John-Carver

The Toon Army humiliation has no limits
It’s not quite a club record just yet, but Newcastle United’s eight consecutive league defeat was perhaps the most damaging of any league defeat for a couple of years. Leicester City led from the first minute and were comfortably the superior side throughout the game, not least after Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat were both sent off for the visitors. If the result was bad, the aftermath was devastating. John Carver publicly stated his anger at those players that saw red, suggesting that Williamson had no reason to make his second yellow offence besides doing it on purpose. If he was willing to make such accusations to the media, our imagination is blossoming at the exchanges that must have been had in the dressing room at full time! Carver will almost certainly be on his way out of the club, and he probably needs to go sooner rather than later as Sunderland’s surprise win over Southampton a couple of hours later now leaves just two points between The Black Cats, currently occupying third from bottom in the table, and Newcastle. With the club in continual disarray on and off the pitch, it’s no longer a stretch to picture the Toon Army being relegated by their fiercest rivals, which should terrify the Geordie faithful. JW

Arsenal can continue to raise eyebrows
As Arsenal notched up their 10th win in 11 games against Hull City last night and maintained the fantastic form that has made the North London side favourites to fill the second position just behind newly crowned champions Chelsea, critics across the league have begun heralding the Gunners as strong title contenders for next season. A comprehensive 1-3 victory over last year’s F.A Cup foes Hull City built on a fantastic run of form that has seen the Gunners drop only two points since their embarrassing 1-3 defeat at the hands of Monaco in the Champions League in late February. Currently sitting in third position with Man City ahead of them on goal difference alone, having played one more game than Arsene Wenger’s men, the Red side of London has been in brilliant form and now with the 70-point target attained and a top-four spot is all but secured, ambitions second place is there’s for the taking. BF

The relegation battle surely has its first casualties
The fight to avoid the drop has been an entertaining one to observe this season, such is the amount of teams involved, but following the weekend’s results it seems as if the fate has been settled for two sides. Away defeats for Queens Park Rangers (at Liverpool) and Burnley (at West Ham) have left them seven and eight points adrift, respectively, with just three games left for each to salvage some results. Even if either were successful in securing maximum points, they would have to rely on others above them getting next to nothing in their remaining fixtures. Burnley’s run-in of Hull, Stoke and Aston Villa isn’t the hardest on paper, but they simply have to win in Humberside this weekend to maintain any chance of survival and that requires goals, which they have lacked for some time now. QPR have winnable matches against Newcastle and Leicester to come but first they must travel to Man City and will be relegated if they lose there, so hope is faint for Chris Ramsey’s side too. JW 

Manchester United continue to look toothless
A third loss on the spin for Louis Van Gaal’s men has thrown a season that seemed to have been salvaged back into disaster, as the Premier League’s most decorated side once again open the door for bitter rivals Liverpool to claim that last, highly coveted, top-four spot. A 1-0 home defeat to a West Brom side still fighting for safety, summed up Man Utd’s at times gutless performances of the last few weeks. Dominant in possession and with all full time stats pointing towards a United win, the Red Devils were blunt and lacking in attacking impetus as Robin Van Persie missed a penalty and Radamel Falcao once again made a cameo appearance of less than 10 minutes. Without a win since their victory over the blue side of Manchester in mid-April and without a goal since that victory, Man United’s grasp of the last top-four, Champions League spot looks tenuous at best and with a meeting with Arsenal in less than two weeks, Van Gaal’s men will be desperate to gain some valuable points before the end of the season if they are to achieve their target of re-entering the European elite. BF

Chelsea are champions. I know, crazy right?
It wasn’t sealed with the most glamorous performance, but Chelsea are now mathematically the Premier League winners this season and deservedly so. The players and fans in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday would have cared little that it took an Eden Hazard dive and rebounded penalty to separate them and Crystal Palace, and if they did it certainly didn’t show at the final whistle. Jose Mourinho’s men played their ‘good’ football at the start of the season and have been tagged as ‘boring’ since – including Sunday – but no side showed enough of a threat to their title ambitions across the campaign, so who are we or anyone to complain? JW

Words by Joe Walker and Ben Fawcett