger’ was tucked up in bed as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chased a backpass across the Watford goalline, only for Foster to let the ball roll, and by the time he swung a leg at it, Arsenal’s top scorer was on top of him. Foster connected. The ball struck the Gabon international’s body and went into the Watford goal.

Ten men.

One up.

You would expect Arsenal to manage the game with all the wisdom of a Chess Grandmaster squaring off against a child playing the game for the first time, but the reverse was true.

The Hornets flew at Arsenal, barbed stingers jabbing in all directions hoping to put a Gunner down.

Before the ref wet his whistle for the last time during the first 45-minutes, Craig Cathcart saw a close-range shot saved by Bernd Leno at the near post before the German flew across the goal line like Shazam to palm Etienne Capoue’s free-kick out for a corner.

Arsenal began a little brighter in the second half. Alex Iwobi whipped in a devilish cross from the left, and it whizzed past Aubameyang’s big toe and the far post, and then Foster saved well from Henry Mkhitaryan’s drive from six-yards.

Adam Masina had every fan in the stadium on tiptoes after sending a bird of prey of a pop into the crossbar. Andre Gray will still be lamenting his heavy touch when put through with only Leno to beat, and with ten minutes remaining Gray thought, he had earned his side a well-deserved point, rounding Leno, to see a last-ditch Arsenal defender flying in with an interception.

Watford could have gone seventh with a win.

Instead, they have to settle with tenth.

Arsenal becomes the 1/2 second favourite to join Liverpool and Man City in the Champions League. Aubameyang is the 11/2 third-favourite to win the Golden Boot after scoring his 18th EPL goal of the season, one behind Mo Salah and Sergio Aguero.

EPL Wk 34 Results

Leicester 0 v 1 Newcastle
Spurs 4 v 0 Huddersfield
Brighton 0 v 5 Bournemouth
Southampton 3 v 1 Wolves
Fulham 2 v 0 Everton
Burnley 2 v 0 Cardiff
Man Utd 2 v 1 West Ham
Crystal Palace 1 v 3 Man City
Liverpool 2 v 0 Chelsea
Watford 0 v 1 Arsenal

EPL Standings

1. Liverpool – 82
2. Man City – 80
3. Spurs – 67
4. Arsenal – 66
5. Chelsea – 66
6. Man Utd – 64
7. Leicester – 47
8. Wolves – 47
9. Everton. – 46
10. Watford – 46
11. West Ham – 42
12. Bournemouth – 41
13. Crystal Palace – 39
14. Burnley – 39
15. Newcastle – 38
16. Southampton – 36
17. Brighton – 33
18. Cardiff – 28
19. Fulham – 20 (R)
20. Huddersfield – 14 (R)

EPL Odds

To Win

Man City 8/11
Liverpool 11/10

Relegation

Cardiff 1/20
Brighton 11/1

Top Four

Spurs 2/7
Arsenal 1/2
Chelsea 11/8
Man Utd 11/4

Top Goalscorer

Mohamed Salah 6/4
Sergio Aguero 13/8
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11/2
Sadio Mane 6/1
Raheem Sterling 10/1

Current Top Scorers

1. Sergio Aguero – 19
2. Mohamed Salah – 19
3. Sadio Mané – 18
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 18
4. Harry Kane – 17
5. Raheem Sterling – 17

Next Manager to Leave

No Manager to Leave 1/3
Maurizzio Sarri 6/1
Chris Hughton 8/1​

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