After our last terrible results (Burnley & Chelsea), I really didn’t know what to expect. If we had lost it would have been about 59 years since we had lost three in a row to Arsenal. And six years since we had lost any three matches in a row. So was this match our recovery or does it show how far we’ve still got to go? I suppose the real judgement will come at the end of the season.
This result ends our run of 28 Premier League games without a draw – the third longest run ever without a draw from the start of a top-flight season. The good news is that Arsenal remain the only side in the Premier League yet to register an away clean sheet this season. To be honest I didn’t think they were particularly that good. Overall we had 60% of the possession. At least we played better against Arsenal than we did against Chelsea.
Our meeting between Arsenal and us, in the Premier League, have seen both sides score on 36 occasions – more than any other fixture in the competition. Another interesting fact, no fixture in Premier League history has seen more goals from penalties than the 18 between us.
Harry Kane has scored nine goals in nine Premier League north London derbies, eclipsing the eight scored by Emmanuel Adebayor. He also has scored nine of Tottenham’s last 12 Premier League goals against Arsenal. But where does all that leave us this season? At one point there was a ten point gap between us in third and fourth place. Now we’ve got United breathing down our necks and with their win over Southampton (who we’ve got next), it means they’ve reduced the gap even more, to three points. Arsenal have dropped to 5th place and only four points behind us. Chelsea, who beat Fulham, are in 6th position, and five points behind us (but they have a game in hand). So it is all to play for.
To be honest, I can’t see Chelsea or Arsenal getting those two spots. I think those two spots will go to United and us (in which order, is another question). But saying that, it doesn’t mean it is a done deal.
The games that are left for us are: Southampton and Liverpool away, then two home games: Brighton & Huddersfield. Followed by City away. Then at the end of April, we face the Hammers at home. We go into May with Bournemouth away, and then to finish the season off we’ve got a home match against Everton. Palace home game hasn’t got a date yet. We can’t guarantee we can win any of those games. On paper, the only two games that will give us any difficulty will be City & Liverpool, both away. I do believe we can get something from these games. It is the others I am more fearful of.
Out of Chelsea’s games, their difficult ones are Liverpool (a), and United (a). Arsenal have only one difficult game, and that is against United (h).
United have a hard run in. They’ve got Arsenal (a), City (h) and Chelsea (h).
My end of season prediction
1. Manchester City
Being an optimist I believe we can stay in 3rd. Now we must look forward, not backwards, and concentrate on what we can achieve. And don’t forget, we’ve also got the Champions league and I believe we can beat Dortmund in Germany, then after that the quarter-finals against whomever. If we get the luck of the draw, then anything could happen.
Willie Nelson, the Country and Western singer, famously said: “once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results”. I am thinking positive, as I hope you are; so, Champions league final and third spot in the League. Then next season, and in our new home (a home we shall call our fortress), the sky’s the limit.
I just hope I don’t wake up from my optimism, reality could kill me!
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