The mid-week in the Barclays Premier League promised a lot of action and delivered more than it bargained for as teams from top half of the table found it hard to find a victory. Leicester City was the only team in the top 5 to get all three points while Arsenal and City lost ground in the title race.
Here are 10 things we learnt from this round of fixtures:
Can Villa kick start their campaign?
Remi Garde’s side finally got into double digits in the points table with a victory over Crystal Palace at home. They took all three points and moved to 11 point in the table but are still placed at the bottom of the pile. They will have to build on this result if they are to remain in the top flight next season.
The Cherries in trouble:
Bournemouth fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to the Hammers and are slowly staring at the wrong end of the table after a good start to the season. They have the quality to stay safe come May but will have to improve on their recent performances if they are to evade a relegation battle in the last few games.
A thriller at St James Park:
Manchester United travelled to the St James Park and took a 2 goal lead in the first half but Wijnaldum scored an equalizer in the dying moments of the first half a goal that set up a thrilling finish to this encounter. Even as Wayne Rooney gave the lead in the 79th minute an injury time goal from Dummet gave Newcastle an important point in the relegation battle.
Unlucky Swansea give Sunderland a life line:
After a series of bad results, Sunderland have moved up the table and are in the 18th position with a 4-2 victory over Swansea this mid-week. A straight red card for Kyle Naughton for a soft foul saw the home team down to 10 men as the Black Cats took full advantage and snatches three crucial points in their journey to survival leaving the Swans closer to the drop zone.
The Toffee’s hold the Citizens:
In a high profile match between Manchester City and Everton, the points were shared as neither team were able to break the dead lock. City will not be thrilled about the results as they now see themselves 3 points away from the top of the table where Arsenal and Leicester are comfortably positioned.
Gary O’Neil cost Norwich the game:
A senseless tackle from the experienced Gary O’Neil that saw him sent off in the first half against Stoke gave the home team enough impetus to go on and clinch all three points at the Britannia. This victory sees Stoke City move to the 7th place just 4 points away from a top 4 spot.
Long and Tadic ease the pressure on Koeman:
After an impressive start to the campaign, the Saint were not at their best in the recent games but put in a good performance against the Hornets and took all three points that sees them in the 12th place in the points table, two points below their opponents on the night.
Hiddink still un-beaten by Chelsea not where they want to be:
The Blues had every chance to take all three points from this game against the Baggies but a gritty effort from the visitors saw the points shared on the night leaving Chelsea in the 14th place just 6 point above the drop zone. They will have to start grinding results out if they are to play in Europe next season.
The Foxes continue their dominance at the top of the table:
R Huth headed in a late winner at the White Hart Lane to break the hearts of the thousands of fans in London on Wednesday. Both clubs were set to play out a stale mate but a lapse in concentration gave Huth loads of space in the penalty area as he gave Leicester all three points and took them to the top of table, level on points with the Gunners.
One of the matches of the season:
A see saw high scoring battle at Anfield ended in a deserving points for both teams as goals flew in both ends. Liverpool took the lead twice in the first half but needed a late injury time equalizer from Joe Allen to take a point as a brace from Giroud and a goal from Ramsey were cancelled out by Liverpool. This takes Arsenal to the top of the table level on points with Leicester.