It just gets worse for Arsenal this month as West Brom made them look incredibly ordinary at the Hawthorns with a 3-1 victory. Craig Dawson with a brace and Robson-Kanu scored although the damage was done by Arsenal and again the defence was more shaky than a jelly with Parkinson’s disease as they were torn apart time after time. Bellerin looks out of his league and I’m not 100% sure about Mustafa at the back either. Petr Cech limped off injured in some discomfort and Arsene Wenger muttered something about everyone hearing what he’ll do ‘very soon’ in the post match interviews. My thoughts are this, it appears the Arsenal board have let him make the decision and to be honest he’s become part of the furniture at Arsenal and lives, works and breathes the club. I have little doubt he will stay at Arsenal whether they qualify for the Champions League or not. He is keeping the club happy, the shareholders happy and with a couple of FA Cups and constant Champions League football the majority of fans happy. Better the devil you know Arsenal fans.
Troy Deeney meanwhile, can’t stop scoring. Unfortunately the Watford legend needs to find the right net as his own goal gifted 3 points to Crystal Palace while Swansea slipped on a banana skin with a 2-0 defeat away at Bournemouth.
Manchester United won on their travels again as they picked up the points against a poor Middlesbrough by 3 goals to 1. Middlesbrough looked manager less and rudderless which is rather a long word for ‘useless’.
Chelsea took their lead to a ridiculous 13 points with a win at Stoke, which is never an easy place to go to, and left it late as Gary Cahill won it in the 87th minute.
Spurs hauled them back to a ten point gap on Sunday as they won against Southampton 2-1. The Saints were playing on the moon in the first half where they trailed to goals by Eriksen and the ever impressing Dele Ali. Second half was a different ball game altogether as Ward-Prowse celebrated his call up to the full England squad with a goal for Southampton but they couldn’t find an equalizer.
Everton shattered Hull’s optimism with a 4-0 win at Goodison Park but it wasn’t as comfortable as it sounds with Everton only celebrating their second goal with 12 minutes to go in the game as Valencia scored. After that Lukaku left it late to add to his burgeoning goal tally this season as he scored in the last minute and for good measure added a fourth after 92 minutes.
Sunderland kept a clean sheet against Burnley. That’s a rarity in itself but they couldn’t find the back of the net themselves in a fairly dull 0-0 affair at the Stadium of Light. David Moyes’ side are now without a win from their past six home matches, and Crystal Palace’s victory over Watford plunged them further into relegation trouble. With 10 matches of the season remaining, the Black Cats are now seven points away from Swansea in 17th.
Champions Leicester (wow that has a hollow ring about it now) won away at West Ham United in the most entertaining game of the day with a 3-2 triumph as both Mahrez and Jamie Vardy scored in the same game for the Foxes in absolutely yonks. Leicester City claimed their first Premier League away win of the season and further eased their relegation worries in a stirring victory over West Ham. To think the champions have waited until March to record their first way win is extraordinary. Mind you they’ll probably win the Champions League now.
The Foxes struck early against the Hammers and scored twice inside the first seven minutes as Riyad Mahrez’s cross evaded Hammers keeper Darren Randolph before an unmarked Robert Huth headed in Marc Albrighton’s deft chipped pass following an excellent set-piece move.
West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini put the hosts back in contention with a sublime free kick on 20 minutes, only for Jamie Vardy to restore his side’s two-goal advantage before the break as he pounced on lax defending from Albrighton’s corner to strike high past Randolph.
After the interval, Andre Ayew headed in after Andy Carroll won the ball at the back post from a corner as West Ham exerted constant pressure on the visitors in a dramatic finale. However, Kasper Schmeichel made two fantastic saves to deny Carroll from close range late on and secure a fourth straight victory for the Foxes under new manager Craig Shakespeare as they move six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
In fact it is not looking good for any of the bottom three at the moment as Hull 24pts in 18th, Middlesbrough 22 points in 19th and Sunderland bottom on 20 points trail Swansea and Crystal Palace. Big Sam seems to have been watching Steve McQueen in the Great Escape again and I think once more he’ll keep a struggling relegation threatened team in the Premiership. I can’t see the North-East rivals of Sunderland or Middlesbrough getting out of the pickle they both find themselves within. Middlesbrough can’t score; Sunderland can’t defend, so I see both those going down and it could be a toss up between Swansea and Hull who will join them.
Sundays big match saw Manchester City pitted against Liverpool and they both had to settle for a point apiece as they battled out an entertaining draw at the Etihad Stadium.
The game was littered with stray passes, dreadful defending, astonishing misses and a sense of injustice for both sides as they felt they were on the receiving end of debatable decisions from referee Michael Oliver. James Milner put Liverpool ahead against his former club with a penalty six minutes after the break and as per usual manager Jurgen Klopp couldn’t bear to watch and turned with his back to the pitch.
Sergio Aguero saved Liverpool’s blushes and scored against Liverpool for the fifth successive Premier League game at Etihad Stadium from Kevin de Bruyne’s inch perfect cross after 69 minutes – before both sides wasted glorious opportunities to secure a vital win in the race for top-four places.
Saturday 18 March
West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Arsenal
Scorers: Dawson 12, Kanu 56′, Dawson 75’/ Sanchez 15
Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Watford
Scorers: Deeney (o.g.) 68
Everton 4 – 0 Hull City
Scorers: Lewin 9, Valencia 78, Lukaku 90, 92
Stoke City 1 – 2 Chelsea
Scorers: Walters 38pen / Willian 13, Cahill 87
Sunderland 0 – 0 Burnley
West Ham United 2 – 3 Leicester City
Scorers: Lanzini 20, Ayew 63 / Mahrez 5, Huth 7, Vardy 38
AFC Bournemouth 2-0 Swansea City
Scorers: Mawson (o.g.) 31, Afobe 72
Sunday 19 March
Middlesbrough 1-3 Manchester United
Scorers: Rudy Gestede 77/ Marouane Fellaini 30, Jesse Lingard 62, Antonio Valencia 90
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton
Scores: Eriksen 14, Dele Alli 33(pen) / Ward-Prowse 52
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
Scorers: Aguero 69 / Milner 51 (pen)