Paul Parker

  • Lack of quality has cost United

    How did Manchester United get into a position where they will likely lose the title? Well, you can state the obvious and say the 4-4 draw at home to Everton when they let slip a two-goal lead late on, but there have been other glaring disappointments as well. Losing to Blackburn at home and away to Wigan were both terrible results while the 6-1 derby defeat to Manchester City certainly didn't help the goal difference.

    There is still a chance that Manchester City will mess things up by failing to win at home to QPR on the final day, but only a very, very slim one. United have paid the price

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  • Di Matteo set for final flourish

    Leading Chelsea out at Wembley for the FA Cup final on Saturday will no doubt be a very proud moment for Roberto Di Matteo, but the next couple of weeks will only be a final flourish in his brief career at Stamford Bridge.

    The final against Liverpool is a great opportunity for Di Matteo - and no doubt a huge surprise too. Having been sacked by West Brom not much more than a year ago, the Italian is probably pinching himself constantly now he has an FA Cup final and a Champions League final to look forward to.

    A great many managers go through their entire career without getting even close to

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  • Derby winners will lift the title

    Nani and David Silva

    This evening's Manchester derby has been billed as possibly the biggest game in the history of the Premier League. Given how close we are to the end of the season, with United and City still battling for the title, it is difficult to argue with that.

    It's great for the Premier League to be able to deliver a fixture of this magnitude at such a key stage of the season. It has certainly got the broadcasters and sponsors buzzing. This is why so many companies plough so much money into the English game, for the exposure their names will get at times like this.

    There are still two games to go after

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  • Superior spirit has Newcastle on course for fourth

    Papiss Cisse and Demba BaEveryone has at least half an eye on Monday's huge Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium, but there are plenty of other big Premier League fixtures to come before that potential title-decider this weekend.

    Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea are all chasing a Champions League place, and with them facing Wigan, Blackburn and Queens Park Rangers respectively, these are three fixtures with huge implications at both ends of the table.

    With Newcastle currently sitting in fourth, three points ahead of Spurs and four ahead of Chelsea with three games to play, you have to say that they are favourites to

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  • Ball back in City’s court

    Tevez is making a difference for CityAfter another pivotal weekend of results at the top of the Premier League table, I think that Manchester City now have the advantage in the title race.

    I would peg them as slight favourites ahead of leaders Manchester United simply because they have the momentum with them. Travelling to Molineux was not as tough a task as United hosting Everton, but in beating Wolves 2-0 after United had drawn 4-4 at home to the Toffees they have turned things back in their favour.

    United have lost to Wigan and let a two-goal lead slip against Everton in their last three games. City, meanwhile, have won their

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  • Chelsea must win, but can they without Drogba?

    Fernando TorresChelsea have to beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, it's as simple as that.

    They have to come fourth to get back into the Champions League hunt as there's far from any guarantee they'll get past Barca, let alone win it.

    Losing Mikel Arteta causes Arsenal a problem in their hunt as he's been their best player during their resurgence.

    But they have the easier run-in and, already five points clear of the chasing pack, third place is theirs to lose: if they avoid defeat against Chelsea, that should be that.

    However, losing at home to Wigan puts pressure on them — their good run could be

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  • Banning divers like Young is only way to stop them

    Young has won 11 Premier League penalties over the past two seasonsWhen I saw Ashley Young go down theatrically in the box under Ciaran Clark's challenge against Aston Villa on Sunday, my first reaction was sheer embarrassment.

    I felt embarrassed for Young for his brazen attempt to win a penalty, for all those watching the game who all immediately saw the incident for what it was and for the referee who was conned into giving it. I'm sure Mark Halsey will look back at the incident now, realise that he was tricked and regret the decision.

    People are always quick to denounce foreign players when they go down easily, but English players should not be immune from

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  • Complacent United got what they deserved

    Wayne Rooney and Manchester United after conceding to Wigan

    I was as surprised as anyone that Wigan managed to pull off a win against Manchester United during the week.

    But I have to say that United got what they deserved. You realised how bad United were when you saw how much possession Wigan had.

    For Wigan to get that much of the ball against anyone is a result for them, but against United must have surprised even Roberto Martinez.

    Maybe it's what United needed — they've been grinding results out and maybe complacency set in. Now they must realise that they must play their best - and put out their best team - in every match until the end of the

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  • Referees addressing media a bad idea

    Referees need a low profile in order to be do their jobs properlyThe Easter weekend fixtures saw some truly appalling decisions by referees in the Premier League.

    The penalty awarded to Manchester United for a 'foul' which saw QPR's Shaun Derry sent off and Branislav Ivanovic's goal for Chelsea against Wigan which was clearly offside were just two calls made by officials over the past few days.

    The spate of errors by officials led to some strong words from Mark Hughes and Roberto Martinez, and now Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish may well have talked himself into an FA charge after using words like "conspiracy" and "integrity" when complaining about recent

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  • League still the priority for Chelsea

    Chelsea may have a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona to look forward to but their top priority should be the bitter battle they face to qualify for the competition again next season.

    The most important thing is the Premier League and ensuring they finish fourth to reach Europe's top competition. It is all very well getting a glamour draw and then, after their inevitable defeat, saying they bravely fought against Barcelona, but they have to look at their league position above anything else.

    In their current situation - five points behind both Arsenal and Tottenham in fifth with

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