Man City show why they are champions; Arsenal's road woes in a class of their own

Man City show why they are champions; Arsenal's road woes in a class of their own
From ESPN - April 15, 2018

With only a month of Premier League football to go, Nick Miller looks back at all the highs and lows in the Premier League this weekend.

Goal of the weekend

This season Mohamed Salah been that priceless old combination of a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals. His latest effort, his 40th of the season -- over all competitions -- making him the first Liverpool player to reach that mark since Ian Rush, was a piece of brilliant ingenuity, an improvised looping header against Bournemouth from Trent Alexander-Arnold's superb long pass.

It also showed the mind of a true goalscorer, one able to process in the briefest of moments the quickest and most efficient way of getting the ball in the net. What a player. What a season.

Riposte of the Weekend

Champions, then. Not in the way we expected, and not in the way they might have liked, but one of the most inevitable crownings of the season came when Manchester United lost to West Brom, allowing Manchester City to win the Premier League for the third time.

But they would not have been confirmed as champions had they not swept Tottenham aside on Saturday evening. It was not just that City beat Spurs, they demolished one of the best teams in the league, away from home, after a week in which their mental fortitude looked very shaky after two spirit-crushing defeats to Man United and Liverpool.

This was a rampant performance, and Spurs were fortunate to have the remotest sniff of delaying their celebrations further. It would have been great for them to win it against United, but when they sit back in a few weeks and reflect on the season as a whole, they will look back on nine months of dazzling brilliance.

Mood swing of the weekend

Rather than demanding millions are spent on his team, Jose Mourinho's main summer priority must be figuring out where the hole in Manchester United mentality is. So desperate were they against West Brom, it was difficult to imagine they were the same team that bullied the Premier League champions just last weekend.

Their two worst results of the season have come after big wins: this following the defeat of City, and their exit from the Champions League against Sevilla was a few days after they beat Liverpool at Old Trafford. Is it a problem of excessive confidence? Are these United players taking things for granted? Is that Mourinho's fault?

The only other time United have lost to the Premier League's bottom team was against Blackburn in 2011, the famous game in which Alex Ferguson played Park Ji-sung and Rafael in midfield ahead of Paul Pogba, which the Frenchman cited as the moment he decided to end his first spell at Old Trafford. Given the talent on the pitch in the respective games, this was a much worse result.

Statistic of the weekend

There was a time when Arsenal losing at Newcastle would have been a shock. Not these days, though. So frequent an occurrence are these insipid defeats that it would barely be worth a mention, but it is worth noting that Arsenal are yet to win an away point in 2018. Every other team in the Football League -- that's 91 of them, even Sunderland -- have managed at least one.

Worst referee decision of the weekend

Worrying mistake of the weekend

Too little, too late of the weekend

Pointed barb of the weekend


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