Premier League as it stands

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Does doing the math on who might clinch the Premier League title, who’s going to play in Europe next year and who’s going down leave you with a headache? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick look at how the Premier League shakes out – based on how things stand at the conclusion of Sunday’s matches.

Relegation

We’ll start with something fairly straightforward. First, Cardiff City’s 3-0 loss to Newcastle and Fulham’s 4-1 defeat at Stoke leaves both sides relegated. They thought they’d try to get some points docked from Sunderland, but that’s not going to work, so they’ll be spending next season in the second division.

Speaking of Sunderland, hold on tight, because things are about to get tricky.

The Black Cats host West Brom on Wednesday in a match with huge implications on the relegation battle. Because the Baggies lost to Arsenal in Sunday’s early match, they’re just three points above the drop. However, because Norwich have a -32 goal difference, it’s almost impossible that West Brom could be relegated. Still, a point against Sunderland on Wednesday would make them mathematically safe – and puts Sunderland into the same “they’re never going to reach us on goal difference” category.

However, Sunderland could still drop down. If the Black Cats lose on Wednesday, it all comes down to the last round on Sunday. That’s when Norwich play host to Arsenal, who’ve got nothing left to play for, and Swansea, who are safe, visit Sunderland.

Europa League

Because Arsenal are officially in the Champions League, Hull City claim a spot in Europa, regardless of whether or not they win the FA Cup. So 5th and 6th head to Europe’s second tournament – but next season, the winner gets a spot in the Champions League, so it just might become a bit more exciting.

Everton didn’t manage to beat Manchester City in Saturday’s late game, but because Manchester United lost to Sunderland, the Toffees are assured of a place in the Europa League.

Tottenham, however, seem to have tired of the tournament, and threw away their chance to take England’s final slot by losing 2-0 to West Ham. That means United, with two games remaining, can still slip into sixth. The Red Devils will need to beat both Hull and Southampton, while Spurs will have to lose to Aston Villa next Sunday.

Champions League

Ok, this one is simple: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will play in the Champions League next season. While the top three spots may not have fallen into place just yet, we do know that it’s Arsenal that will go into the qualifying round. Unless, of course, the Gunners manage to overcome the +18 goal difference Chelsea currently have over them (assuming Chelsea end up second, but if they don’t, it’s an even bigger gap Arsenal will need to leap).

Premier League Title

Deep breaths. Despite Liverpool playing Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City hosting Aston Villa on Wednesday, the title can’t be decided until Sunday.

Currently Manchester City, who beat Everton 3-2 on Saturday, are top, thanks to a better goal difference than Liverpool. The Reds could re-take the lead at Palace, but unless they score more than ten, a win over Villa will have City back top come Sunday.

As for Chelsea, well…they’re almost out of it. After failing to score against Norwich, all the Blues can hope for is that both Liverpool and City will lose this week. Should that happen, Chelsea, who are currently a point behind both sides, will still have a chance to sneak in and grab the title.

That means Chelsea will need to beat Cardiff, which should be simple enough, while Manchester City fall to West Ham and Newcastle beat Liverpool.

Anyone think Chelsea can still do it?

PL AT HALF: Chelsea battering West Brom; Liverpool, Man City up

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Goals? Where we’re going there are loads of goals.

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West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Chelsea

Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard assisted each other to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead, and Marcos Alonso‘s too back post goal off a Cesc Fabregas free kick has the boo birds out at the Hawthorns.

Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City

Claude Puel would’ve been pleased with the Foxes’ muster against the Premier League leaders, who lost John Stones to an apparent hamstring injury. But the 45th minute saw a terrific team goal from Man City, as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling moved the ball through traffic for David Silva, who slid across for Gabriel Jesus and 1-0.

Burnley 2-0 Swansea City

Jack Cork scored against his old side to complete a week which saw him earn his first England cap. Ashley Barnes has a goal and an assist as the Clarets are cruising at Turf Moor.

Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton

James McArthur and Wilfried Zaha gave Palace leads. Everton sandwiched a Leighton Baines penalty goal in between the Eagles’ markers thanks to an Oumar Niasse dive, then Niasse scored before half to level the score line.

Liverpool 2-0 Southampton

Mohamed Salah has two, including a wonderful 31st minute goal from distance to put the Reds in front of Saints at Anfield.

Bournemouth 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Callum Wilson has a pair as the Cherries continue their up turn in form.

Wenger believes Ozil, Sanchez will stay at Arsenal

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LONDON — Fresh from Arsenal’s first Premier League victory over North London rivals Tottenham since 2014, there was a spring in Arsene Wenger‘s step as he strode into his post-match press conference.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Arsenal’s boss saw his attack-minded lineup dominate Tottenham at home  as the Gunners secured an 11th-straight home win and sixth-straight of the 2017-18 season to breath new life into their season.

With a dangerous three-pronged attack of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette destroying Spurs’ usually rock-solid defense on numerous occasion, Arsenal gave a taste of what can be achieved this season.

Consistency is key for Arsenal but keeping Sanchez and Ozil is more important. Their futures at Arsenal remain uncertain with the duo free to talk to non-English teams in  January about a free transfer on July 1, with both likely to see what other clubs can offer them outside of the Premier League.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Wenger reaffirmed his belief that Sanchez and Ozil want to stay at Arsenal beyond the end of their contracts next summer despite the situation being totally out of his hands.

“The quality of the contract of the contract has to be good and enough for them as well, you know. I am convinced they love the club, they love the team but all the rest will be decided, when? I don’t really know,” Wenger said. “I’m not alone to master that. [Quality of the contract] is part of it. The whole thing has to be right, they have to be happy. I believe they love the club and they want to stay but there are other top clubs out there who offer good contracts as well.”

So, Wenger is bracing himself for Sanchez and Ozil to be offered big contracts from European giants as soon as Jan. 1 rolls around, then a barrage of transfer offers from other PL giants as they believe the duo will be available in cut-price deals. At this point, the Gunners must keep hold of the duo until the end of the season, even if it means they leave on a free.

With Sanchez scoring a cheeky goal, racing free on numerous occasions and forcing Hugo Lloris into numerous saves, his signature on a new deal is essential for Arsenal to haul themselves back into the top four on a consistent basis.

His desire and hunger was evident and he even had time to joke around in the second half, diving on his stomach to the delight of the home fans as he tried to slide towards a loose ball in the pouring rain in north London.

You can never question the Chilean’s desire but his displays have become more erratic over the past 12 months with this contract saga hanging over his head. Sanchez’s goal against Spurs was his first in 12 games against the so-called “big six” in the Premier League.

Ozil’s display yielded an assist and numerous eye-catching balls as Lacazette’s runs allowed Arsenal’s two contract rebels to have plenty of space in front of Spurs’ back three.

Wenger pointed to the fact that he has never once questioned their commitment and although Ozil and Sanchez’s futures remain uncertain, he believes they will continue to put their bodies on the line for the Arsenal cause.

“I know them well and I know when it is their turn to go on the football pitch they want to win a football game. They’ve shown their commitment again today. I’ve never questioned their commitment,” Wenger said. “They can have bad games but the problem is, but the problem is that when a player goes to the end of a contract and has a bad game everybody says ‘of course, because he goes.’ Their interest is to play anyway.”

Man City: John Stones limps off with leg injury

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One Man City center back took a yellow card in the third minute, while another is in even more trouble on Saturday at King Power Stadium.

John Stones pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury in the 28th minute of Man City’s visit to Leicester City.

[ MORE: Arsenal 2-0 Spurs | 3 things ]

Running stride for stride for Demarai Gray, Stones grabbed at his upper left leg and crumpled to the pitch.

Eliaquim Mangala replaced the improving English big back, and City will hope Stones’ absence isn’t as long as some hamstring ailments.

Defiant Pochettino: “Football was fantastic” in loss

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Mauricio Pochettino is defiant following Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal in the North London Derby on Saturday.

The Spurs manager thinks his team was pretty good in the loss, and it’s true that both Petr Cech and Shkrodan Mustafi intervened critically for the victors.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things ]

But overall Arsenal was better on the day, which makes Pochettino’s almost buoyant post-match interview a bit awkward.

“It was an even game in terms of shooting, on target, possession,” Pochettino said.

“I’m disappointed for the rest of my team. You saw what happened. I’m disappointed because the small details went against us. … It’s true that they scored and we didn’t but I’m very proud cause the football was fantastic.”

We won’t go as far as to say we watched different games — Pochettino knows a bit more about the game than us — but that’s quite a spin we doubt his players will buy. Back to work for Spurs with a visit to Dortmund before West Brom visits next weekend.