What Have We Learned About The Top Six This Weekend, If Anything?

Posted: December 3, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , ,

top6

Yes folks, thanks to Burnley’s defeat at Leicester the “Big Six” are, once again, the “Top Six“, although Spurs are clinging on a little to the coat tails of their North London neighbours Arsenal!

Arsenal 602

Stubborn Old Man’s team played very well against Manchester United at The Emirates but failed to come up with the goods in the most important department; goalscoring.

Despite finishing the game with a forward line including Olivier Giroud, Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sánchez they could only manage one goal against a defence made up of Antonio Valencia, an ageing winger who can’t defend, Ashley Young, an ageing winger who can’t defend and is being played on the wrong side of the pitch, Chris Smalling, a donkey who should be in the Championship and Marcos Rojo a player in his second game back after months out with injury!

To be fair, they also came up against the best goalkeeper in the world in David De Gea and he, almost single-handedly, kept Arsenal down to just the one.

The result leaves Arsenal amongst the teams fighting for a top four place. They are now fifteen points behind City and seven behind United so, while it is still a little early to be definitive, the top two places seem to be out of reach.

Chelsea 630

Fans at Stamford Bridge were treated to another top show from Eden Hazard and, in a similar way to another Belgian up in Manchester, when he plays well the team usually wins.

Chelsea, yet again, conceded the first goal and for a very short time it looked as though an upset was on the cards.

Hazard and Morata made sure that wasn’t the case and Chelsea remain three points behind United but, more importantly, eleven behind City.

They are now, in our humble but accurate opinion, the only London club challenging for one of the top two places.

Liverpool 676

The old World Cup-winning Brazilian teams used to operate on the premise that, however many goals the opposition scored, they would score more. Jürgen Klopp has a strikingly similar philosophy at Liverpool but he has yet to perfect it.

Yesterday’s game against Brighton gave him the ideal opportunity to test how far his experiment has progressed and the answer has to be; getting there.

Whilst Brighton’s inability to defend did, undoubtedly, assist in giving Klopp a rather exaggerated view of how well his team had played, it is also true to say that you can only beat what is placed in front of you.

Liverpool’s scoring prowess is likely to be more severely tested when better teams than Brighton are placed in front of them of which, fortunately for Chris Hughton, there are only about ten, which means they should be able to comfortably survive in the Premier League this year.

Manchester City 679

West Ham arrived in Manchester given no hope of picking up anything from this game.

A poor team low in confidence managed by a serial failure low in ability meant that City should have a field day!

The main reason that they didn’t was because they approached the game as though turning up was enough and they would be gifted some goals.

As is usually the case they weren’t and were, no doubt, reminded of their responsibilities at half-time by Pep Guardiola, who spent the majority of the first half looking anything but pleased, especially when West Ham took the lead!

The second half saw normal service resumed as City piled on the pressure and quickly equalised and the only remaining question was how long it would be before they got the winner.

As has been the case recently it was late in arriving but arrive it did and City stay eight points clear of United at the top.

Consolation for West Ham fans? None. In the first half City were awful and in the second they were wasteful. The fact that the score was only 2-1 had very little, if anything, to do with West Ham being good at any stage of the game.

Manchester United 680

José Mourinho, once again, managed to trump Arséne Wenger in the big game of the weekend.

He is managing to remain within touching distance of City, albeit by hanging on to the rear bumper as they accelerate up the fast lane.

His defensive organisational skills would appear to be his strong point and this was particularly evident in the way a very average defence kept Arsenal down to one goal at The Emirates, (helped by a very world-class goalkeeper, it has to be said).

The downside was the red card for Paul Pogba which means he will miss the Manchester derby and now makes a draw look like a decent result for United and, unfortunately, the rest of the top six.

Tottenham Hotspur 728

Spurs, yet again, displayed their inability to beat one of the teams deemed to be inferior to themselves. To be fair, they played most of the second half with ten men having had Davinson Sanchez sent off for elbowing Richarlison.

Still, they should have been good enough to beat Watford if they are harbouring any pretensions of winning the Champion’s League or finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

A problem for Mauricio Pochettino to solve is how to get his team to win when Harry Kane doesn’t score! (Here’s a clue: he needs to look at what he does in August)!

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