Three rounds in ten days and the Premier League has a new table leader. Liverpool have replaced Arsenal in the top spot. In addition to Arsenal’s loss at Birmingham, we’ll be looking at the relegation zone in our regular series on English football.
Arsenal have nothing to cry about
Two losses and both cries. While Arsenal’s rise last year and the year before was sympathetic to the impartial fan and favoured Mikel Arteta’s young team, now the fans and especially the team’s coach complain about the referees’ decisions after each point loss.
After the 0:1 defeat at Newcastle, it is probably not surprising, but this time the Gunners were not damaged. Both untaken penalties were correctly judged, the only hit was the five-minute setup, already only considering the constant stalling of Emiliano Martinez could have been bigger.
In any case, Arteta’s reactions in the post-match interview were off the mark, with onlookers aptly pointing out that he was unnaturally playing Jose Mourinho. Yet Arsenal had so many chances that they could have easily won 4-1. Martin Odegaard in particular, however, didn’t have his sights set.
Plus, Arsenal were unlucky for basically the first time. So far, luck has followed it in close wins, at Luton, Brentford and at home to Manchester United it should have been more of a draw, at Crystal Palace the Gunners even defended a one-goal lead for 20 minutes.
What is the situation in the Premier League relegation zone?
The Premier League table is starting to turn in a way that few expected. Everton, Wolverhampton and Bournemouth seem to be avoiding the fight for relegation, while two teams that were expected to be quiet in the middle – Nottingham and Crystal Palace – are falling down.
Burnley, Sheffield and Luton still appear to be the clear relegation trio, but all three outsiders have something going for them. The Clearets are adorned with a decent squad and an attractive style of play, the Hatters are dogged and dedicated at home. As for the Blades, emotions were suddenly very different after the return of legendary coach Chris Wilder. They beat Brentford right out of the gate.
Nottingham may be strong at home, but under coach Steve Cooper the chair is rocking with increasing intensity. Crystal Palace have Citizens, Brighton and Chelsea in the next three rounds, with such prospects suddenly a seven-point lead is not downright comfortable.
Source: Premier League
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