Five Things Football Taught Us This Week
This weekend was another interrupted by the FA Cup, but there was still plenty of drama to see us through the week.
Tottenham Hotspur kept up their title challenge by seeing off Aston Villa, while Manchester City made a hash of beating relegation threatened Norwich City.
The cup brought its usual drama, with Diego Costa predictably being a bastard and Adlene Guedioura’s thunderbolt knocking Arsenal out of the cup they usually win.
But what lessons did we learn from the weekend’s action? Here are five:
Arsenal Are Still Arsenal
Seemingly not content with their league capitulation, Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford.
The Hornets were good value for their win, and their winner was straight out of the top drawer.
Guedioura’s strike hit the net at 80mph – the only thing quicker than Arsenal’s collapse since February.
Arsene Wenger is coming under increasing pressure after the Gunners were left facing a season with no trophies, and Arsenal fans even started fighting as they left the stadium to voice their disapproval.
In such an unpredictable season, it’s nice to know you can still rely on Arsenal to revert to form.
Manchester City Can’t Be Arsed Anymore
Much like Arsenal’s refusal to try and win the title, Manchester City have been equally poor of late.
Ever since Pep Guardiola was announced as the new boss from the summer, City have struggled and their latest showing against Norwich was woeful.
They managed only three shots on target in the whole game, and Guardiola will be fearing the job is bigger than he first anticipated.
City currently sit nine points off Leicester at the top of the table and face a fight to stay in the Champions League places, with West Ham United and Manchester United on their tails.
Jack Butland Is Just Like Any Other Goalkeeper
Since establishing himself as Stoke City’s number one ‘keeper this season, Butland has been one of the top performers in the league.
His form has had many pushing him to replace Joe Hart as England’s number one at this summer’s European Championship, but against Southampton he had a stinker.
Stoke needed the points to keep up their challenge for a European place, but Graziano Pelle’s header flew straight over him to give Southampton the lead.
The Italian then sent a tame shot towards goal 19 minutes later, but Butland somehow let it past him to double the Saints’ lead.
Marko Arnautovic pulled one back for Stoke in the second half, but the damage was done and Butland proved that he’s no different to any other goalie.
Spurs Didn’t Need To Rest Harry Kane
Heading into their Europa League clash with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night, many were surprised Harry Kane was rested against the German giants.
Spurs were subsequently hammered by BVB, leaving their European campaign all but over, and brought Kane back into the starting eleven against Aston Villa.
It made no sense really, seeing as Spurs could have played against Villa with a team mascot up front and still won comfortably.
Instead, Kane netted twice to keep up Spurs’ title challenge, but their Europa League run looks set to end on Thursday.
Diego Costa Is Still A Bastard
It’s fair to say Costa didn’t see eye to eye with Gareth Barry this weekend.
The Spanish international is as easy to wind up as a toy car, and Everton duly set about pushing the former Atletico Madrid striker’s buttons.
He reacted, going nose to nose with Barry before appearing to bite the England man’s neck in some sort of warped 50 Shades of Grey knock off.
Costa was then sent off, which was his first red card since signing for Chelsea – all other suspensions have come retrospectively, after video evidence.
That’s undoubtedly the fact of the weekend.