Remarkable Sunday sees two sackings in the Premier League
Written by First Choice Radio on 2 April 2023
Wins for Arsenal and Manchester City meant there was no real change in the title race at the top of the Premier League, but it was a different picture further down the table.
Chelsea dropped into the bottom half following a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa and that proved to be the end for head coach Graham Potter who was sacked on Sunday evening.
Here, the PA news agency looks at what we learned this weekend.
To the wire?
Manchester City’s impressive 4-1 win over Liverpool was their seventh in a row in all competitions, a sign that Pep Guardiola’s men are perhaps positioned for another of those irresistable season-ending runs that were key to their title triumphs in 2018-19 and 2021-22. But if City are putting pressure on Arsenal, it is not showing yet – they responded to the lunchtime result by putting four past Leeds to restore their cushion at the top. With Arsenal due at City at the end of the month, this has all the makings of another Premier League title race that could go to the final day.
Liverpool must rebuild
While City celebrated at the end of a second half which they utterly dominated, Liverpool faced more questions over where they are headed. Jurgen Klopp shrugged off questions about a potential red card for Rodri by saying his side would probably not have beaten 10 men either, and the huge gap that has opened between the two teams in the space of a few months was obvious. Liverpool’s 7-0 rout of Manchester United earlier this month was an exception, a flashback rather than a rebirth, and it is clear huge decisions must be made at Anfield this summer to reshape a squad no longer capable of challenging on multiple fronts.
Sunday saw Brendan Rodgers’ four-year reign at Leicester come to a premature end as the Northern Irishman left the King Power Stadium by mutual consent – the 11th Premier League manager to lose his job this season (not counting Graham Potter leaving Brighton for Chelsea). Potter made it 12 just hours later when he was sacked by Chelsea. The decision to sack Rodgers came after Saturday’s late defeat to Crystal Palace made it six games without a win and put Leicester into the bottom three. Rodgers brought the FA Cup to Leicester and was twice within one win of Champions League qualification, but injuries and the failure to refresh an aging squad has left the club fighting for survival.
Another frustrating day for Chelsea ended with the Londoners sinking into the bottom half of the table after a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa. It was a familiar, depressing story for Potter, with the Blues dominating play and having a string of big chances, but for the fourth time this season they failed to score and suffered defeat at home. This latest loss cost Potter his job. More than £550million has been spent on players since Todd Boehly’s takeover last summer, but among the long list of new faces, there is not what is needed most – a reliable goalscorer – and that will be a problem faced by the new man in charge.
Fulham paying a price
Marco Silva and Aleksandr Mitrovic this week issued public apologies for their actions in the FA Cup meltdown at Old Trafford before the international break, when three red cards in 40 seconds saw the Cottagers blow a lead to lose to Manchester United. But signs that the full cost of the day have not yet been paid were seen in Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth, the sort of game Fulham simply must be winning to maintain their European ambitions. Mitrovic does not yet know when he might return with the Football Association pressing for a longer ban than the usual three matches, while Silva is awaiting a personal hearing after which he could also be suspended.
Published: by Radio NewsHub