Every team in the Premier League has now played 30 games.
And last night, with their game in hand, Manchester United easily cruised to a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford. Even before the game kicked off, Bolton were huge outsiders at an amazing 16-1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen odds so high before!
I watched the game hoping for some sort of miracle but it never came. United went 2-0 up after 20 minutes and effectively ended the match as a contest. And after only conceding 5 goals at home all season, you wouldn’t put money on Bolton getting 3 in the remaining 70 minutes. As is played out, Bolton managed to fashion a few half chances from long distance, but Manchester United never got out of second gear and if Bolton did score then the home side would have just got a couple more in reply.
The worrying thing was United played with about 7 or 8 reserve team players and still won easily. Ronaldo is on fire and knows were the net is. And they have Rooney, Tevez, Nani and others from midfield who pose a goal threat.
Who in the Arsenal side even look like scoring in the last part of the season?
In the last few domestic games we’ve had to rely on Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner and Kolo Toure to get our goals.
Bendtner and Theo don’t even start!
So United are 3 points clear with 8 games remaining. You would think United would drop a few points before the end of the season so it’s not a complete disaster – but you have to think that to stand any chance of pipping them we would need to win at Old Trafford.
The big problem as Myles has said is we have no momentum whatsoever.
Since the defeat against United we’ve been shocking. We’ve drawn all 4 domestic games since and only won 1 from the last 6 games in all competitions.
Can Arsenal break this slump in form?
In the other game yesterday Chelsea led 3 times before being pegged back by Spurs, drawing an amazing game 4-4. Before the matches even kicked off I was disappointed that the Spurs/Chelsea game wasn’t shown instead of the non-contest at Old Trafford, and so it proved to be the more interesting encounter.
And amazingly Berbatov had a golden chance to win the game, with Cudicini pulling off a wonder save with only minutes remaining.
The interesting thing to note from the highlights was that 3 of the goals Chelsea conceded were from set-pieces, and even the final goal from Robbie Keane came from a long ball. That would be something most teams would take advantage of but our threat in the air isn’t exactly the best in the league. Maybe Adebayor or Kolo can do something from set-pieces but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
And the thing is Chelsea have momentum.
Despite drawing yesterday, they can take a lot of positives from the game.
They scored 4 goals away from home. Their strikers are scoring, as well as their midfield. They pose a real threat every time they attack. They’re simply playing better football than we are.
And that is so hard to admit.
They also have fight. Of course, the Chelsea players were being complete arseholes to the referee and contesting every single decision that didn’t go their way, but they showed fight on the pitch. Most of the aggression was way over the top (and Cuntface should have been sent off), but as much as I hate them it’s crystal clear they want to win. Badly. I just haven’t seen that kind of passion from the Arsenal players recently.
From their last 11 games, they have won 8 of them and drawn the other 3.
This is the time of the season you should be hitting form and going from strength to strength – and while United and Chelsea are doing so we’re seemingly going out with a wimper as the season closes.
So Sunday is a must win game, at a ground were they haven’t lost since we defeated them 4 seasons ago. We also have to overcome a side who are bang in form.
Talk about a massive ask.
And talk about a massive game. This game is simply the biggest game of the Premier League campaign so far. If Arsenal want any chance whatsoever of winning the title then they have to win on Sunday. If Arsenal lose and United win (they always beat the Scousers) then a 6 point gap with only 7 games left is – for me – a bridge too far. And if that happens, in terms of momentum, Arsenal and United would be a million miles apart.
From Liverpool’s point of view, beating United would be good news for them. Apart from the obvious glory of beating their North West rivals they would give Arsenal hope in the league. It’s in their best interests for Arsenal to be fighting for the title, especially when it comes down to the Champions League encounters.
On the other hand it wouldn’t surprise me if United battered them 4-0.