Premier League Update: Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City, United
Premier League: Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Man United fight for top 4 finish
Arsenal 2 – 2 Manchester City
The Premier League battle at the last of the season for second, third, and fourth place has become a fight to the finish after Leicester City secured first place and the prestigious trophy and individual medals. As a result of winning the Premier League title, Leicester City automatically qualifies for the Champions League in the 2016 – 2017 season. Top contenders for the other three qualifying spots are Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Manchester City. If Liverpool win the Europa League, they automatically qualify for the CL next season.
The Gunners reached a 2 - 2 draw with Man City on Sunday, closing the gap as Arsenal get ready for the last match of their season against Aston Villa on May 15 with 68 points - only 2 points behind second place Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal are in third place on the EPL Table after the Spurs lost 3 points to Southampton 2 - 1 at home ending up with 70 points. Manchester City’s two goals came from Sergio Aguero at 8 minutes and Kevin de Bruyne at 51 minutes. Now in fifth place after winning only one of their last four EPL matches, Man City are in danger of dropping out of the top four.
Arsenal’s two goals came from Olivier Giroud at 10 minutes and Alexis Sanchez at 68 minutes leaving Manchester City’s top four hopes in peril and the Gunner’s hopes alive for a second or third place finish.
Arsenal v Manchester City Squads
Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas, De Bruyne, Iheanacho; Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Angelino, Demichelis, Delph, Toure, Sterling, Bony.
Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Elneny, Ramsey; Welbeck, Iwobi, Sanchez; Giroud. Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Coquelin, Wilshere, Cazorla, Campbell, Walcott.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Olivier Giroud said he felt good about scoring his goal on Sunday against City after going 15 EPL games without scoring a goal at the Etihad Stadium. Giroud also assisted Sanchez’s goal. My goal “meant a lot” said twenty-nine-year-old Giroud. “The goal meant a lot because it has been a tough time for me on the pitch as I have missed a bit of efficiency, a bit of luck and a lot of things,” Giroud told Arsenal.com. “Things haven’t gone my way to finish, but I kept the faith and knew that it would come back.”
“It is always nice for a striker to score, even more with an assist for Alexis’ second goal which was important. We now have our own destiny in our hands to finish third or maybe second,” added Giroud. “These last few weeks I tried to set up goals. Alexis’ goal was my sixth assist but I’m happy to score too and help the team to reach our target and qualify for the Champions League. That is a great present. “We are a team and a group that makes the difference. We try to help each other do the job. We fight for each other and we have a good understanding,” continued Giroud.
Arsene Wenger’s composed, energetic Arsenal played well and showed character in a very intense match against wealthy, titan club Manchester City who may end up in the Europa League next season with Pep Guiardiola replacing Manuel Pellegrini as manager.
“It was a very intense game where we had a difficult start because Manchester City came out very strong. We suffered a little, but every time we went down we showed character and came back twice in the game. Overall, I think Manchester City had good intensity in the game and there were a few times when we were in trouble, but we delivered a very strong performance,” said Wenger following Arsenal's 2-2 draw with City. “It is in our hands now, but we have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result. That shows you that we have to focus and keep the focus. It is important to maintain that. We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season. We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.”
A downside of the match was the knee injury Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck incurred that may cause him to miss the 2016 Euros. “Danny Welbeck has a knee problem. I hope it is not too bad. We need to wait for a scan, I hope that it is not a bad one and a meniscus. Danny is a strong boy, he is not a guy who moves out quickly. We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain. Let’s hope we have good news tomorrow from the scan,” said Wenger. “When I say good, that means he will not be out of the Euros. The bad news would be if he is out of the Euros, but I don’t know. I’m an optimist. I don’t know if it is a lateral meniscus. Let’s wait until we get the real diagnosis.”
Midfielder Jack Wilshire came on to play from the bench as a sub after missing five months of play due to an ankle injury. Last season Wilshire helped Arsenal to FA Cup Final glory and scored a stunning goal in the Gunners’ final game. Wilshire scored two screamers for England in a key European Championship qualifier against Slovenia. “I felt that he showed he is well prepared physically. Overall, I believe that his performance was encouraging and that he will benefit from this kind of intensity in the game. He didn’t have too much time to think about it, but that is sometimes the best. His performance was positive,” added Wenger according to arsenal.com.
Manchester United and West Ham will clash on May 10th at Boleyn Ground London. If United earn 3 points with a win, they will pass Man City on the ladder. Manchester City’s right-back Bacary Sagna said City should blame only themselves if they miss out on Champions League qualification. “It’s very disappointing, especially with the way we started the season,” said Sagna. “But we are to blame. We had everything in our hands to be the best and I believe if we play like we did against Arsenal we are the best team – but we have to play like this all season.”
“But this is the past now and we have to keep our heads up. We can still make it happen. We have to recover, work well during the week and take the three points against Swansea. Then we will see what happens with the other results,” continued Sagna. “To me, we deserve it. We gave a lot. Of course we are not perfect, of course we could have done better, but to me we deserve to be in the Champions League places.” If 5th place Manchester United win their match against West Ham on Tuesday, the Red Devils will go up to 4th place and Champions League qualification, and Manchester City will be pushed down to 5th before their final game of the season at Swansea.
The 2016-17 UEFA Champions League kicks off on June 28, 2016 and comes to a conclusion when the final takes place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on June 3, 2017. A total of 22 teams will automatically enter the 2016 - 2017 UEFA Champions League Group Stage with the remaining slots taken by the ten sides who come through qualifying including winners of the 2016 Champions League Final and Europa League Final. Check back for Champions League tickets.
Popular 2016 Premier League tickets
Be there live to enjoy the last clashes of the season in EPL Match Week 38! Great seats and cheap last minute tickets are still available for the following games!
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May 15 Chelsea v Leicester City Tickets Stamford Bridge - London, United Kingdom
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Premier League clubs Liverpool, Manchester United, and Crystal Palace will play in upcoming popular cup matches – the UEFA Europa League Final on May 18 at St. Jakob Park; and the FA Cup Final on May 21 at Wembley. Great seats and hard-to-get last minute tickets are still available for both games from LiveFootballTickets.com!
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