No let up for rampant Ramsey as leaders Arsenal go seven clear
Even in the form he is currently enjoying, and following some of the stick Welsh hero Ryan Giggs suffered at the Cardiff City Stadium last week, Aaron Ramsey could not have envisaged doing the Ayatollah with all four sides of Cardiff’s ground come 4.45pm.
But the Cardiff-born 22-year-old is having the season of his career so far, and after somewhat inevitably opening the scoring with a perfectly-executed header in the first half, his humility in celebration was appreciated and later rewarded by the Cardiff fans when they sang his name in unison as he finished proceedings with the third in 90th minute.
But while Ramsey, and the Cardiff love-in, will dominate the headlines, the fact of the matter remains that this was a comfortable and ruthless victory for Arsenal, at a venue where both Manchester City and United have struggled.
Arsene Wenger’s men now sit pretty at the top with a seven-point lead and are now 11/4 joint second favourites to win the title for the first time since 2004, with both Liverpool (8/1) and Chelsea (11/4) set to try and cut that down to four on Sunday.
City also play, having dropped out of the top four following Everton’s 4-0 demolition of Stoke. Roberto Martinez’s men scored all four goals in the second half, with Spanish teenager Gerard Deulofeu impressing while the Potters failed to offer any threat in attack.
Mark Hughes’ men now slip to 16th, just three points off the drop, with Stoke 6/1 to go down. On a day when the relegation outlook really began to take shape, crucial home wins for West Ham and Norwich helped their cause, particularly as it was over fellow strugglers Fulham (evens to go down) and Crystal Palace (1/10).
And while Tony Pulis would have preferred to make a better first impression, with Palace falling back to the bottom of the league following Sunderland’s draw at Villa, he at least knows he has time on his side to turn it round.
Martin Jol will not be offered the same courtesy, as the pressure on him mounts as they lost further ground in the relegation scrap, now three points away from safety after their crushing 3-0 defeat at Upton Park. Jol is now 1/10 to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.