Moves were made by a number of clubs in the Premier League this weekend in the hunt for the top four. With the title race over already, it's pretty much the only exciting thing left in the league this season. But it is indeed set to be a race that goes down to the wire.
Chelsea were impressive in their 4-0 thumping of Everton. Offensively it is clear they have made strides under Frank Lampard, but they simply lacked a number nine. Olivier Giroud has helped and been crucial up front, and it's quite surprising that Lampard took so long to play him. Ross Barkley seems to be playing pretty well recently too. I'm not his biggest fan, but it's clear he possesses ability. If he can produce in the final third regularly, he could be an important cog. Billy Gilmour was man of the match though, which I'm a little surprised about. Look, he's been impressive, but he hasn't done anything particularly exceptional as ofyet. He looks calm and composed on the ball and rarely loses it, and I like how he's always looking to move the ball forward, but it's important not to go over the top with him as we always tend to over a young British player. He looks a great talent though and I completely get the hype.
I'm not going to talk about Spurs again. If you want to know my thoughts on them, read my post from a few days ago. However, Jose Mourinho's comments on Tanguy Ndombele has made the rounds. Look, I'm not a fan of public criticism, especially with the modern day player. But Mourinho is absolutely right on the Frenchman. Ndombele is a supreme talent. He is truly immense. But he's just so damn lazy. I don't know if he's unfit or simply not trying, but he has to sort it out. Otherwise you just know that Mourinho will ditch him and not play him again. It'll be interesting to see how this one pans out.
Manchester United's win against rivals Manchester City was a crucial one. They really needed to get the three points here, otherwise their top four hopes would have been seriously hampered. I'm not an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fan at all, and I find it so funny that United fans suddenly think he's the right man for the job. The change in fortunes of late has been down to Bruno Fernandes. The guy has been phenomenal and added a cutting edge in the final third. But honestly, it's really nothing to do with Ole's management skills. The game against City was just a park the bus job and then two mistakes from Ederson. There's still no style of play besides Fernandes getting it to the pacy men quicker. United fans can get as excited as they want, but long term they're going nowhere.
Arsenal and Leicester also both got very important wins against West Ham and Aston Villa respectively. The Gunners were far from impressive, but it was a crucial win nonetheless. I mean, Arsenal are in this top four race, but I simply don't think they're good enough to get it. There's nothing more to it. Leicester are also really lucky that they picked up so many points during the first half of the season. I don't think their team is as good as people make it out to be, and Brendan Rodgers is HUGELY overrated. However, they may already be too far ahead.
Wolves' draw with Brighton would have been a big blow for them. I genuinely thought they have a legitimately good chance of getting into the top four, especially with the lack of quality of teams around them, but they don't seem to just be consistent enough.
Ultimately, I do think Leicester and Chelsea will get third and fourth, but United have a great chance now. Their run of fixtures are really great from now until the end of the season. Their clash with Tottenham this Sunday is going to be utterly massive though, and could go a long way to deciding who finishes in the top four. Regardless of what happens on the weekend though, you can guarantee there will be a lot of twists and turns in what is a pretty poor Premier League season.
Anyway, a return to Champions League action tonight. Spurs head to Leipzig. If Mourinho can pull a win out the bag, then it'll be a real miracle. He's not capable of those anymore though. So I predict a relatively straightforward home win for Leipzig. But that's that for today. I will be back tomorrow for a review of the Spurs game. See you then.