Dear reader, before we really get into the nitty-gritty of the weekend action which sees the Premier League title-race go into the final weekend, let us just take a moment to laugh at the fact that Jose Mourinho is ‘believed’ to be considering an offer to take over as manager of Celtic.
Now, of course, Jose isn’t actually going to manage Celtic. There is more chance of him being invited back to Manchester United as club ambassador. What seems to be happening is that his agent, the lovely Jorge Mendes, has noticed that PSG have hardly finished the season on a high; losing to United, falling over the Ligue 1 finishing line half-drunk and losing to Rennes in some cup final in France has meant people (namely Mendes and his gang) have started questioning whether Thomas Tuchel wouldn’t be better off standing down and letting Mou bring his own version of anti-football to Paris.
You can imagine Kylian Mbappé and Neymar getting on board with that, can’t you?
But it is the offer from Celtic that is currently on the table. Dropping Jose into one of the most emotionally charged rivalries in world football sounds sensible, right?
Back to proper football.
Liverpool have taken the title-chase to the final weekend meaning ‘destiny’ will decide the destination of the Premier League, according to King Kloppo. Personally, I’m backing a late winner from Sergio Agüero to be the more likely deciding factor unless Jürgen is planning to give a debut to their U16 central midfielder, Delroy Destiny. (He doesn’t actually exist before all you Liverpool fans start getting on my back, again).
If Rafa Benítez was supposed to be asking his Newcastle side to step aside because, you know, he still has a house in Liverpool and everything nobody bothered telling Salomón Rondón. Rondón got a brace and up until the 86th minute, it looked City might be able to wrap it all up against Leicester on Monday night.
But Kloppo threw on Divock Origi and the Belgian scored a late winner again. Liverpool refuse to give in and City are going to have to earn every single ounce of the Premier League crown if they are to win it again.
More worryingly for the Scousers was Mohamed Salah’s head nestling itself into the Newcastle ‘keeper’s hip meaning he is now a doubt for Tuesday night’s Champions League dead rubber against Barcelona. And some people were still calling it a dive!
Tottenham Hotspur like to be innovative but even I struggled to buy into their novel way of resting players for the trip to Amsterdam this coming week. Spurs felt it wise to get two players sent off against Bournemouth so that Heung-min Son and Juan Foyth could be fresh as daisies against Ajax.
However, they didn’t think about the knock-on effect of having nine players left running around trying to do the work of 11. It was all clearly too much for Eric Dier who seemed convinced that he was meant to be one of the two pre-agreed to get a red card and was doing his damnedest to make it happen.
Credit to the young Cherries shot-stopper Mark Travers who became the youngest Premier League goalkeeper since Joe Hart. If the young Irishman can follow in Hart’s footsteps he too could be warming the bench at Burnley in a decade’s time.
Spurs have now lost seven of their last 11 Premier League matches. Luckily for them, they’ve turned out to be one of the two least rubbish contenders for a Champions League spot.
A goalkeeper registering an assist, a striker who has never scored for his club who have been relegated for a month and a broken corner flag pretty much sums up United’s end-of-season form. Simply put, if Scott McTominay is your most progressive attacking threat something has gone wrong. On the plus side, David de Gea wasn’t at fault for Huddersfield’s equaliser. Everyone else was.
It feels like the players got Ole Gunnar Solskjær the job and then forgot they still had to play football. The sad thing is the players who showed they could turn it on for long enough to get Ole in charge won’t get the chance to play for him for much longer. Jose looked up from the Celtic contract he is studying long enough to smirk.
And don’t forget, this new United regime gave Phil Jones a new contract. Phil Jones was once described as the modern-day Duncan Edwards. As someone suggested on Twitter, he’s not even as good as Eddie The Eagle Edwards. Mind you, when Ashley Young switched to centre-back for the final ten minutes at least Jonesy wasn’t the most comical defensive selection of the day.
It’s not all bad though, United fans. That point pretty much made sure 6th is yours. Let’s just hope Ole gets the ‘realistic time’ he needs to sort this mess out, eh?
Incredibly, that Chelsea team who have been rubbish all year (if you forget the fact they went unbeaten for the first couple of months) sit in third place today. They needed Ruben Loftus-Cheek to arrive late from the bench to inspire them but they did enough to see of FA Cup finalists Watford 3-0. Sarriball will be passing sideways in the Champions League next season and they head off to their Europa League semi-final second leg against Frankfurt in fine fettle.
A win for Arsenal at home to Brighton would have put them in a confident position with regard to a top-four finish. But that would have been too simple for the Gunners. Brighton approached the game with the care-free mentality that befitted a side safe from relegation and, despite being 1-0 down to a Yo-Pierre penalty, left the Emirates with a point. Glenn Murray, still hanging around the opposition area, netted their very own spot-kick after Granit Xhaka did what Granit Xhaka tends to do. Unless there is an eight-goal swing on the final kickabout of the season, Arsenal will not finish in the top four. I don’t think even Spurs can contrive to mess that one up.
It was a brave move by Uncle Roy not to pick Patrick van Aanholt against Cardiff City considering a Palace victory would send Cardiff down. PVA has scored the deciding goal that has seen a team relegated for the last three seasons, or so they tell me.
It’s safe to say that Neil Warnock was already planning for life after football, doing a live audition as a frontman of a retro 90s covers band as the cameras followed him to the dugout prematch. Unfortunately for Neil, the Cardiff fans, as well as the club itself, seem keen for him to stick around for at least another season after relegation was confirmed.
Martin Kelly did his best to take the relegation fight to the final day but Palace’s front three of Zaha, Michy B and Andros scored the goals to send Warnock’s team down. It was the best relegation he has suffered, apparently.
West Ham United beat Southampton 3-0 at the Athletics Stadium where Marko Arnautović finally showed up and Ryan Fredericks got the ‘perfect 10’ rating from a popular data company. Now, call me a cynic (I know, I know) but Arnie scoring a brace against a Southampton side so mentally spent managing to stay in the top flight following a big dose of Mark Hughes does not mean he is ‘back’ as an elite striker. By the very same token, West Ham’s right back did manage 100% in a few key metrics but if his opponent is literally on the beach thinking about next season it is little wonder that Ryan didn’t get dribbled past at any point, no? Get the perfect ten in a game that means something Ryan, then I’m listening.
Some forgot to tag Dendoncker in the Wolves WhatsApp group. Everybody knows that a Europa League qualification campaign means a shorter summer holiday and some pointless trips to Latvia or Norway so finishing 7th this season is not the greatest move. The Wolves midfielder netted the winner against Fulham and wondered why he was celebrating on his own.
Fulham gave a debut to the now youngest footballer to play Premier League football. Harvey Elliott was 16 years and 30 days old when he stepped on to the field. He was born in 2003. 2003!
And on that note, I’m off for a Horlicks.