It was easy pickings for Everton as they ran roughshod over Arsenal, emerging with a convincing 3-0 victory. Everton should topple Arsenal from the exalted fourth spot to qualify for the UEFA Champion’s League.The Toffees have a game in hand and have amassed 63 points. The stumbling Arsenal have 64 points with five matches to play.
Under Manager Roberto Martinez, Everton not only plays the beautiful game but players like Barkley, Lukaku and Naismith are excellent passers of the through ball, running into space and finishing with conviction.
Arsenal’s Wenger play the beautiful game but play mostly to feet and not much to space. Arsenal fails to have mid-fielders running off the ball and confusing defenders.
Ramsey has returned after being injured from Boxing Day. Ramsey runs all day, passes to space and runs into space, something that the other mid-field players simply do not do.
Giroud’s productivity has come to a screeching halt and Cazorla and Rosicky did not bother any of the Everton defenders.
The defeat to Everton dramatizes Arsenal’s poor performance against the top teams in the League. Last week they drew with Manchester City at the Emirates but it is an open secret that Manchester City does not play well outside of their home turf. West Ham vs. Liverpool
The small crowded West Ham field put Liverpool at a disadvantage. Neither Sturridge nor Suarez played well. Sturridge has not looked sharp for the last couple of games yet Liverpool eked out a 2-1 win to advance their chances of winning the EPL title this season.
Rodgers is quite a tactical genius. In the second half, he took out Coutinho and replaced him with Lucas Leiva and brought Sterling into mid-field. That move bolstered Liverpool’s mid-field. As Liverpool forged ahead in the second half, he pulled Sturridge, pushed Suarez up top and brought in Kolo Toure and finished the game with three central defenders.
The game next week between Liverpool vs. Manchester City will be a big factor in who wins the League. Manchester City does not play well on the road and if the three S's, Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling are in top form, then Liverpool should narrow the gap. The top teams have all played 33 matches with the exception of Manchester City. That club has played 31 games and has 70 points, Liverpool has 74 points and Chelsea has 72 points. Manchester City vs. Southampton
For a club with limited resources, Southampton can take great pride in the grooming of indigenous talent. They are a well-coached team and play superb football. In the first half, they dominated Manchester City.
It was not an easy victory for Manchester City but in the extra time of the first half, after being down a goal, Manchester City scored 2 goals in 3 minutes. They took charge of the game in the second half and cruised to a 3-1 victory. Chelsea vs. Stoke City
Chelsea against Stoke City halted their fall from grace. This was Willian’s best performance in a Chelsea uniform. He tracked back to disrupt plays, intercepted passes in mid-field and dribbled with pace on the Stoke City beleaguered defensive unit.
Chelsea has an uphill task on Tuesday against PSG, the French team. They lost 3-1 in the first leg of the Champion’s League but they are playing in their backyard and will have to thwart PSG from scoring and tally two goals themselves.
We are at the point in the season where the music that accompanies the Fat Lady is about to begin but there will be many surprises before the Fat Lady sings.
Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks