Aston Villa’s trip to Goodison Park was billed as the game Villa had to win to give them a serious chance of Premier League survival. But after a poor miss by Anwar El Ghazi at 1-0 was followed by a late Everton equaliser, is it curtains for Villa’s hopes of staying up?
With the club’s destiny out of their hands now, Villa supporters will be hoping for other results to go their way, on top of Villa getting results against both Arsenal and West Ham.
Bournemouth’s recent win against Leicester City had potentially looked to further erode away at Villa’s diminishing survival hopes, but the Cherries’ final home game 2-0 loss against Southampton this weekend has pretty much removed them from the equation.
Meanwhile, Watford is weekend, sacked their management team. With Nigel Pearson now gone, surely it’s unlikely to improve their chances against Manchester City and Arsenal in their final two games?
Back in the winter period the Pearson manager bounce had made Watford a team capable of beating Liverpool, Manchester United and Wolves. They have it in their locker to get points out of their remaining duo of tough games, especially if Manchester City have post FA Cup/end of season blues and Arsenal have one eye on the FA Cup final.
Pearson leaving though could have a big impact. If Watford lose their organisation and discipline, they could potentially suffer two heavy defeats against two of the league’s best footballing teams. This could cut into their four-goal superior goal difference over Villa, leaving Villa needing to win one of their remaining games to stay up (as long as Bournemouth don’t hammer Everton on the last day).
If Watford pick up a point before the end of the season, then Villa will need to pick up four and hope their win is by at least a couple of goals.
The truth be told, while the teams around them have self-destructed in fabulous fashion, to be on the safe side, Villa needs to take matters into their own hands and will probably only seal Premier League survival if they win their remaining two games.
At this stage of the game, it’s always better to have the points in the bag and not many outside of the Villa bubble will favour them to leap-frog Watford.
Villa will perhaps be spurred on going into their clash with Arsenal with the extra motivation of wanting to right the wrongs of failing to beat a 10-men Arsenal at the Emirates, after leading twice. If Villa were to win and Manchester City turn up and put a few goals past Watford, then Villa could go into the last day of the season, out of the relegation positions and with their destiny in their own hands.
Who’d have thought that was possible, after the disappointment of Goodison Park.
After the Everton game, team MOMS discussed the match and licked our wounds (see above to listen and check out Episode 109 for the full show)
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