Premier League Round-up: Matchday 35
The Premier League is wide open once again – both at the top and bottom
A round-up of all the scores and scorers from the Premier League, matchday 35.
The Premier League is seemingly open at both ends and, as I’m sure you can probably envisage, that’s not very pleasant. With three games to go any three of eleven teams could be relegated, while Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United could all still be crowned champions. For innocent onlookers this makes for pure excitement but, for anyone involved with the clubs concerned, it’s all about the end-of-season nerves.
Two controversial Chelsea goals helped them to overcome London rivals Tottenhamto keep the pressure on Manchester United while Spurs all-but-kissed goodbye to that lucrative fourth spot. Brazilian midfielder Sandro had given Harry Redknapp’s side the lead with a cracking 25 yard effort but, with Carlo Ancelotti’s team piling on the pressure and Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes pulling off some fine saves in the first half, it was only a matter of time before Chelsea got off the mark.
Chelsea did finally score on the stroke of half-time, as Frank Lampard’s dipping shot was flapped at by Gomes who let the ball slip through his legs and, according to the assistant referee, over the line. The evidence is pretty much inconclusive as to whether the ball had crossed the line or not but fresh appeals for goal-line technology could be heard post-match, with Redknapp questioning the lack of technology in the game, labelling the Chelsea win as “lucky”. Salomon Kalou scored a late winner from six yards out, and seemingly from an offside position, his third goal in four games, to claim all three points for Chelsea.
Manchester United knew, then, that they had to win because otherwise next Sunday’s encounter with Chelsea would be seen as the title decider. Arsenal, though, were looking to claim just their second League win since the beginning of Mach and, thanks to an Aaron Ramsey goal, their admittedly-slim title hopes were kept alive.
Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta helped Fulhamto power past Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to leave The Black Cats dangerously above the relegation zone, while Mark Hughes’ side now look set for a top ten finish. Kakuta gave The Cottagers the lead just after the half-hour mark, stumbling home after sloppy Sunderland defending, while a Simon Davies double helped round off the victory. Sunderland did have their chances, Lee Cattermole, Sulley Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon all going close, but it was ultimately their defending that resigned them to their fourteenth defeat of the season.
The relegation battle is too close to call at the minute and results at Ewood Park and The DW Stadium didn’t make it any easier, Blackburn beating a lacklustre Bolton1-0 thanks to a fine Jonas Olsson strike while Wigan claimed a point against Everton, a late Leighton Baines penalty cancelling out Charles N’Zogbia’s fine finish. Blackpool also gained a point although it could have been a lot worse had Kenwyne Jones not missed an open goalfrom inside the area for Stoke. 0-0 the final score there.
The relegation zone currently consists of Wigan, Wolves and West Ham who all failed to win this weekend. West Ham surrendered to a 2-1 away defeat to Manchester City with Nigel De Jong and Pablo Zabaleta scoring for City and Demba Ba for West Ham. Wolves took an early lead against fellow strugglers Birminghamthrough a Steven Fletcher penalty, but Sebastian Larsson levelled for The Blues, before Craig Gardner was sent off for two bookable offences.
West Brom confirmed their Premier League status for next year with a superb victory over local rivals Aston Villa, coming from 1-0 down, thanks to a comical Abdoulaye Méïté, to win 2-1, Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu with the goals. Paul Scharner was sent off for Roy Hodgson’s side for two needless fouls, but The Baggies now lie just outside the top ten, with Villa still not quite safe of relegation, just six points above the drop-zone.
Liverpool recorded another comfortable victory to leave Kenny Dalglish’s side in 5thplace, defeating Newcastle 3-0 at home. Liverpool now look set to claim that Europa League spot with Spurs faltering and fourth-placed Manchester City now seven points clear. A scrappy finish from Maxi Rodriguez, his fourth goal in two games, put Liverpool in front within ten minutes, while a second half Dirk Kuyt penalty and a measured Luis Suarez strike sealed the victory.
Matchday 35 results: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham; Blackburn 1-0 Bolton; Wigan 1-1 Everton; Blackpool 0-0 Stoke; Sunderland 0-3 Fulham; West Brom 2-1 Aston Villa; Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United; Birmingham 1-1 Wolves; Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle; Manchester City 2-1 West Ham.
Matchday 36 fixtures: Aston Villa-Wigan; Bolton-Sunderland; Everton-Manchester City; Newcastle-Birmingham; West Ham-Blackburn; Tottenham-Blackpool; Wolves-West Brom; Stoke-Arsenal; Manchester United-Chelsea; Fulham-Liverpool.
Potential Arsenal ticket price rise angers fans
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust shows opposition to price rises
Loyal Arsenal fans are being “priced out of attending matches”, according to The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, amid claims of yet more rises.
After yet another season of disappointment and frustration, the last thing a football club needs to do is anger their fans, especially fans that have already had it up to the back teeth with their club’s failings.
With certain sections of Arsenal supporters calling for revolution at the club, with manager Arsène Wenger particularly in the firing line, fans of The Gunners are about to become a whole lot unhappier with the news that ticket prices could increase by up to 6.5% next season.
Arsenal already boast the most expensive season ticket in the country, with £893 being the cheapest and, as 7,000 executive Club Level tickets increasing, the fear is that regular supporters will see their prices rise too.
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, the most influential of all the club’s supporters’ groups with over 1000 paying members, are firmly against any increase:
“We first raised this issue in February, when we became aware of the plan to raise ticket prices,” the AST told The London Evening Standard.
Arsenal have had another disappointing season in the English Premier League, currently sitting in 3rd, nine points off leaders Manchester United when, a couple of weeks ago (and throughout most of the season), they were being touted as title challengers, only to drop off right at the end.
The AST, though, insist that this is irrelevant: “Our objection has nothing to do with recent results, and everything to do with our concern that loyal Arsenal fans are being priced out of attending matches. The current economic climate means many fans are suffering.
“Arsenal’s commercial revenue is £50m less than Manchester United, annually. This is the area where the club should prioritise raising extra money, rather than increasing ticket prices.”
As The Evening Standard points out, this will be the first time that Arsenal have increased their prices since they moved to The Emirates Stadium in 2007 but that hardly softens the blow.
Are these price increases fair? Arsenal fans, what are your thoughts? Be sure to leave a comment below.
These articles were originally published on sports website Sports Haze but are now not available due to the site shutting down.