By Walter Broeckx
With only one win needed in our last two games and even that is not really necessary if Manchester City win at Everton next Saturday we might say that the teams in the top 4 will be those that are there now.
The order between the first 3 is not yet set in stone and unless Chelsea falls apart in their last two matches I don’t think we can overtake both Chelsea or City any more. On paper we could still finish in second place but that is not something I am holding my breath for.
As the current top 4 teams have all played their matches against each other it is now time to have a look at the mini league table from those matches. And I must say that this is a somewhat surprising result.
Here are the results of these matches:
- Arsenal Liverpool 2 0
- Man City Liverpool 2 1
- Chelsea Liverpool 2 1
- Liverpool Arsenal 5 1
- Liverpool Man City 3 2
- Liverpool Chelsea 0 2
- Arsenal Chelsea 0 0
- Chelsea Arsenal 6 0
- Man city Arsenal 6 3
- Arsenal Man City 0 0
- Man City Chelsea 0 1
- Chelsea Man City 2 1
And this gives us this as the final table of the mini league of the top 4
Man City 7
What you see is that there is one team that has outperformed all the other teams. Chelsea has taken almost all the points there were to take. The only time they couldn’t win against one of the other top 4 teams was at Arsenal in December when they played for the 0-0 and got it. But they won all the other matches. Home and away.
And yet…this might not be enough to win the league. In fact if City win their match in hand it will be City and Liverpool who will lead the dance for the title celebration.
If this turns out to be the case it shows once again that winning the big games is maybe nice for the supporters to brag about but it isn’t a certain guarantee to win the league in the end.
There are only two points difference between Man City in second place in this mini league table and Arsenal. With Liverpool sandwiched in between them.
I also want to point that at home Arsenal were undefeated by the other top 4 teams. But away from home our record was very bad. The City match had rather special circumstances with us not getting a rest after a CL match and some dodgy refereeing decisions going against us.
Liverpool getting a “Newcastle goal” in the first minute didn’t help us at Anfield and the next corner resulting in a goal was something we couldn’t cope with on the day. And the way Chelsea finished their first two shots on goal in our match at Chelsea was somewhat amazing looking at their finishing against teams like West Ham and Sunderland. Against us the ball just flew in the goal and against some lower league teams the ball refused to go in. Bad results when travelling to the other teams grounds and this is something we have to do something about it. Maybe buy a new bus?
Now some might say: it’s all Wenger his fault. He should have offered more to get Suarez from Liverpool. And then it all would have been different. He would have won us those matches. So I took the matches from Liverpool and added the goals from Suarez in the top matches.
Matches Liverpool Suarez goals
Arsenal Liverpool 2 0 0
Man City Liverpool 2 1 0
Chelsea Liverpool 2 1 0
Liverpool Arsenal 5 1 0
Liverpool Man City 3 2 0
Liverpool Chelsea 0 2 0
Total Suarez goals: 0
So in the matches against the other top teams Suarez scored zero, nil, nul, nothing, rien de knots, zilch goals for Liverpool.
I know he scored bags of goals in the other matches. But against the top teams he wasn’t there. Well at least not on the score sheet. Is Suarez a player that only does it when playing smaller teams? It looks that way. So looking at it like that we might have had lots of more goals in the other matches but not that much more goals and/or points in the matches against the other teams in the top 4.
We need to improve our away matches against the top 4. But the fact that we didn’t have or lost players like Walcott, Ramsey, Özil, Gibbs and Koscielny in some of these matches didn’t help us.
But City and Liverpool also need to improve in those matches. They even lost at home from Chelsea. And City have spent all the money they have, just as Liverpool did with the money they don’t have. Get the players fit for the top matches seems to be the key for us. Or having that wonderful magical striker that can win matches singlehanded? Is he out there somewhere? Well he sure doesn’t look to be around for any of the top teams in the PL.
If Chelsea win the league it will be based on their wins against the other top teams. If Chelsea doesn’t win the league it shows that you have to beat the other teams also. Interesting to see how this will end.