The Premier League is at a point where it will be decided by a single game. Manchester United currently sits atop of the table with 73 points, Chelsea second with 68, and Arsenal with 67. Grand Slam Sunday has passed us and we witnessed thrill in both games. Manchester United toppled Liverpool in a 3-0 game which saw Javier Mascherano receive what has been called a harsh red card. The thing in this case is it wasn’t a direct showing of the red, he had seen his second yellow. Fernando Torres had been booked and Mascherano ran 60 yards to complain about that yellow. He wouldn’t keep his mouth shut and he received his second yellow. I think that is totally deserving of a yellow. Chelsea has been described as a team that hounds the officials. Every time Captain John Terry or any other player hounds an official like that, they usually see a yellow. That is exactly what Mascherano got. He should have also realized that Ashley Cole had abused an official during mid-week and got away with it. He should have known that officials would be cracking down on such behaviour. Manchester United kept the majority of possession after that and their Portugese, Ronaldo and Nani, scored to give them a strong lead.
After that game, we witnessed something truly special. Chelsea had fallen 1 goal behind to Arsenal early in the second half. Chelsea is a team of true character, but we haven’t seen that character since Jose Mourinho left the Bridge. Chelsea was about to fall out of the Premier League Title race and drop a home unbeaten streak that has gone 76 games and 4 years. The last team to beat them at Stamford Bridge was Arsenal. Avram Grant made two changes and the supporters hounded him chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing”. Even I thought this was a little harsh, but I was beginning to believe it. Until Didier Drogba netted two goals and almost a third, as Chelsea took this match.
Arsenal has the roughest schedule out of the 3 clubs also. They face Liverpool three times in a week. They face Liverpool twice in the Champions League and once in the Premier League. They’ve had bad form of late dropping points to teams they should be beating. They are an inexperienced club and this is catching up to them. They are still young and they have Arsene Wenger, so they shouldn’t be too worried. They will win a title in the next couple of years and they are also in the Champions League still.
Chelsea has a decent schedule ahead of them. They have games against mediocre teams in the BPL and Champions League fixtures against Fenerbahce of Turkey. Their toughest opponent is Manchester United at the Bridge. Manchester United also faces mediocre teams in the BPL and a Champions League fixture against Roma. This Roma club is a much tougher opponent than the one they crushed last year in the Champions League. Manchester United’s toughest opponent is Chelsea in a game on the road where Chelsea hasn’t lost in 4 years. This is where the Premier League Title will be decided. It is here that we will see a victor crowned. Of course, Chelsea needs Manchester United to drop points in a few other fixtures and pick up points of their own in order for it to come down to this. April 26, 2008 will be the most important match in the Premier League that will end it for two teams. We will see out of these teams who will be victorious and eventually go on to win the Title.
The last time these teams have met was at Old Trafford just days after Jose Mourinho was sacked. Jon Obi Mikel received a red card in that match and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came down to a booking deciding these teams fates. This is the true test of character and class. Enjoy this match because we rarely witness a Title race so close where it comes down to one match.
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