Sunday, May 1, 2011

Five Things We Learned From This Weekend's EPL Action

1. Goal line technology must be introduced- Chelsea vs Tottenham, a local rivalry steeped in significance, as two sides in need of a win met at the Bridge. Midway through the first half, Tottenham found a precious lead with Brazilian midfielder Sandro lashing home a blistering volley. With time running out in the opening period, Spurs looked assured of a half time lead, only for a moment of controversy to turn the game on its head. Receiving the ball from Didier Drogba, Lampard had a smash toward goal, the ball dribbled between goalkeeper Gomes' hands, only for the Brazilian to scoop the ball off the line. It looked for all the world like Gomes had saved himself from yet another howler, but, despite neither official being in a position to make a judgement on the shot, the goal was given, and Chelsea went into the interval at 1-1. The second half, much like the first, was quite even, but a late Saloman Kalou gave Chelsea the win, despite replays showing that the Ivorian was clearly in an offside position. I guess I can appreciate the irony of the situation, Frank Lampard having a goal line decision given in his favor, and guess who was in the stands, Don Fabio himself.

2. The title race is back on- It is typical of Arsenal isn't it, that after a period of utterly dire results, that the Gunner have gone and beaten league leaders Manchester United, and in so doing made the season's conclusion that much more interesting. After losing at Bolton, and failing to beat Liverpool at home, Arsenal found themselves staring down the barrel of another trophyless season, one which looked set to be compounded by a Manchester United team well on form. However, Arsenal pulled a rabbit out of a hat, and Aaron Ramsey's goal gave them a valuable 1-0 win over Manchester United. That result cuts United's lead over Chelsea to just three points, and with a clash between the two clubs coming up on Sunday, it's all to play for.

3. QPR are coming to the Premiership- Dominant in the Championship all year, QPR have finally secured their promotion to the Premier League. A 2-0 win away at Watford guaranteed promotion, after the side had wasted several other chances at making sure of progression to the top division. Egyptian Adel Taarabt has been absolutely crucial to QPR's promotion run, scoring goals aplenty, while bamboozling defenders with his fabulous footwork. It was his opener which paved the way to victory on Saturday, and it will be great to see how he fares in the Premier League. Even if he does disappoint, manager Neil Warnock is always a provider of the odd post match sound bite, and fans and pundits alike will be looking forward to his after match rants next season, especially if Hollaway drops down a division.

4. Liverpool are Europa League bound- Who would have thought it, languishing near the drop zone during the early part of the season, Liverpool have some how bounced back, and now sit on the brink of Europa League football. Since the sacking of Hodgson around the turn of the year, Liverpool have been flying, inspired by new coach Kenny Dalglish. While moving on players like Fernando Torres, Dalglish has helped to bring in two top class strikers in the form of Uruguayan World Cup villain Luis Suarez and Geordie Andy Carroll. Suarez in particular was influential earlier the today, the South American buzzed around the field relentlessly, won a penalty, and even claimed a goal of his own late in the match. His performance was complemented by that of Dirk Kuyt who scored yet another penalty for the Reds, he has taken to that responsibility well since Steven Gerrard's season ending injury. A 3-0 win over Newcastle moves Liverpool up to fifth in the table, above Tottenham Hotspur who are still steaming after yesterday's injustice.

5. Wolves need to start taking their chances- Of all the relegation candidates, the one which is perhaps closest to the drop is Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite claiming multiple high profile scalps, Wolves find themselves in the heart of a tight relegation battle, one which was made even more uncomfortable by a failure to convert a superb position into a win earlier today. Having let a 1-0 lead slip away in the first half hour at St. Andrews, the nineteenth placed side were given a huge boost as Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner was sent off, leaving the Blues down to ten men for the last hour of the match. Surely it seemed, Wolves would gain the victory which had so eluded rivals Wigan and Blackpool on Saturday, and move to withing touching distance of safety. But it was not to be, McCarthy's side continued to toil, but could find no end result, a missed chance in the battle for survival, draws just aren't good enough at this stage of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment