Vintage Arsenal performance rips Liverpool to shreds

As I noted three weeks ago, the Top Four is the Top Four.

Millions of football fans said the same thing.

IT WAS OBVIOUS: Southampton, Liverpool and Spurs would not be strong enough to displace any of the Big Four.

A sunny Easter Weekend provided loads spectacular goals, especially those by Alexis Sanchez, Jermain Defoe, Charlie Adam, Bobby Zamora and Wayne Rooney

Arsenal thrashed Liverpool 4-1 to move up to 2nd place, as we figured.

They picked up where they left off before the international break, with plenty of slick passing, and three fantastic goals in 9 minutes at the end of the first half.

Leading roles are being played now by two players who were nowhere near starting games when this season kicked off: Coquelin and Bellerin.

Ramsey’s wide right role wasn’t working but then he played a nice ball into the run of Bellerin, who hit a beautiful left-foot shot inside the far post. What a goal!

A sweetly bending Ozil free-kick, 2-0.

Then Sanchez skipped past Kolo Toure and smashed a dipping thunderbolt over Mignolet. World class!


And in 90+1 minutes, Giroud sent a piledriver flashing into the far corner for 4-1.

Arsenal’s team performance and firepower made this the most impressive Premier League victory of the weekend.

And the most telling point in the game came early on when Markovic had a chance to put Liverpool ahead by shooting or giving Sterling a good pass.

He decided not to shoot and tried to give the onside Sterling an open goal.

But Markovic’s pass across the box was too hard and the ball beat Sterling. And I thought: Arsenal have five players who would have given Raheem a nicely-weighted pass there – Cazorla, Bellerin, Sanchez, Ozil and Ramsey.

At Stamford Bridge, Eden Hazard was the difference against Stoke, scoring the penalty and setting up Remy after Charlie Adam had equalised.

Earlier, the Scot has smashed his forearm into the face of Cesc Fabregas.

Will Charlie Adam get Goal of the Month? I hope so.

A driven shot from 60 yards? Having seen 12 replays of Charlie’s wondergoal, I concluded that Thibaut Courtois did well to get a glove to that ball as it went in.

An intelligent man, Courtois will be philosophical about ending up in the back of his net with his legs up in the air, joining a ball that has been fired over him from beyond the centre circle.

These things happen in football.

Not very often. But they happen.

Courtois will also have sympathy for Stoke keeper Begovic, whose suicidal throw-out was brightly intercepted by Willian to start the move that led to the winner.

Jermain Defoe is 32 and has played for five British clubs. It just seems like more.

He plays for Sunderland now and the Newcastle derby finished 1-0 after Defoe scored in 45 with a left-foot volley that has to be the most spectacular goal of his career.

I thought Bobby Zamora’s flicked goal in QPR’s surprising 4-1 at West Brom was j u s t superior to Rooney’s volley in Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.