Tuchel Humbled & Top 4 Race Heats Up

7th April 2021

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Let's hope Thomas Tuchel enjoyed his 66 days in charge of Chelsea where he was drafted in as 'overseas successful manager' to replace the sacked Frank Lampard, because his honeymoon period is over. It was quite a moment for Tuchel too as Chelsea went 14 games in all competitions unbeaten and went from almost mid table to a Champions League place in return. However Tuchel has finally lost as Chelsea manager, which of course isn't a terrible thing, it happens, but perhaps it was the way that it unfolded on Saturday which is more of a wake up call than the German was expecting.

Welcome to the Premier League where Aston Villa can stick 7 goals past the champions Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion in 19th place with 3 wins from 29 games can put 5 goals past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Baggies had managed 11 goals from 14 away games before the weekend and if you had backed them to win you could have got odds of up to 15.00. Maybe there was something in the game because the Baggies had put 3 goals past Chelsea earlier in the season with that game finishing 3-3. No matter, let's not hear the tired excuse that Chelsea had to play with 10 men for an hour after Thiago Silva was sent off, this Chelsea side are simply too good for that.

But what happened? Well West Brom attacked and every time they did they scored. Matheus Pereira scored two goals in injury time of the first half, at which point the Baggies were actually 101.00 to be leading by half time. Callum Robinson scored a brace the 5th goal was possibly the best of the lot. This stunning result still leaves Sam Allardyce's team with an uphill battle to stage one of the greatest escapes ever as they are 8 points from safety and still in 19th, but now, well, who knows? As for Chelsea they gave up 4th place to West Ham and also have the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham breathing down their necks.

Manchester City avenged their earlier 5-2 defeat at the hands of Leicester by beating the Foxes in a more sedate way, 2-0 to stay 14 points clear of Manchester United who came back from a goal down to beat Brighton. Are Liverpool back? The Reds beat Arsenal at the Emirates 3-0 to remind us they could be and they must be among the favourites to finish in a top 4 place. Liverpool's form away from home has stayed stable even when they imploded so they might be better judged only when they return to Anfield which they will do next weekend against Aston Villa.

Tottenham stumbled again and drew again to Newcastle after their infamous 1-1 draw earlier in the season. History repeated itself when Tottenham were 2-1 up but were clawed back for the draw. Manager Jose Mourinho has only won once in his last 8 trips to St James' Park. West Ham were the real winners this past weekend and the club are in 4th place one point ahead of Chelsea after they beat Wolves 3-2. The Hammers had taken a 3-0 lead just like they did against Arsenal a few weeks ago. On that occasion the Gunners came back to draw 3-3 and it did look like the same thing would happen again as Wolves pulled 2 goals back, but the Hammers never to let their stressful blood pressurised fans down, held on. The race for the top 4 is going to be epic, well let's hope so.

Odds to finish in the top 4: Leicester 1.44, Liverpool 1.91, Chelsea 2.10, West Ham 4.00, Tottenham 5.00

Premier League: Team of the Week: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Dias, Robertson, Mendy, Jota, Lingard, Redmond, James, Kane, Robinson

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