Here is a quick round-up of what happened on a chaotic weekend of football and what it means as the season draws to an end. While nothing is certain just yet the picture is becoming clearer and clearer as the days go by.
Both Manchester sides recorded victories over the weekend, with United beating Sunderland and City hammering Newcastle United. Arsenal put four past Reading in Nigel Adkins’ first game in charge and his former team Southampton recorded and impressive win against Chelsea with some fantastic goals. Tottenham also scored two sublime goals against Swansea and held out for a victory at the Liberty Stadium.
Andy Carroll scored twice for West Ham as they beat West Brom and Wigan scored a late goal against Norwich to secure all three points. Kevin Mirallas scored a brilliant solo goal midway through the first half of Everton’s victory over Stoke and rivals Liverpool won Sunday’s only game despite falling behind to Aston Villa in the first half courtesy of a Christian Benteke volley.
What it all means
Well for Martin O’Neill this was the end of the line as he was sacked shortly after Sunderland’s defeat to Manchester United, and the Black Cats have since appointed Paolo Di Canio as his successor. At the top of the table the gap between 1st and 2nd remained at 15 points but there are now only 24 to play for which means United will secure the title with 3 wins and a draw. The Champions League qualification fight is now between 4 teams, with Everton having the opportunity to move within 3 points of third place Tottenham with a victory at White Hart Lane next weekend.
Wigan moved out of the relegation zone as they decided to start their normally late escape early this season and there are now only four points between 18th place Aston Villa and 12th place Southampton and only 6 points separating Villa with Fulham, who currently occupy 10th. This is sure to give QPR and Reading hope as they know a few key wins would haul half of the table towards them and their own fights for survival. They currently both sit seven points adrift of safety but Rangers travel to Fulham Monday evening.