A look back at the talking points from the Barclay's Premier League's midweek matches
- Jordan Ayew’s elbow
After Jordan Ayew’s red card against West Ham, BT Sports’s Glen Hoddle suggested that Rémi Garde should force him to make his way home with the 900 travelling Villa fans. Luckily for André Ayew’s less talented brother that wasn’t the case as the odds of him surviving the journey would have been at a similar level of the Villains’ chances of playing premier league football next season.
Aston Villa were far the better team in the opening fifteen minutes so it was certainly an odd decision for him to elbow Cresswell in the face. Ayew might have luckily missed a trip on the supporters’ coach but he should probably be advised to try and miss trips around Birmingham city centre anytime too.
- Arsenal fade as Leicester City shine
“This is Arsenal’s best chance to win the league” and “Leicester will fade away soon” are the two clichés of this season. It seems, however, that we’ve all been saying them with the names mixed up.
This certainly is a once in a generation opportunity for Leicester. Other teams will strengthen and if Chelsea or United come in with an offer who can surely say that Vardy, Mahrez or Konte won’t be tempted?
However, for this season they show no signs of fading and despite being dominated by the blunt sword that is Liverpool for large periods on Tuesday, Jamie Vardy managed to score a worldy and his team put together a now viral period of Barcelona-esque passing.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are doing their annual February fade in preparation for a late but ultimately doomed surge in April.
- Newcastle to have most expensive squad in the Championship?
If there’s a time to get a result against Everton it’s when they’re winning. But Newcastle, complete with new signings Shelvey, Townsend and Doumbia, couldn’t even manage that. Andros Townsend was isolated throughout, Shelvey hit the cross the bar and summer signing Mitrovic missed their best chance of the game.
It will be little comfort to Newcastle that this current team could do absolute wonders in the Championship next season.
- Chelsea’s unbeaten run continues. Still 13th.
One positive for Gus Hiddink’s side is that they are seven games unbeaten. Unfortunately, they still sit 13th and sixteen points off the top four. Although they could soon be in the mix for those less than precious Europa league spots the London side might be best writing off this season and praying that they can win the Champions League with an interim manager for the second time.
However, if that’s to happen though they’ll need to beat a PSG side that sit twenty four points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
- Top four shaping up for a special finish
There are now five points between Manchester United in 5th and Arsenal and Tottenham who sit 3rd and 4th with forty five. This has been a season with no structure, reason or logic but those top four spots, coveted like trophies, seem to be cementing themselves into some sort of certainty.
The Europe League spots below are a jungle and Thursday night football should be considered a great achievement for West Ham or Southampton (especially as the former look towards a new season in Olympic Park).
But, it’s those top four spots above them where something truly magical might happen.