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Premier League: What we learned from gameweek 32

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Arsenal lost against Aston Villa this past weekend.
Arsenal lost against Aston Villa this past weekend. Photo/ Arsenal
  • We examine the key points that we took away from the Premier League weekend, which included mistakes made by Arsenal and Liverpool.

We examine the key points that we took away from the Premier League weekend, which included mistakes made by Arsenal and Liverpool and Manchester United’s failure to qualify for Europe.

Could United lose Europe?

Bournemouth V Manchester United.

Bournemouth V Manchester United. Photo/ Stratty News

Manchester United‘s attempt to finish in the top four has collapsed in recent weeks, and with a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, the team’s dreams of qualifying for Europe’s premier league seem long gone. Erik ten Hag’s club is 13 points outside the Champions League spots after going four games without a victory and one win in seven.

Still, should the Red Devils be watching too closely? Any kind of European football doesn’t seem to be a given for a team that is having trouble with consistency and output; their openness against Bournemouth has been a recurrent issue throughout the season.

Currently, fifth place wins a ticket in the Europa League, while sixth place earns a position in the Europa Conference League. Although Ten Hag’s team is not certain to place in the top seven, things might change if England is given an extra coefficient spot for the Champions League. Despite all of their shortcomings this year, Chelsea still has two games left to win to move above United.

Liverpool drop points


Liverpool. Photo/ Telecom Asia.

A string of losses has left the Reds in tatters. Liverpool’s Europa League home loss to Atalanta on Thursday was a major surprise, as the team failed to provide the kind of response Klopp had predicted at his pre-game news conference, losing badly to Crystal Palace.

In line with previous weeks, Liverpool was drowsy and nervous at Anfield, showing little conviction in the closing third. With just six games remaining, it is unlikely that Liverpool will overcome Manchester City based on their previous performance. Opportunities are still missing, and a defense that played well early in the season is becoming easier to attack.

If Liverpool doesn’t pull off a miraculous second-leg victory over Atalanta this week, the season may already be finished. With all of the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding Klopp’s farewell tour, it would be difficult to accept a practically meaningless season finale.

Is Arteta to be blamed for Arsenal’s loss?

For Manchester City, the weekend could not have been more ideal. The Citizens watched as championship rivals Liverpool and Arsenal both faltered in home losses after a convincing victory over Luton.

As Mikel Arteta’s squad lost to Aston Villa at the Emirates due to two late goals, Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the year. Despite having a strong start, the north Londoners were unable to break through until an outstanding Villa squad punished them with a devastating late double.

There was a feeling of déjà vu for Arsenal from the previous campaign. In the final stretch, Arteta made changes to his midfield for a home match against Southampton, starting more offensive player Fabio Vieira in place of Granit Xhaka, who was out due to sickness, and Jorginho. There were similarities to Arsenal’s match against Villa this weekend when they were outclassed in a wild 3-3 draw without those two players.

Kai Havertz, who has been playing so well at center forward lately, dropped into midfield, while Jorginho was left out as Arteta shifted his pack. It feels detrimental to the team’s chances of winning a Premier League championship for the first time in twenty years that the Gunners were unable to control the midfield fight at the Emirates against Youri Tielemans’ strong opponents. Based on previous meetings, Manchester City has gained a two-point lead and appears to be difficult to halt going forward.

Isak humbles Spurs

Alexander Isak.

Alexander Isak. Photo/ Sky Sports

Given how Isak scored twice when Newcastle defeated Tottenham 4-0 at St. James’ this past weekend, there were undoubtedly similarities between the legendary Arsenal player, Thierry Henry and Isak.

Isak embarrassed the highly-regarded Micky van de Ven by stepping inside the Spurs center-back and scoring the first goal. He possesses the composure, quickness, and balance to worry any defender in the competition. Isak’s second goal was confidence personified as he sprinted ahead and rolled a finish past Guglielmo Vicario. The 24-year-old has a calm demeanor when facing the goalie one-on-one.

Newcastle has to be ready for offers for a player who seems to have more development left in him. With 17 goals in 21 appearances so far this season, the attacker has put himself in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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