Arsenal may have ended Man. City’s league title hopes early. The season was supposed to run down to the final match-ups between the two Manchester clubs. But after an impressive streak that sparked in January brought them to the top of the chart, Manchester City lost to Swansea in a shocking 1-0 upset back in March.
That may have been the catalyst in a tragic downfall. City went on to beat struggling Chelsea, but then tied Stoke City and Sunderland, and most recently a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in a very controversial match. Arsenal forwards Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna were on point as Arsenal brought a total of 13 shots, five on goal. City put up a mere six total shots with none on goal.
Mario Balotelli was the highlight, or low-light of the match, first for his tackle on Alex Song with his spikes knee-high (video below). The tackle was missed by the referees, but Balotelli would later be carded for bookable offenses, forcing City to finish the game with 10 men. Balotelli, only age 21, has had many twists in his career lately, with Sunday’s match marking his another red card on his season. His behavior has Mancini alleging that the Italian star could be at the seasons sold, though his agent is confident he will remain there next season.
While Manchester City follies, their rivals retain an 8-point lead in the Premier League. Two of the last three games this season are head-to-head. Unless Manchester United quivers in their next few matches, City may be too far behind to make anything of their back-to-back weekend match-ups.
With Norwich upsetting a struggling Tottenham side, Newcastle oversteps Chelsea and now sits tied with Tottenham in the 4th slot for the time being. Chelsea looked ready to advance into the fourth position behind Arsenal, but a late goal at Fulham by Clint Dempsey ruined their chances. Dempsey has announced he will put off any contract discussions with Fulham until the end of the season. Many fans believe he will be drawn to a bigger club for next season, but given that he has become the face of the team, it is too early to tell where he might end up.
SPAIN | With Real Madrid tying an impressive Valencia, Barcelona moves two points closer after their 4-1 victory over Zaragoza. Madrid goalie and Spanish Team Captain Iker Casillas demanded his teammates not dwell on their tie, as they still must focus on remaining games to secure a very reachable La Liga title.
The race for third position in La Liga is proving to be a competitive, tight race down to the wire. With the top three teams advancing to Champions League and the fourth qualifying, teams are contending for the third table. Malaga currently leads Valencia by one point, and Levante by two.
ITALY | Meanwhile across the Mediterranean, Juventus capitalized on a AC Milan defeat at the hands of Palermo, two to zero. Mario Balotelli who was omitted from the friendly roster against the United States, has not yet been announced for the EURO 2012 roster for this summer.