It’s pretty much impossible that things can be finalised in the Premier League after 29 or 30 games but wounds were inflicted this weekend that will be hard to heal. Some gaps were turned into chasms and others were bridged. Here I take a quick look at what happened and what it all means.
Last season the title was won in injury time of the final game but that scenario is looking increasingly unlikely this time round, as Manchester rivals City and United seem so far apart you could fit a continent between them. City lost to Everton in Saturday’s early kick off despite playing against 10 men for the last half-hour and United beat Reading in a cagey affair that ended the day’s action. The two rivals now sit 15 points apart with only nine games remaining and even Sir Alex Ferguson must now surely admit the race is over.
The three London clubs pushing for the final two Champions League places are now separated by only five points after a jaded Tottenham side played out a disappointing defeat to Fulham with former player Dimitar Berbatov bagging the only goal of the game. Bitter Rivals Arsenal moved closer to the top four with an impressive win away to Swansea and Frank Lampard scored his 200th Chelsea goal as they cruised to victory against West Ham.
Liverpool had European aspirations of their own as they travelled to struggling Southampton but suffered a massive setback thanks to an electrifying performance by the south coast club. West Brom moved to within a point of the Kop giants after a scrappy goalless draw away to Stoke.
With only nine points separating 10th place Fulham and the relegation zone any team in the bottom half has reason to look after their shoulder after a loss or two and any game played between these teams becomes a six-pointer.
QPR had a chance to finally move off the foot of the table as they travelled to Aston Villa, the team sitting just above the relegation zone, but lost a thrilling game thanks to a Christian Benteke goal with ten minutes to play. Wigan moved four points clear of the bottom two after a last minute Arouna Kone goal sunk Newcastle and now sit 3 points from safety with a game in hand. The final bottom half tie of the weekend saw Sunderland draw with Norwich, despite Canaries goalkeeper Mark Bunn seeing red with only half an hour played.
Here is a full list of the weekend’s results:
Everton 2 – 0 Manchester City
Aston Villa 3 – 2 Queens Park Rangers
Southampton 3 – 1 Liverpool
Stoke City 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
Swansea 0 – 2 Arsenal
Manchester United 1 – 0 Reading
Sunderland 1 – 1 Norwich City
Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 1 Fulham
Chelsea 2 – 0 West Ham United
Wigan Athletic 2 – 1 Newcastle United