Showing that in an alternate universe, Tottenham actually defeating West Ham United last Friday would have still meant less than nothing at all, Chelsea took care of business against Middlesbrough Monday afternoon. In doing so, they cemented one thing: Boro is going straight back down. Of course, said victory also put the Blues just one more away from claiming the English Premier League title.
And guess what? They didn’t have try all that hard on Monday either.
Three goals is what they had to show for their efforts, but it could have been six. Or seven. Maybe eight. The difference in quality between the two sides was (and is) just so staggering, it’s no surprise that Boro is going right back down to the Championship. What is surprising is the fact that in the year 2017, Brad Guzan is a top-flight starting goalkeeper in England in meaningful matches. (Well, not really anymore but… A suitable backup? Sure, for cup matches against lower league sides or something. But starting goalkeeper, particularly when your teams NEEDS to win to stay afloat? There’s got to be a better option out there.
Of course, Brad Guzan isn’t the reason Middlesbrough are going down. It’s just hard to ignore that all three goals went straight through his legs on Monday. The second and third goals in particular were… less than stellar efforts from the supposed shot-stopper.
No, this side is going down because they are terrible. Their defense was more or less okay for most of the season. I mean, conceding 48 goals isn’t all that bad for a relegated side. But scoring 26, the fewest in the EPL, is nothing close to okay. Winning just once away from home isn’t ideal either.
So for now, their suffering is over. Until next season, when they have to try and come back up all over again. But what else did we learn from the EPL weekend?
- Crystal Palace will be fine (despite their complacency in recent weeks).
- On a related note: stop trying to manufacture excitement in a relegation race that has already decided two of its three sides’ fates.
- Arsenal isn’t finishing top-four. (Or they are, while also winning the FA Cup. Who knows?)
- On a related note: stop trying to manufacture excitement when the only thing the EPL has going at this point is: Who will finish fourth? It’s okay; just try to enjoy what’s left.
- When will Gylfi SigurA�sson find a better club?
- Manchester United’s impressive unbeaten streak came to an end; what do they have to show for it? Fifth placea��showing that not losing is good, but winning is a little more important. Of United’s 14 draws so far, 10 have come at Old Trafford. Yikes.
- Sunderland was all over Hull City this past Saturday, prompting the question: WHERE THE HELL WAS THAT ALL SEASON, DAVID? Sorry, sorry…
- Liverpool is going to lose in the UCL playoff next season, aren’t they?