Premier League talking points: Man City crowned champions, Dyche and Rafa revel
Cian Carroll | 16 April 2018
Round-up of top-flight flash points from the weekend
Manchester United’s shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion handed the title to Manchester City on a dramatic Sunday of football.
Having only beaten City last weekend to delay their title celebrations with a remarkable comeback, United stumbled in the worst way possible.
Albion, under caretaker manager Darren Moore, shocked their hosts to win 1-0 and give their unlikely survival hosts a boost.
The Coral News Team take a look at the big weekend talking points…
City are deserved champions but need more of UCL tilt
Pep Guardiola will be hugely satisfied with his first English league title win. But he – and City’s owners – will be craving more.
Despite their lavish outlay in the last couple of seasons, the squad still needs a little more work to win both the league, and the Champions League.
Fernandinho is still in good nick. But the Brazilian is no spring chicken and more depth is needed in defensive midfield. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are top strikers but a different kind of forward is needed. Could Robert Lewandowski be a potential target?
One step forward, two steps back for United
Jose Mourinho will have been hugely disappointed with his team against West Brom on Sunday. It was a result – and a performance – that was far removed from the second half against City last week.
Having attack with verve and vigour for 45 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, the passive, pedestrian play returned against Albion. Mourinho has his work cut out to get this squad anywhere near Guardiola’s City team.
More major surgery will be needed in the summer with a number of likely new signings and exits. However, the pragmatic nature of Mourinho’s style of play is likely to leave plenty of grumbles around Old Trafford.
Ayew steps up to the plate again
Jordan Ayew seems to be a man for the big occasion. The former Villa forward equalised for the Swans against Everton to drag his side level and further away from the drop-zone.
Although the South Wales outfit remain just a place outside the bottom three, they are now five points clear of Southampton.
Ayew has been transformed under Carlos Carvalhal and has managed six goals under the Portuguese tactician. The Cameroon international’s explosive style of play – and his versatility – gives the Swans a bit of potency that other sides at the bottom probably don’t have.
Can Ayew continue to fire in the goals that will keep his side up? It’s looking more likely by the week.
Rafa and Dyche manager of the year candidates
Guardiola’s City may have sauntered to the title in style but Sean Dyche and Rafa Benitez have been pulling up trees lower down.
Dyche and Burnley are sat in seventh place just two points off Arsenal, and eight behind Chelsea in fifth. Incredibly, the Clarets are looking likely to qualify for Europe once Southampton don’t win the FA Cup.
And what a job Rafa has done at Newcastle. Newcastle’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal lifted the Magpies into 10th place. Despite looking like relegation candidates earlier in the season, the Spaniard has driven his charges on to an impressive 11 wins and eight draws from 33 games.
Both managers will undoubtedly rival the Catalan for Manager of the Year.
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