It was another interesting weekend of Premier League action where Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table and all three clubs in the relegation zone won. So who were the winners and losers from week 21?
After a shaky run of form last month I expected Southampton to start to slide down the table but Ronald Koeman (manager of the year candidate)has done a terrific job getting the Saints back on track with four wins and a draw in their last five fixtures. With the Premier League’s best defense and a favorably schedule, Saints have only one away game against teams currently higher than tenth, Southampton look as a good a top four pick as anyone at the moment.
After failing to sign Luis Suarez, Arsene Wenger went and got Alexis Sanchez for what looks like a bargain price of £35m. Sanchez has b
Lauding Sanchez doesn’t tell the whole story of the 3-0 win over Stoke, but without him the Gunners would look a lot more ordinary. Sanchez (player of the year candidate) has now scored 18 goals in 30 matches for the Gunners this season. By comparison, Arsenal’s top scorer last year was Olivier Giroud with 22. If Arsene Wenger does not run him into the ground, Sanchez could make this a memorable season for the North London Club.
From no wins and 11 defeats in 13 matches to a four-game unbeaten run, Leicester look like they have finally figured out how to play in the Premier League. City have stopped leaking goals, three clean sheets (in all competitions) in their last four matches will have everyone from Hull to Everton worried about Leicester’s resurgence.
For whatever reason, Paul Lambert’s side just don’t seem to be bothered about scoring goals, averaging the lowest number of attempts, shots on target and conversion rate in the Premier League. This is a big transfer window for Villa because if those lose Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar they will go down.
Despite spending £160 million this summer, Louis van Gaal finds himself with the same points as United had at this point in the season last year under David Moyes. The only reason United are fourth, and not seventh, is because of the inconsistent play of their rivals this season.
LVG has gotten a free pass by the English media this season but that is changing as they are starting to ask questions about his team selection. For example against Southampton, why was Radamel Falcao not in the squad, but three centre-backs were?
Tottenham, minus Harry Kane
Harry Kane has been brilliant this season, but even he cannot carry Mauricio Pochettino’s side every week. With United losing, Spurs blew a massive opportunity at Crystal Palace to go level with Manchester United in fourth.
Queen Park Rangers have remarkably failed to win an away match thus far, managing a record-breaking ten successive defeats in which they have scored a paltry five goals, and conceded 24. Even the second-worst away form in the Premier League (tied by Burnley and Leicester) is seven points healthier than QPR’s blank total.
Redknapp is really good at reflecting the blame away from himself, but this is his side, his tactics. If QPR go down, it will be because Redknapp forgot how to win away from home.