Super Sunday once again lived up to its name this weekend – with all three games offering high drama, exciting football and consequences at both ends of the Premier League table.
The biggest story of the day came from the Emirates Stadium, as Brighton hammered the Gunners 3-0 to end Arsenal’s title hopes with three games to go.
The early kick-offs saw the reigning champions, Manchester City, stroll past Everton to strengthen their title challenge, while Brentford overcame West Ham to stay within touching distance of eighth place and the final European spot.
Arsenal’s title hopes begin to fade away
“I think it’s finished [the title],” said Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville following the full-time whistle at the Emirates Stadium.
“It has been too much for them over the past few weeks. This moment was always going to come where Arsenal finds it difficult, and they haven’t been able to get through it.”
Gary Neville on Arsenal's defeat to Brighton 😬 pic.twitter.com/DdSWevnO1c
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 14, 2023
While not mathematically confirmed, the reactions of the Arsenal players at full-time painted the picture of defeat.
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard tried his best to pick his players up from the floor – however, there is a despairing feeling that the damage is done for the Gunners as they sit four points behind Manchester City with three games to go.
The Gunners started the stronger of the two sides but were pegged back late in the first half. Attacking midfielder, Julio Enciso, was left unmarked to nod past Aaron Ramsdale.
The Seasiders then took control in the second half with late goals from Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan, as their dream of European football came within the club’s clutches.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports that his team’s performance was “completely unacceptable.”
He said: “We have to apologise for the performance in the second half. It was not acceptable.
“Mathematically, it’s still possible but now it’s impossible to think about it. We need to digest the result and the performance in the second half, understand why, and have a different reaction.”
Manchester City strengthen their grip on their fifth title in six years
Arsenal faltering later in the day made the Cityzens’ dominant display at Goodison Park even more impressive.
With the Toffees still fighting for their Premier League survival, Manchester City strolled into Merseyside and put on a show for their traveling away supporters, winning 3-0.
A second brace in two games for Ilkay Gundogan either side of a close-range Erling Haaland header maintains City’s pole position for the Premier League title.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola could not hide his delight following his team’s performance and branded them “brilliant” as well as waxing lyrical about his German midfielder Gundogan.
⭐️ Player of the Match, @ManCity’s Ilkay Gundogan
42 touches, 6 in opposition box
Assist for Haaland’s 36th PL goal this season
2 shots, 2 goals, including his 2nd in PL from a direct free kick
300th appearance for the club pic.twitter.com/Zf8WGYHwzB
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 14, 2023
Guardiola continued by saying to the BBC “He (Gundogan) shows every training session his leadership, arriving on time, living the job.
“He can play holding midfield defensively too in games like against Burnley last season when you need physicality. He is so intelligent, so clever, and can handle the pressure really well.”
Brentford dominates London derby to keep in touch with European places
First-half goals by Bryan Mbuemo and Yoanne Wissa saw Brentford triumph over West Ham to leave them four points off the UEFA Europa Conference places.
The star of the show was Mbuemo who shone in the absence of the talismanic Ivan Toney. The Frenchman’s performance delighted his manager, Thomas Frank, who claimed to the BBC that he is a “fantastic player” despite “sometimes going under the radar”.
Bryan Mbeumo has now scored 7 Premier League goals this season. This is now his highest scoring Premier league season.
Busy. 🐝 pic.twitter.com/J6WCjSGEIq
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 14, 2023
West Ham are on the verge of safety even after defeat to the Bees. They remain six points away from the drop zone with only two games to go – however, the Irons have a much better goal difference than those around them facing the drop.