Jai Singh takes a look at this week’s action.
City run riot at Anfield.
If there was any doubt as to where the title was going to end up prior to this weeks fixture, there surely can be no doubt anymore. Even though Liverpool were languishing in 4th, many still viewed them as the only threat to City this season. However, a 4-1 win highlighted the excellent form City are in, and the awful form Liverpool are in.
Goals from Gundogan, Foden and Sterling secured a convincing win for City, and Pep’s first at Anfield as a player or manager. It puts them 10 points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand, and all but ensures a third title in five seasons for City, securing their place as one of the Premier League’s greatest teams.
Defensive issues a problem for Manchester United
At half-time between Manchester United and Everton, the home side were 2-0 up. Dominate, the game was seemingly wrapped up, going level on points with City, albeit having played an extra 2 games. However, what happened after half-time would have only highlighted to United players, staff, and fans that they are far from the title challenge, at least this season.
A quickfire double at the start of the second half thanks to Doucoure and Rodriguez equalled the game before McTominay seemingly grabbed all 3 points. However, there was to be late drama as Calvert-Lewin scored a 95th minute equaliser after United failed at their attempt to defend a set piece, with Harry Maguire playing everyone onside.
It showed the defensive frailties that still exist within the squad. Results like these will bring United back down to earth and highlight to manager Ole Gunna Solskjaer that defensive reinforcements are required in the summer if they are to mount a serious title challenge next season.
Is VAR really the issue?
Another week, another VAR controversy, with Mike Dean at the centre of it all again. The decision to send Thomas Soucek off was one that everyone, except Mike Dean and Lee Mason, was the wrong one. However, whilst everyone seemingly complains about VAR ruining the game, is that really the case. Mike Dean sent off Soucek in ‘real time’, Lee Mason decided the evidence was inconclusive and Dean, having the luxury of replay, still sent off Soucek.
All this, as well as other poor decisions for the last 18 months suggests that the problem is not really the technology, but the use of the technology. Referees have been afforded the luxury of a second chance, to rectify their on the field mistakes. However, they continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Those in charge, whether it be the FA, the Premier League or the PGMOL, need to provide better training to the officials to ensure the same mistakes are not being made. Then and only then will we see the technology being put to good use, and the right decision being made more often than not.