The Premier League season takes on many different twists and turns from the first minute until the very last, which is hardly groundbreaking news. This time around, though, it feels like the drama of England’s top flight is on a whole other level. That’s mainly down to the variety of permutations that are still on the table, as the majority of clubs still have something to play for. Today we’re going to see two more high profile games that could shape a lot of different things this season, but before that, we need to take the time to talk about what happened at the King Power Stadium.
One step forward, two steps back
Arsenal came into today’s game knowing that a win over the Foxes would pile the pressure back onto the shoulders of Chelsea, Manchester United and potentially even Tottenham in the race for the top four. They came off the back of disappointing results against Crystal Palace and Wolves, sure, but they needed to put that to the back of their minds. All that mattered was the ninety minutes of football against Brendan Rodgers’ men: and they blew it.
Maitland-Niles’ red card certainly didn’t help matters, but even with that being the case, they probably should’ve given Leicester more problems than they actually did. We can go on and on about the key areas in which they need to improve in, but at the end of the day, this just feels like a case of things getting to be a bit too much for Arsenal from a defensive standpoint. Fans wanted to pretend like all of their issues had been sorted after their poor form in the middle of the season, and yet here we are.
Leicester, on the other hand, aren’t going to be giving up on seventh place without a fight. They have the toughest schedule by far out of the teams who are left in that hunt, and yet, they appear to be brimming with confidence. Rodgers has been able to put together a team worthy of taking this race all the way to the end of the season, and even if they fail, they’ve got a great base with which to build on for next season and beyond.
Arsenal fans, astonishingly, will still think they’ve got a chance of finishing in the top four, mainly because either Chelsea, Manchester United or both will be dropping points later today. The worst-case scenario for Emery’s men is easily a Chelsea win, but even if they do get the three points, they’ll need to remember that the Europa League is also a great entry point into the Champions League for them.
The pressure is pretty much off for Leicester because either way, they’ve had a great second half of the campaign.
These are the kind of margins that we deal with in this game, and yet, you’ll still find a lot of people betting on Arsenal to be playing UCL football next season. For now, let’s just wait and see how this all plays out.