Premier League hits and misses: Emile Smith Rowe shines for Arsenal as Chelsea run into a familiar problem

Smith Rowe carrying the torch for Arsenal


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Chelsea within the Premier League

Mikel Arteta challenged Emile Smith Rowe so as to add extra targets to his sport after he scored his first of the season within the Premier League in Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Brom. It appears the message landed.

Three days later, the 20-year-old discovered the web once more, his early strike at Stamford Bridge proving decisive as Arsenal battled their strategy to three factors in opposition to Chelsea.

The purpose was no traditional – a scuffed end from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cut-back – however the way in which through which he compelled the essential error from Jorginho summed up what he brings to this Arsenal aspect.

Smith Rowe speeds issues up with the ball at his toes however he additionally leads their urgent with out it. “We worked on that in training this week,” he advised Sky Sports with a smile afterwards.

He didn’t get many alternatives to shine in an attacking sense. Arsenal had simply 32 per cent of the possession total. But the whole lot constructive went via him. There had been deft touches, intelligent passes, and even a nutmeg on Thiago Silva.


Emile Smith Rowe, who scored in Arsenal’s 1-0 over Chelsea, says getting victory over their London rivals was a actually vital end result

  • Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal – Match report, rankings, highlights
  • Race for Europe: Who wants what and remaining video games
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

These performances have change into a common sight since he broke into the aspect for the 3-1 win over the identical opponents on Boxing Day. And, for all Arsenal’s latest struggles, it’s value noting that solely Manchester City and Manchester United have taken extra factors than them within the Premier League since then.

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It has a lot to do with Smith Rowe, whose starvation and want, along with his appreciable high quality, had been obvious all through. In complete, he coated practically 12km. Even within the third minute of stoppage time, when others had been flagging, he had the vitality to dash again and slide deal with Reece James in entrance of the watching Arteta.

“He didn’t get man of the match but I thought he was the best player on the pitch,” stated Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp. “He made things happen and everything he did, he did with purpose.”

Arsenal should present that very same goal as they attempt to tie him all the way down to a new contract. Arteta has made no secret of the very fact his squad wants work this summer season. But Smith Rowe is somebody to construct round.
Nick Wright

Chelsea’s familiar ending problem


Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal was completely their very own fault and feels Jorginho’s mistake was a present for the Gunners

After Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday night, Thomas Tuchel alluded to a participant choice he regretted for the match. “I’m not happy with my line-up,” he advised Sky Sports. “It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!” Let the guessing sport start…

But in reality, even with the XI Tuchel fielded in opposition to Arsenal, that includes seven modifications from the win over Man City and with the FA Cup last simply days away, there have been nonetheless a lot of gifted gamers in blue shirts at Stamford Bridge.

The actual problem – the recurring problem, for Tuchel and Frank Lampard earlier than him – is Chelsea’s ending.

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Under the German, Chelsea’s defending has been distinctive. But it has wanted to be, with the Blues goal-shy on the different finish of the pitch and relying on all these clear sheets to edge tight matches. They rank seventh-bottom within the Premier League for conversion fee this season.

Jorginho’s error for Arsenal’s purpose put the stress on Chelsea’s assault to reply and they might not discover the of entirety. Kai Havertz had already blown a golden alternative with a one-on-one however, regardless of the late woodwork double-hit from Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud, Chelsea didn’t trigger a deep-defending Arsenal sufficient issues within the last third.

With over 73 per cent possession within the second half, Chelsea managed simply two photographs on the right track after the break. “We lack a bit of composure in front of goal, we lack a bit of precision,” Tuchel had advised Sky Sports forward of the match. Finding these two elusive traits is simpler stated than completed – however might hamper this Chelsea workforce within the lengthy run, except the problem is addressed.
Peter Smith

Title lastly gone however Man Utd should finish robust


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s 2-1 win over Manchester United within the Premier League

When the ultimate whistle sounds in Gdansk on May 26, no matter whether or not Manchester United get their fingers on the Europa League trophy, this may have been a season of development underneath Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

With a second-place end within the league on the playing cards, and having considerably diminished the hole to the champions, Solskjaer’s second full season has seen United re-emerge as a pressure able to difficult for the Premier League title for the primary time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Europa League glory would characterize an vital milestone within the improvement of this present crop of Old Trafford expertise, however solely due to the flexibility it has to propel United into their biggest problem of all.

For as good as profitable that first trophy could also be, a membership of Manchester United’s stature can’t be content material with the success in that competitors. Dethroning Manchester City to assert a first league title in what will probably be 9 years come the tip of subsequent season is the gauntlet positioned in entrance of Solskjaer.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says champions Manchester City have set the bar for the place his Manchester United aspect should intention to achieve

  • Man Utd 1-2 Leicester – Match report and highlights
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Even although it was solely a matter of time earlier than City had been topped champions, to have performed a function of their rivals’ coronation for the third time in 4 seasons can have harm Solskjaer and his gamers. How they reply to which will simply present a glimpse of what could be anticipated subsequent time period.

There should still be three Premier League video games earlier than the curtain falls on this most original of seasons, however that problem begins now. A runners-up spot within the league and Europa League success are the minimal requirement for Manchester United earlier than consideration turns to the final word ambition.
Jack Wilkinson

Rodgers works wonders with Foxes so shut


Brendan Rodgers congratulated Manchester City, after Leicester’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United confirmed Pep Guardiola’s aspect as champions

Brendan Rodgers was at pains to remind everybody Leicester’s scenario was in their very own fingers following defeat to Newcastle on Friday evening, however inside even he will need to have been considering, ‘right here we go once more’, as the Foxes threatened to overlook out on Champions League soccer for the second season in a row.

He is lucky that his aspect confronted a Manchester United workforce resting most of their key gamers for Thursday’s showdown with previous rivals Liverpool, owing to a packed fixture schedule even by this season’s requirements.

But you’ll be able to solely beat what’s in entrance of you, and they did precisely that. Rodgers described the victory as a “huge” one of their pursuit of a top-four spot, and with an eight-point hole now to fifth spot, even having performed extra video games than anybody round them, their place amongst Europe’s elite lastly appears near-enough safe.

The Manager of the Year award rightly is heading to Manchester, the place Pep Guardiola has led his workforce to the Premier League title and their first Champions League last, however the job Rodgers has completed is sensational.

We all requested whether or not the Foxes had missed their probability once they had been denied a top-four spot final yr. With some extra prudent buys, together with the extremely vivid prospect of Wesley Fofana, they’ve come once more, and look to have made it this time round.

A repeat efficiency of 2015/16 could also be a fantasy for Rodgers and his squad, however the consistency they’ve proven over the past two years, in distinction to extra conventional top-four occupiers, recommend a longer-term altering of the guard is underway.
Ron Walker

Ings solely getting higher – how can Southgate go away him out?


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace within the Premier League

Two probabilities, two targets. That is what you get with Danny Ings. No participant to have scored greater than 20 targets within the final two seasons within the Premier League has a extra lethal conversion fee than the Southampton striker – a whopping 32.08 per cent. To put that into context Harry Kane is working at a 24 per cent fee.

Ings’ return of 34 targets throughout that interval averages out at him scoring a purpose each 0.64 video games. Only Kane has a higher return over the previous two seasons.

  • Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace – Match report and highlights

The Saints striker’s ending was the distinction between the 2 groups on Tuesday. His first one was not even actually a probability both – a half-chance at greatest as he swivelled and completed like a world-class predator to seek out Saints a manner again into a match they had been struggling to make an affect on.

Ralph Hasenhuttl stated: “With Danny we are a different side because he makes the chances we need to score and sometimes also goals when you don’t think there is a chance. The first goal was fantastic from him. And this is why he is important for us.”

On his return from damage, it was a well timed reminder of his qualities with solely two weeks till Gareth Southgate names his 26-man England squad for the Euros. Apart from Kane, there isn’t a striker within the Premier League you’d relatively the ball fell to within the final minute of a sport than the Saints man. Southgate has a large choice to make. How can you allow a striker of his ilk at residence?
Lewis Jones

Toothless Fulham sum up their season


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Burnley’s win at Fulham within the Premier League

A merciless, ironic however on-the-nose tweet did the rounds in a few soccer statistical circles on Monday evening after Burnley relegated Fulham with a 2-0 win in west London.

“Burnley are the top scorers at Craven Cottage in 2021”, was the final gist, as the Clarets added to their 3-0 FA Cup win with one other couple of targets from Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood to seal the Cottagers’ destiny.

That summed issues up for Scott Parker and his workforce, who might have performed till Christmas with no assure they might mount the three-goal comeback wanted to realistically maintain their survival hopes alive.

Fulham have conceded solely 4 targets greater than Leicester, chasing a Champions League spot on the different finish of the division, this season. But they’ve netted solely 25 themselves, eight fewer than any aspect exterior the underside three.

  • Fulham 0-2 Burnley – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

They have by no means gone purpose loopy underneath Parker, and didn’t rating a hatload when promoted from the Championship final season, however whereas some relegations are advanced and troublesome to pinpoint, the explanation behind this one is clear to anybody who has watched Fulham this season.

Whether it is going to be fastened is one other query, and one troublesome to reply for outsiders. More worrying is that Parker – a man who might have been simply distributed with on the finish of a disappointing season – didn’t appear fully satisfied both throughout his post-match press convention, admitting “big decisions” must be made however refused to commit himself to being a a part of it.

The supervisor’s fundamental hopes had been to keep away from Fulham rising their fame as a rollercoaster membership, following a promotion or relegation in every of the newest 4 seasons.

Perhaps extra concern ought to go as to if the Cottagers make it 5 in a row subsequent season, one thing their very own supervisor seems lower than sure will occur.
Ron Walker

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