This weekend hasn’t settled anything mathematically in the Premier League, but tomorrow’s game between Manchester United and Aston Villa can settle things at either end of the table. A United win will mathematically secure this season’s title while a Villa win will relegate QPR and Reading simultaneously.
The real fight at the top of the table is between four teams aiming for Champions League qualification and all four teams were in action. Everton are surely out of the race now after defeat at Sunderland but it’s still so wide open above them that I don’t envy the person tasked with predicting the final standings. Tottenham looked to be suffering from yet another end of season slump and with 25 minutes left to play against Manchester City they found themselves 1-0 down, and surely out of the race. But in a barely believable seven minute spell the game was turned completely on its head, as was the fate of their season. Arsenal made sure the battle was still a tough one with a win at Fulham in a game that saw two red cards and an even rarer occurrence, an Arsenal goal from a set piece.
The other team battling were Chelsea, who were sitting in the driving seat before the weekend began. They travelled to Anfield to take part in one of the more eventful games of the season, a game that assured Luis Suarez would remain in the headlines for the wrong reasons. The ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Uruguayan scored a last ditch equaliser, but not before trying to take a bite out of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
At the foot of the table are two teams that needed victory more than anyone, it was all or nothing for QPR and Reading and unfortunately both got nothing. Their opponents, Stoke and Norwich respectively, eased their own relegation worries as a result and I think Newcastle will be safe too after their draw away to West Brom. So who does this leave us? Aston Villa and Wigan. While Villa play Manchester United tomorrow night Wigan suffered at the hands of West Ham despite dominating possession to a level that will worry fans. The Hammers were clinical and efficient, which is why they currently sit in the top half of the table.
The final game of my round-up was played out by two of my favourite teams to watch in Europe, and I really mean that. Swansea’s brand of attacking football has, at times, this season left me shaking my head in disbelief, as has Southampton’s pace moving from back to front. This philosophy has rewarded The Swans with silverware this season and The Saints with Premier League survival. This game was almost inevitably played out without any goals, but both teams can now look forward to really building something special next season in England’s elite league.