It’s Manchester 2 London 0, While Tottenham & Chelsea Trade Places In The Top Four

Posted: February 26, 2018 in Arsenal, Carabao Cup, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , , , ,

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So another big day in the footballing calendar came and went as Manchester took on London yet again. Yes folks, two teams from England’s premier city lined up to play, in the first game which was a Premier League fixture, Chelsea, and in the second game which was the Carabao Cup final, Arsenal.

Prior to this starter and main course, however, there was an aperitif, which was a second-city derby between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park.

This was a game which could have gone either way or straight down the middle and the only safe bet before kick-off was to sit on the metaphorical fence, a position which this esteemed publication has no difficulty in assuming.

In a reasonably entertaining game the sly young fox got one over the wily old fox as Spurs came out on top winning 0-1and, in so doing, closed the gap to Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

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Harry Kane – Celebrates scoring the winner

The game itself was very one-sided but Spurs, despite being in the driving seat for the whole 90 minutes, struggled to score eventually doing so in the 88th minute thanks to Harry Kane.

Tottenham Hotspur, proving to themselves and their fans, yet again, that they can beat Premier League opposition away from home, just not League One or Two opposition.

Meanwhile, up in Manchester…..

The game of the day, as far as the Premier League was concerned anyway, was at Old Trafford where Manchester United played Chelsea.

This was a game neither team could afford to lose and a draw didn’t change very much either, so the chances were always going to be that at least one team would be leaving disappointed.

Initially, it looked as though Manchester United were quite happy to sit back and let Chelsea do all of the attacking and this was the case until the inevitable happened and Antonio Conte’s team scored through their man-of-the-moment Willian. He was ably assisted by a rare David De Gea error which allowed his near post shot to flash past him and into the net.

The United players must then have realised two things; firstly, they were the home team and the vast majority of the 75,000 crowd had not paid their money to watch Chelsea. Secondly, United’s back four are bad enough when they can rely on their goalkeeper so they would have little chance during one of his bad days.

They managed to equalise before the break with Romelu Lukaku scoring against one of the big six for the first time in a long while and then it was all about the second half.

The United players must have had a “pep-talk” from their manager at half-time because there seemed to be a renewed determination about them in the second half. So much so that Antonio Conte decided to withdraw Eden Hazard and hold on for the draw.

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Jesse Lingard – Scoring the winner against Chelsea

Bad move. José Mourinho then brought on Jesse Lingard who scored the winner by heading home, unmarked, from a Lukaku cross.

So United moved back above Liverpool into second place whilst Chelsea, thanks to Spurs’ earlier victory over Palace, remain outside of the top four.

Round one to Manchester!

And finally…..

Back to London for the Carabao Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester City.

Stubborn Old Man was looking to win the downgraded version of last year’s sole trophy success by winning the Carabao Cup, which would give his team automatic entry into next year’s Europa League which they could then try and win in order to qualify for the following season’s Champion’s League. Does this story sound familiar, Arsenal fans?

Winning this cup, however, will not be deemed necessary should Arsenal manage to overcome AC Milan in the next round of Big Vase. If they can get through that one, they should win the competition and qualify automatically for NEXT season’s Big Cup, which they will, no doubt, exit at the “Round of Arsenal” stage.

Pep Guardiola wasn’t interested in anything as complicated or circuitous as any of that. No, all Pep wanted was his first trophy as Manchester City manager. He will qualify for next season’s Champion’s League by winning the Premier League, why mess about with any other route?

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Sergio Agüero scores the first in the Carabao Cup final

Anyway, the game kicked off and in the 20th minute Sergio Agüero scored his now-customary goal against Arsenal, by chipping the keeper, following some woeful defending by Mustafi.

Other than that one piece of individual skill the rest of the first half was largely unremarkable and ended with the score remaining Arsenal 0 City 1.

The second half saw City move up a gear and Arsenal were even less equipped to cope when that happened.

Within fifteen minutes of the restart Vincent Kompany scored a second goal with a shot from Kevind De Bruyne’s low corner.

Then David Silva added a third and it became a question of how many would City score. They ended up quite happy with the three and Pep pocketed his first winners medal in England!

Round two, and the Carabao Cup, to Manchester!

 

 

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