After a weekend of two intense derbies, which saw Arsenal pull eight points ahead of Manchester City, the Gunners tightened their hold on the Premier League title fight.
On Saturday, City controversially lost 2-1 to Manchester United after blowing a late lead, and Arsenal took advantage by dominating Tottenham away from home with a 2-0 victory. The win for United and another victory for Newcastle gave them a five-point lead in the battle for a top-four finish. At the bottom of the standings, it is much closer, with only two points separating Southampton in 20th from Leeds in 14th.
Arsenal fell out of the top four for the sixth consecutive season in May after suffering a 3-0 loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. After eight months, anyone who had any doubts about Mikel Arteta’s men’s endurance must now be starting to change their minds.
In the 2018–19 season, only Liverpool failed to win the Premier League championship despite accruing at least 47 points during their first 18 games. In addition, City do not seem to be the dominant force they have been in recent seasons, with Pep Guardiola accusing his team of being complacent after last week’s 2-0 League Cup loss to Southampton.
There are still two games left in the season, including two matches between Arsenal and City, after the World Cup break. City has hope because of the difference in squad depth between the two teams.
On Sunday, Chelsea outbid Arsenal in the race to sign Ukrainian international Mykhailo Mudryk with a 100 million euro offer. However, if Arteta can keep his key players healthy, Arsenal looks likely to overcome a 19-year championship drought.
In his managerial career, Jurgen Klopp referred to Liverpool’s 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Brighton as the worst performance he could recollect. At the Amex, Klopp apologized to the traveling fans and accepted responsibility for his team’s astonishing decline from quadruple chasers last season to also-rans thus far this season.
“The same players played outstanding football matches but if things aren’t properly organised then it can look like that. My responsibility, I know that.”
Liverpool is ten points off the top four, sitting ninth in the standings. The timing of missing the Champions League for the first time in seven years, with a midfield in desperate need of a makeover and the club up for sale, could not be worse. But given that Klopp appears to be at a loss for how to turn the sinking ship around, that now looks to be unavoidable.
There is increasing pressure at the bottom of the table as several top-tier executives are barely hanging onto their positions. After Everton’s 2-1 home loss to Southampton amid turmoil at Goodison Park lifted the Toffees off the bottom of the standings only on goal differential, Frank Lampard is the favorite to be the next Premier League manager fired.
However, following a bad start to the year, fans are also calling more and more for managers like Leeds‘ Jesse Marsch, West Ham’s David Moyes, Leicester’s Rodgers, Bournemouth’s Gary O’Neil, and West Ham’s David Moyes to resign.
Despite spending more than 100 million euros on players in the summer transfer market, West Ham, who Moyes has guided into Europe the last two seasons, are currently in the relegation zone.
Since the World Cup break, Leicester and Bournemouth have both dropped all four of their league games, while Leeds has only earned two points in its previous five games.