In this week’s edition of The Premier League Talking Points on Playing for 90 Co-Editor Kevin Kelly discussed the key talking points (besides those from the match between Sunderland Everton, which can be found here). We hear of Steven Gerrard’s equaliser in Stamford Bridge, while Manchester City hitting QPR for six; all that and more below.
Steven Gerrard Begins Final Goodbyes:
In a peculiar venue it seemed the long goodbye for Steven Gerrard occurred a week earlier than expected. While Brendan Rodgers comments of taking off the Reds’ captain because ‘he’d get an ovation’ were surely folly (despite Gerrard actually getting an ovation after all), genuine heartfelt comments by Jose Mourinho brought home for many the gaping hole of personality the Premier League will miss when Gerrard departs for Los Angeles in two weeks.
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The begrudged ovation from the Chelsea fans felt odd as a Liverpool fan – and Gerrard’s comical quip in the post-match press conference showed there’s no love lost between ‘the enemies of Gerrard and the Chelsea fans, but the respect is there. Next week Gerrard says goodbye to Anfield for the last time and the emotions will surely be on show for all to see. Having scored the winning goal against QPR last weekend and the equaliser on Sunday the Reds’ skipper has seemingly made sure everyone will have some lasting memory of positivity from his final weeks in a Liverpool shirt.
Manchester City Send QPR Down With No Mercy:
For anyone who had hoped Chelsea wouldn’t win the title this season for whatever reason, how frustrated would they have been watching Manchester City blow QPR for six on Saturday? Manchester City were in splendid form, ripping apart the Londoners without mercy, declaring their return to The Championship thanks to a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero, a mercurial display from David Silva, and a generally superb team performance.
Why couldn’t Manchester City play like this more often this season? A question likely to be posed by Manchester City’s owners this season, with manager Manuel Pellegrini probably going to be out of work in a month’s time. It seems worth pointing out that despite the improved goal scoring from Sergio Aguero this season, their goal tally as a whole is way down.
Last season City ended the Premier League with an astonishing 102 goals scored, while this season it’s down to a reality poor 77 scored with two games to go. It’s no wonder why the Blues’ haven’t retained the league this season and one would wonder how they address the goals issue this summer transfer window.
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Hull Plummet Dangerously Into the Bottom Three:
While our big match review dealt with Sunderland specifically looking to be safe from relegation, it was Steve Bruce’s Hull City who suddenly fell into an ever-deepening hole leading to The Championship. Losing 1-0 to Burnley on the day and dropping into 18th place with 34 points and two points from safety with a negative six goal swing with 17th placed Newcastle.
Looking at their next two fixtures are harrowing for all with a Hull City predisposition; they travel to London to play Spurs on Saturday while they end the season at home to Manchester United. While in theory both games are winnable due to the possible lack of motivation to win from their opponents, they still face a serious uphill battle to survive.
Following the game is was clear Steve Bruce is already clutching at straws: “When teams have nothing left to play for at the end of the season it is very difficult to get them motivated,” the Hull manager said. “You saw that with Tottenham at Stoke. Who would have thought Spurs would go down by three goals,” said Bruce.