BACK IN EUROPE
What in the world is going on here? So after being found guilty of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule and banned from entering any European Club cup competition for two years, the Court of Arbitration for Sport have decided to lift the ban and award City a fine of £9m instead. To echo the words of the special one “it’s a disaster”. The decision was reached on Monday and the initial fine was £25m along with the ban.
Now how City managed to pull this off we will never know although the mind does wonder. The fact is they will now be eligible to compete in next year’s champions league competition (I can only imagine how United, Wolves and Chelsea fans must be feeling). As far as manager Pep Guardiola is concerned, Manchester City deserve an apology (from who Pep?!!).
This ruling would mean any team this season with ambitions for competing in the elite league next year would need to qualify outright by finishing in the top four. The City saga is now officially not an option. Therefore the last 3 games of the current campaign now adds even more drama to an already eventful year. At this stage its quite difficult to ascertain who will finish in 3rd and 4th spot but there’s still all to play for.
Manchester United have been in scintillating form recently, and I have commended the midfield pairing of Fernandes and Pogba who have both been brilliant in the games they played together. The attacking prowess of Rashford, Martial and the young Greenwood also provide United with the fire power and goals to sustain a serious challenge for the top four.
Although the Red Devils missed an opportunity to go 3rd yesterday having drawn 2-2 against Southampton, I think they have the right momentum to finish the league strongly (not to mention they are still in the Europa League which provides automatic entry into the champions league for the winner). United went a goal behind in the 12th minute of play thanks to a goal from Armstrong. However, the home-side soon found the net in quick succession thanks to goals from Rashford and the in form Martial to put United 2-1 ahead. Ironically, Obafemi grabbed the equaliser for Norwich in what would have been dubbed “Fergie Time” after netting the the 96th minute of time added on. Ole has nothing to worry about as United dominated the game and am sure will bounce back in their next game away to Crystal Palace.
Spurs proved to be Kings of North London during the derby win against rivals Arsenal. There are a few fans and supporters alike that feel Tottenham have fallen off since the appointment of Mourinho. However, he extended his record against Arsenal by masterminding another victory. Arsenal played well and perhaps deserved more from the game. Lacazette had blasted the Gunners ahead with a superb strike in the 16th minute before Son responded with a neatly taken chip to level the scores at 1-1.
Both teams had great chances and hit the crossbar at different stages of the game. However, the day belong to Tottenham who sealed victory with a header from Toby Alderweireld in the 81st minute. Spurs had been disgracefully poor in their recent outing (especially in the stinker against Bournemouth) and that victory against their bitter rivals Arsenal is just want the club and supporters needed.
Leicester and Chelsea both dropped points having lost to Bournemouth and Sheffield United respectively. West Ham earned a well deserved victory thanks to individual brilliance of Antonio who netted four times for the Hammers, becoming the first player to do so for the club in the premier league. Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to a double from Trezeguet which gives them a glimmer of hope to remain in the top league and possible evade relegation. There were also wins for Man City who defeated Brighton 5-0 and Wolves who beat Everton 3-0.