Title Race All But Decided As Relegation Battle Could Go To the Wire
With the title race all but decided, the bottom of the Premier League table is also starting to take shape as it heads into its final six weeks.
Crystal Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone, with a game in hand over Swansea, thanks to a memorable 3-0 win against Arsenal – whose own Champions League qualification hopes are quickly diminishing. Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic each scored as the Eagles recorded their third successive home win under Sam Allardyce.
Sunderland remain ten points from safety after a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford condemned the ten man Black Cats to their 21st defeat of the season and they now appear all but relegated.
Middlesbrough are also in trouble but were given a glimmer of hope after picking up a point from their 0-0 draw with Burnley. Steve Agnew’s side are now six points from 17th placed Hull City who sit outside the relegation zone, two points above Swansea, but both sides recorded defeats at the weekend.A wonderful Sergio Aguero goal, in which each Manchester City player touched the ball in the build-up, was the pick of the goals as the Tigers fell to a 3-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium, while a single Cheikhou Kouyate goal was enough for West Ham United to see of Swansea City.
Bournemouth were also sucked into the relegation battle after a 3-1 home defeat to league leaders Chelsea. An unfortunate Adam Smith own goal was followed by an Eden Hazard strike, before Josh King halved the deficit just before half-time. However, Marcos Alonso ensured the victory for the Blues with a sumptuous free-kick, maintaining Antonio Conte’s side’s seven-point lead at the top of the table.
Tottenham Hotspur’s attempts to catch Chelsea remain valiant, and their 4-0 victory against Watford ensures that they will be ready to pounce should the Blues unexpectedly slip up. Heung-min Son’s brace followed two sensational goals from Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
Meanwhile, Liverpool came from behind to beat Stoke City, keeping the Reds third in the table. Substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino each scored in the second half to cancel out Jon Walters’ first half header.
Everton ended Craig Shakespeare’s unbeaten start as permanent Leicester City manager with a thrilling 4-2 victory at Goodison Park. Leicester took a 2-1 lead inside just ten minutes when Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton cancelled out Tom Davies’ second senior goal. however, Romelu Lukaku netted either side of a Phil Jagielka goal to turn the game around.
Finally, West Bromwich Albion have now failed to win in their last three games since their 3-1 victory against Arsenal. Jordy Clasie’s driven effort clinched the only goal of the game as Southampton came away from the Hawthorn’s with a 1-0 win.