Ahead of tonight’s fixture that sees Champions League chasing Arsenal host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium, we have compiled our takeaways from this weekends action in the English top flight. Couldn’t watch Jeff? We’ve got you covered.
Southampton Smash and Grab [0-1]
To be honest, a smash and grab is probably a bit unfair. Southampton had the better of the chances for most of the game, despite Brighton’s 70% possession statistic that you saw on your football mobile app of choice. It’s very easy to glance over games like this when Huddersfield are fighting imminent relegation and Cardiff host Chelsea (we’ll get to that), but the game at the Amex stadium was quite the spectacle…
Brighton once again looked like they couldn’t create. Marvin Montoya’s sweeping left-foot found the crossbar but The Seagulls struggled to seriously trouble Gunn in the Saints’ goal. However, Albion may still feel hard done by: Davy Pröpper at the heart of a solid penalty claim. When a calamity at the back saw Gunn on the floor at the edge of his box, Davy Pröpper was left with a chance to level. Højbjerg seemingly dragged the Dutchman back, but the dramatic finger wag of Michael Oliver dispelled any appeals.
What I loved about this game was the directness of Nathan Redmond. If you were not able to watch the match on an, ehm, stream, then just a peak at the highlights will show you the England one-capper at the heart of every Saints attack. His assist for Højbjerg caps off an overall good performance and sees Southampton scrape five points away from the relegation zone.
After a two year fairy tale that’ll be ever present in Terriers fans’ minds, Huddersfield have officially been relegated from the Premier League.
David Wagner did an astonishing job with a team originally tipped for relegation from the Championship, galvanizing them and pulling off one of the great EFL promotions. If that was impressive, surviving the drop the following season against all odds made the dream live on.
However two days ago, Crystal Palace ended their spell in the league with a 2-0 win to seal the visitors’ fate. Two late second half goals from Milivojevic and Van Aanholt were enough to give the Eagles three points and put them ever closer towards Premier League survival.
With 14 points, Huddersfield are officially relegated but will return to the Championship knowing they made the team proud from promotion in the playoff final to the final whistle at Selhurst Park
That Warnock Stare Down
With six minutes to go, Cardiff were two points off Burnley, Southampton and Brighton. Touching distance of survival.
VAR coming in next season is no excuse for this standard of officiating. I was about to say I’ve seen League Two officals do better but that’d be inaccurate (see Coventry v Notts County; 2018 play off semi-final). Still a terrible decision.
It’s fair to say that Neil Warnock staring down the officials in the centre-circle after the game will go down in Premier League history – especially if they get relegated. Warnock is notorious for picking up fines for post-match lamenting of referees so he took a different approach. Iconic.
The tight gap has been opened up. Five points separate Cardiff and safety, with The Bluebirds having a game in hand. I think that’s what is the most frustrating thing: a win yesterday and a win at City (cough, 7-0, cough) would have seen them safe. With games against Burnley and Brighton, it’s up to Cardiff to save their season. The referees aren’t with them, but we are.
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