After beautiful Chelsea 5-2 final weekend, the query hung over West Brom – was it a type of freak outcomes or might the Baggies do it once more?
Turns out, Sam Allardyce’s aspect had one other large outcome of their locker, this time seeing off Southampton 3-0 at The Hawthorns.
Most of the harm was achieved in a sensational first-half efficiency, the place West Brom seemed like that they had walked off the Stamford Bridge pitch straight into this sport. The Baggies had 13 photographs within the opening 45 minutes, final having extra in February 2012 towards Wolves (16).
It was a controversial begin when Mbaye Diagne’s header was dominated out for offside – regardless of the striker seemingly onside. But it nearly spurred West Brom on additional, and scored two fast targets as Matheus Pereira fired dwelling from the penalty spot earlier than Matt Phillips turned Diagne’s tremendous move dwelling.
Allardyce modified tact within the second half, switching to a defensive mentality. “I wanted to see what Southampton would come out with,” the West Brom supervisor mentioned of the change. The reply was little or no, and the age-old tactic of scoring on the break performed out completely for the hosts as Callum Robinson netted West Brom’s third.
Even when Southampton had 80.1 per cent of possession within the second half, you at all times believed the Baggies would see out the sport with a much-deserved three targets. That could also be all the way down to the Saints’ blunt assault in addition to West Brom’s enchancment on the again.
When he got here in, Allardyce needed his new aspect to tighten up on the again and begin discovering the web – it’s hardly rocket science. But Monday’s efficiency demonstrated that Big Sam has lastly discovered the stability of each.
The subsequent step is evident – maintain producing the identical for the ultimate seven video games of the season. Although the duty appears insurmountable, something can occur within the Premier League and West Brom shall be hoping they are often a type of miracles.
The hassle with Southampton is you possibly can by no means be too certain which workforce will flip up. Against Burnley final weekend, they produced an excellent comeback to win 3-2 and arguably safe their spot within the Premier League for one more season.
But Monday’s lacklustre displaying towards West Brom – simply overwhelmed 3-0 by a workforce second from backside – demonstrated simply why they’ve been on the periphery of a relegation battle. Southampton have picked up simply 10 factors in 15 Premier League video games in 2021 (W3 D1 L11), fewer than every other aspect.
It was a demoralising outcome, coming six days earlier than their greatest sport of the season – an FA Cup semi-final towards Leicester at Wembley. You would count on an analogous XI to be made for the Sunday showpiece, however had been the Southampton gamers distracted by their upcoming FA Cup tie?
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl informed Sky Sports: “One thing is clear – when we play like this, we do not have a minimum chance on Sunday. If they think they can rest today for Sunday, I think that’s not the right way to do it. We will have a very critical analysis of this game because it’s important, I think.”
Southampton have a golden probability to achieve their first FA Cup ultimate because the 2002/03 season. While Leicester have had their very own out-of-sorts moments this season, they are going to stroll everywhere in the Saints in the event that they produce the identical efficiency on Sunday.
They should refocus and rediscover their scoring contact as Wembley glory awaits.
Everton had been some extent and a spot exterior the highest 4 when Richarlison headed them to victory at West Brom in early March.
Since then, a four-game winless run – consisting of two league defeats and two league attracts – has seen them concede floor to West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham within the race for Europe, whereas their hopes of silverware had been dashed by Manchester City within the FA Cup.
Everton’s as soon as promising marketing campaign, which noticed them high the Premier League in October, is in peril of unravelling in entrance of their eyes, and their most testing interval of the marketing campaign has coincided with a crippling damage disaster which has left Carlo Ancelotti’s squad threadbare.
The Toffees host Tottenham in a Friday Night Football conflict of huge proportions with no room for manoeuvre if the goal Ancelotti set out again and again this season – to convey European soccer again to Goodison Park – is to be realised.
After the draw at Brighton, captain Seamus Coleman admitted failing to high quality for Europe would signify a “massive disappointment” for Everton, phrases which ought to act like a rallying name to his team-mates forward of a season-defining ultimate push.
Four factors behind sixth-placed Liverpool and 7 behind West Ham in fourth, Ancelotti’s squad have one final battle on their palms. Having confirmed numerous instances they’ve the abdomen for it this season, can they rise to the most important one among all?
Another level on the board, one other step in the direction of security, and one other season within the Premier League is inside attain for Graham Potter and Brighton.
But regardless of the undoubtedly optimistic consequence of Monday’s considerably underwhelming assembly with Everton, Brighton’s failure to recover from the road at dwelling as soon as once more left an all too acquainted sense of disappointment.
No aspect within the Premier League have drawn extra video games than the Seagulls’ 12 this season, of which eight have come on the Amex Stadium. It means solely Fulham and Sheffield United, sides within the relegation zone, have received fewer factors at dwelling than Brighton this season.
Had it not been for a string of spectacular victories on the street, Brighton’s dwelling type, the bedrock of their earlier battles towards relegation, might have been the very factor to undo their four-year stint within the division.
It could properly nonetheless be, however with a seven-point buffer between themselves and the drop zone and simply seven video games remaining, Potter’s aspect look set to dwell to battle one other day within the high flight.
Top of their record of priorities subsequent season needs to be addressing their dwelling type as soon as and for all, for it has not solely hamstrung this season however continues to face in the way in which of Brighton reaching their full potential below Potter.
Jose Mourinho mentioned after Sunday’s defeat by Manchester United that info cannot be debated. The Premier League desk does not lie, both: Spurs are six factors off the highest 4 with seven video games remaining.
It will take an enormous swing to convey Champions League soccer again to Spurs subsequent season, a minimal expectation of Mourinho’s firstly of this marketing campaign.
With Harry Kane’s future closely debated since Saturday morning – he is expected to tell Tottenham he wants to leave if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season – Spurs have eight cup finals between now and the tip of the marketing campaign. This might be the sliding doorways second for the last decade to return.
Missing out on the Champions League has its footballing and monetary value, however they’ll go once more subsequent 12 months. Lose Kane with it, and so they do not simply lose a participant. They lose their talisman, arguably their biggest participant in generations, and so they make one other aspect immeasurably stronger.
And on this period the place Spurs and Daniel Levy had been meant to match this glowing, world-class new stadium with common silverware, whereas creating and signing world-class expertise, they’re going to have did not maintain their very personal. It’s straightforward to see the place issues start to go downhill from there.
Many say soccer has misplaced its significance and context this season with out followers, however beginning at Goodison Park on Friday evening, that is arguably Spurs greatest interval of this century.
Twenty-eight factors received now from shedding positions. Manchester United’s capability to conjure factors after poor begins has been a characteristic of their season and infrequently has it been as emphatic as right here. Tottenham scored first however United showcased their attacking prowess within the second half.
If Fred’s position in scoring the equaliser was a shock, the identification of the person who netted what proved to be the successful purpose was extra predictable. Edinson Cavani’s motion, latching onto a through-ball from the spectacular Paul Pogba, may properly have earned him a purpose earlier. In the tip, it did.
Cavani has proven what is feasible for this workforce when there’s a world-class striker ready within the field. As Gary Neville identified on co-commentary for Sky Sports, the prospect of changing him shall be costly however when it makes the distinction because it did right here, the necessity for such a participant is evident.
His disallowed purpose within the first half was a setback however maybe not as a lot because it might need appeared. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged afterwards that the incident had sparked United, nevertheless it stays a thriller why it requires any catalyst apart from the referee’s whistle at kick-off to ignite this workforce.
What is understood is that they’ve high quality throughout the squad, underlined by Mason Greenwood’s highly effective end for the third purpose late on. That is 4 Premier League wins out of 4 now, the one workforce within the competitors in that sort of type, and it has seen them pull clear in second place.
That represents regular enchancment. Third in his first full season, second within the subsequent, Solskjaer is making some progress and with one foot within the Europa League semi-final, the hope shall be that United could have a trophy to take into the summer time too. Work nonetheless to do, however encouraging indicators.
Granted, this was a Sheffield United aspect staring relegation full within the face, however there was a notable absentee for Arsenal as they saved alive their hopes of taking part in in European competitors subsequent season.
Sunday’s 3-0 triumph at Bramall Lane was carried out with minimal fuss and with out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was absent because of sickness.
Mikel Arteta revealed afterwards that the Gabon striker has been unable to coach for the previous couple of days however is hopeful of him being again obtainable for the Europa League quarter-final second leg towards Slavia Prague on Thursday.
The query, nevertheless, is whether or not Aubameyang shall be chosen after a powerful show by Alexandre Lacazette and his supporting solid in South Yorkshire. The recent damage to Bukayo Saka and issues over Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard could properly drive Arteta’s hand, however the Spaniard will pay attention to a rising development.
Arsenal have received 66.6 per cent of their six Premier League video games this season with out Aubameyang (W4 D1 L1), in comparison with 36 per cent of these with him within the workforce (9/25). So will the striker be neglected throughout the membership’s hour of want this week?
“We had a really strong performance and a clean sheet which was needed after a long time,” Arteta mentioned. “We were efficient and intelligent with the ball. We showed the right attitude so overall I’m really happy. Winning always breeds confidence and we will need that heading into Thursday.”
Arteta will know all of the in regards to the position momentum can play in soccer after seeing Arsenal’s four-game winless run ended, and following a listless show towards Liverpool final week, Aubameyang may be dealing with a race towards time to be named on the bench.
Steve Bruce might need not made a extra impactful substitution in his profession. His resolution to convey on Allan Saint-Maximin together with his workforce a purpose down and with simply 33 minutes remaining cannot be described as impressed because the Frenchman is clearly Newcastle’s greatest participant however timing is every little thing in soccer. Bruce unleashed him at simply the proper time. It seemed solely a matter of time earlier than Burnley doubled their benefit in what was a one-sided match up till Saint-Maximin entered the fray.
Newcastle needs to be nowhere close to the relegation zone with a participant like this on their books.
Saint-Maximin – who earlier than final week’s substitute look had been out since February – got here on alongside top-scorer Callum Wilson, again after seven video games out with a hamstring downside.
Bruce has been very vocal about how a lot they’ve missed the Frenchman this season and he has some extent. In the 13 video games Saint-Maximin has missed this season, Newcastle have received simply twice. That win share rockets to 33 per cent (six wins from 18 matches) in matches that the 24-year-old has featured in. You will be sure if he’d performed greater than 1014 minutes this season, Bruce’s boys would not be preventing for survival, they’d be comfortably in mid-table.
Bruce mentioned: “Probably only Allan could have done that, and when you see games like that you see what we have missed. I hope we can keep them both [Callum Wilson] well because we are a different animal with them in the team.”
Gary Neville suggested on Monday Night Football after his newest man-of-the-match show that Manchester United could need to take Jesse Lingard again to Old Trafford after the tip of his mortgage at West Ham.
Well, I ponder what the previous United captain is pondering now after Lingard turned in one other vastly spectacular efficiency to assist the Hammers edge out top-four rivals Leicester City in a five-goal thriller on Super Sunday?
⚽ Since his West Ham debut on Feb 3 @JesseLingard has been concerned in additional @premierleague targets than every other participant (10 – 7 targets & 3 assists) and is joint high PL scorer with Harry Kane
He has scored in 4 successive PL apps for the first time in his profession pic.twitter.com/Ur6idDinYw
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 11, 2021
Lingard’s first-half double, the primary of which to open the scoring on the London Stadium was a chunk of brilliance, meant the ahead has now scored in 4 consecutive league video games for West Ham.
Not solely that, however since making his top-flight debut for West Ham, the England worldwide has been immediately concerned in additional targets than every other participant – seven targets and three assists.
And if he carries on on this type, then absolutely the 28-year-old is not going to solely be in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad this summer time, but additionally again in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans subsequent season?