The standard of the Premier League might not be able to compete with LaLiga, but the excitement and entertainment sure does trump anything out there at the moment.
There is not enough column inches to continue to dissect Arsenal as a football club anymore, they are simply in limbo until Arsène Wenger is eventually moved on.
So here are five things – other than Arsenal – that were noticeable this weekend:
Chelsea’s Shameful Approach
There was a moment in the 74th minute, when Manchester City were only leading by a goal-to-nil, that Chelsea just stopped playing. They were set-up in two rows of five, watching the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and David Silva knock the ball between themselves as if they were on the school playground.
Pep Guardiola’s team did not need to win this game. Of course, it would be nice to extend their Premier League winning run total, but it was not a necessity – the title is already waiting for them. On the other hand, Chelsea did need to take points back home to London. They are embroiled in the race for the top four, but you wouldn’t have thought that judging by the way they were playing.
The lack of urgency and intensity from Antonio Conte’s men was staggering. It was borderline embarrassing. For a Premier League team, who are still the reigning champions, to perform in such an insipid and lacklustre way is shameful. Those players had no respect for their travelling fans and gave far too much of it to Manchester City.
Hats off to Carlos Carvalhal
The metaphorical speaker Carvalhal guided Swansea out of the relegation zone at the weekend with a remarkable 4-1 win over rivals West Ham.
Since taking over in late December, the Portuguese boss has reinvigorated a club that were struggling profusely and looked destined to be relegated back down into the Championship. Swansea are now playing the attacking style of football that fans have become accustomed to seeing over the years, and the South Wales team look much better for it.
That was Swansea’s seventh consecutive win at home in all competitions, which is a fantastic statement of intent from Carvalhal in turning the Liberty Stadium into a fortress.
The fight is not over just yet, but Swansea are looking in a much healthier position with the former Sheffield Wednesday boss at the helm and safety might be close by.
Why would Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois stay?
There has been speculation over the future of the two Chelsea Belgians for the past few months, with both stalling over signing a contract extension and remaining at the club.
At this moment in time, it is very difficult to imagine a scenario in which Hazard and Courtois do remain at Chelsea past this summer. And why should they? The Blues are showing very little ambition on and off the pitch in the transfer market, and the club is incredibly unstable right now with potentially missing out on Champions League football next season as well as their manager being relieved of his duties.
Chelsea might be in a position to offer them mega bucks, but who’s to say that Real Madrid won’t match, or even improve, those terms? These are two of the best players in their respective positions in the world – there are going to be a number of different top European heavyweights after their signatures.
Both players will want to make sure they make the most out of their careers, and it looks unlikely that Chelsea are going to be winning any major trophies with the commotion around the manager and the uninspiring squad they currently have. It would be within both their interests to demand a summer transfer.
Top Four Looks All-But Complete
With Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City, the top four is looking fairly secure as the season approaches with haste.
Guardiola’s City obviously have their place in next season’s Champions League secured, while Manchester United have the chance to go back into second with a win at Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
That would take José Mourinho’s men nine points clear of Chelsea, who are fifth, and so the Red Devils are likely to have cemented their place in the top four.
It looked for a moment like Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool were going to be at war with one another for the remaining two spots, but the Blues are now five points behind fourth-placed Spurs, a gap that is only widening based on current form.
Arsenal are well and truly out of the top four challenge and are destine for Europa League mediocrity once again. Chelsea might have been a surprise drop out to some, but their recruitment last summer, as well as in January, was clearly not to the level that was needed.
Heung-Min Son: One of the PL’s Most Underrated Players
Along with his teammate Mousa Dembélé, Son is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League this season.
He is the Wayne Rooney to Cristiano Ronaldo in the sense that he is willing to take a backseat role in order to maximise the team’s performances. However, saying that, the South Korean star still has 15 goals this season and nine assists, a very impressive reading from a player who doesn’t necessarily always start for the Lilywhites.
Son puts in an almighty shift throughout the game, covering an awful lot of ground in both an offensive and defensive manner, but he is also one of the most creative in the league and has nimble footwork to get the better of his opponent.
The former Bayer Leverkusen star is having the season of his life and is in a rich vain of form. Mauricio Pochettino will hope that Son can carry this forward and help Tottenham overcome Juventus in this week’s Champions League showdown at Wembley.