A look at the winners and losers in round 25 of the English Premier League.
They have gone three months without conceding a goal in the league, and with eight wins in a row, six of them by a score line of 1-0, they are top of the table. Manchester United are Champions of Europe, holders of the Club World Championship and are favorites to win another Premier League crown.
If they beat Liverpool on March 14 the league title should be theirs. The impossible quadruple is no longer an impossible dream, although the biggest challenge might well come from Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan later this month. Were Manchester United to win the quadruple, they would equal Liverpool’s record of 18 titles, and they would also equal Liverpool’s record of 58 major trophies won.
Torres is the late-goal specialist in a league that specializes in late goals. All of his nine goals this season have been in the second half with all of his four strikes in 2009 occurring after the 88th minute.
Two weeks ago the wheels were coming off at Liverpool. But late wins against Chelsea and Portsmouth meant that they were back on top of the table on Saturday night.
Two points clear of Chelsea and 7 points clear of Arsenal, these are the good days for Villa fans. The visit of Chelsea at the end of the month is looming as a huge game as win could propel Villa to that third Champions League place next season, which will trigger automatic qualification for the group stages
Different club, same old story. It’s a talking point for another day but why is it that goalkeepers are a valued at a fraction of the price that strikers command?
City is another team who have seemed to bounce back and forth between the winners and losers sections each week. Despite losing five home matches this season, Man City still boast the third-best home record in the Premier League and have collected 24 of their 31 points at Eastlands. Just a point above the relegation zone two weeks ago, they will climb to seventh if they win at Portsmouth in the league’s one and only fixture next Saturday. Considering where they were at Christmas, finishing 7th in the Premier League will be quite an accomplishment for Mark Hughes.
It is not often that an assistant coach makes our winners list but Jose Mourinho’s long-time assistant is having a major impact at two clubs this season. It is not coincidence that Chelsea have started to leak goals since Clark left Stamford Bridge in October for West Ham, and with Gianfranco Zola, he has helped turn West Ham into a solid top ten team.
After the Portsmouth disaster, will any other English team give Adams another chance. With only 16 wins in 75 games as a manager does Adams deserve a third chance?
Luiz Phil Scolari
Scolari is on borrowed time at Chelsea. Any hopes of winning the league has vanished and winning the FA Cup is not enough for Peter Kenyon. Scolari needs to beat Juventus in the Champions League this month, which I don’t happening, or the calls for his resignation will grow louder. Expect Chelsea to be looking for their fourth coach in less than two years this summer.
Interesting that the league’s top scorer hasn’t scored in two months, which us about the time that Didier Drogba returned to the Chelsea lineup.
On the outside looking in at a Champions League place for next year, Arsenal must be hoping that the shambles at Stamford Bridge continues and that Chelsea slide past them into fifth place.
One goal from their past eight matches is a stat that spells relegation. Boro fans should start planning trips to Sheffield and Coventry next year
Simply not good enough for the Premiership. Will be relegated along with Middlesbrough
Staying in the Premier league will be difficult for Stoke even with eleven men. It will be impossible if they continue to play with ten so frequently. Matthew Etherington’s dismissal was their fifth of the season. Unless Stoke can find a way to keep all 11 players on the pitch, they will be joining West Brom and Middlesbrough in the Championship next year.