With the English Premier league race gearing towards its homestretch, top 4 finish chase for the 3 reputable English clubs remains a solid puzzle to unravel.
After Sunday’s Arsenal thrilling 2-0 victory over United, the race for the top 4 finish remains tightened than never before with Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea all in good positions to clinch the top 4 positions and qualify for the prestigious UEFA Champions league next season.
The three teams are currently separated by 2 and 1 points respectively with Chelsea having one game advantage at hand.
For the Premier League, the race for fourth place is now one of the few story-lines that will go down to the end of the season and likely to its dying minutes. If the games in this upcoming mini-league within a league are as entertaining as Sunday’s wonderfully clumsy affair at the Emirates, the business end of the season will certainly be worth watching.
Arsenal’s win on Sunday 10th March takes them to fourth place, drifting one point to Tottenham Hotpurs, two points above bitter rials Manchester United and 3 points above sixth placed Chelsea who still have a game in hand against Brighton. Tottenham Hotspurs who for a better part of the season has been enjoying the 3rd place are now drifting at an alarming rate having lost 2-1 to struggling side Southampton over the weekend. Their hopes for a top four finish are now in question leaving the race wide open to the 3 prominent Epl teams.
All the three clubs have in the recent years displayed that they can survive a season or two outside Uefa’s top competition but for each of the clubs, there are also clear and obvious immediate consequences of missing out.
The new Arsenal Coach Unai Emmery will have nothing to boast of if at the end he will not prove his worthiness to the fans and club by guiding the team into the Euefa Champions League something that his former Successor, Wenger failed to do for two consecutive years.
Chelsea will also find it almost impossible to convince its best forward Eden Hazard to stay if they are not playing Champions League football next season. They may also lose Callum Hudson-Odoi, and nobody knows what the future holds with regards to the vacant technical director position, a possible vacancy in the manager’s seat should things go south.
On the other Hand, Manchester United is looking to redeem its glorious image after a series of numerous defeats under the then manager Jose Mourinho. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the new club’s manager is all set to see his club qualify for next season’s champions league and prove to his Employer that indeed he is best fitted for the new role.
While it is slightly peculiar that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting so much praise for a comeback when he also presided over the first-leg defeat that left United in a hole, it would also be very difficult to ignore the squad pleading for him to be permanently appointed and the significantly improved atmosphere around the club.
Whether one or two of the 3 teams finishes on top 4 and qualify for Euefa Champions League next season remains to be seen. Only time, moves and strategies will tell.
Here are the highlights between Arsenal and Manchester United from Sunday 10th March action.