With the business end of the season almost upon us, every game becomes important and this mid-week Premier League round had a huge impact on the points table with none of the top 4 teams getting a victory in their respective games. There were some closely matched fixtures and some grueling results.
Here are the talking points from the 28th Round of Premier League fixtures:
- Chelsea back into the top half:
An 11-game unbeaten streak under Guus Hiddink has seen the Blues move up to the 10th spot in the Premier League table. They were under pressure after Nathan Redmond’s goal threatened a Norwich comeback but were able to stay strong and take all three points to move up the table.
- Borini rescues a point and takes Sunderland out of the drop zone:
Just as an 8-minute brace from Wickham seemed to take the game away from Sunderland, Fabio Borini turned it on late in the game and fired home in the 90th minute to help his team to a point in their relegation battle. They have now moved out of the drop zone on a better goal-difference over Norwich City.
- Leicester drop two crucial points:
The Foxes were held to a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium as a 50th-minute equalizer from Gardner saw the Baggies steal a point from the league leaders. With the slip-ups of all the teams around them, they lost a great chance to go 5 points clear of Tottenham Hotspur. They are still at the top of the table with 57 points, 3 away from the London outfit.
- Villa need to play for pride:
Villa Park was void of any noise as Aston Villa were once again battered by a 3-1 defeat against the Toffees this mid-week. With 8 points still to cover, Remi Garde is running out of time and it looks like they are destined to leave the top flight this season. However, they will have to show up with some pride and play some good football for the rest of the season.
- The Cherries safe for this season:
Eddie Howe’s side stunned Ronald Koeman’s Southampton who were recently in some sizzling form. Bournemouth scored twice on the night ending a long streak of clean sheets for the Saints. This victory takes them to the 15th place with 32 points and barring any miracles, the Cherries will survive in the top flight next season.
- Hammers stun the title contenders:
Tottenham Hotspur who have been superb so far this season lost a great chance to move closer the top of the table when they lost to the Hammers by a solitary goal from Miguel Antonio. Slaven Bilic will now hope to take his team to Europe while Pochettino will have to hit back hard this weekend to stay in the title race.
- Magpies need some inspiration:
Stoke City pushed Newcastle further down the points table when they beat them 1-0 at the Britannia this mid-week. Shaqiri’s long-range strike in the 80th minute was enough to settle the tie as Stoke moved within 5 points of the Champions League spots. Newcastle now need some good performances to end the season on a high, else they might be missing out on top flight status next season.
- Arsenal slip up in title pursuit:
After the detecting loss at Old Trafford, the Gunners would have expected to make light work of Swansea City but the Irish outfit outplayed the home side and ran away with all three points leaving Arsenal 6 points away from the top of the table. Back to back defeats has now seen them lose some ground in the title race and they will need to bounce back in the next few weeks to stay at the top of the table.
- Juan Mata boosts United’s UCL hopes:
The Spaniard thumped in a sublime free-kick to give Louis van Gaal’s side all three points. This victory takes them level on points with City in fourth spot and a bit of consistency will surely see them get close to the Champions League spots come the end of the season.
- City ‘Boomed’ by Liverpool:
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described the 3-0 victory over Manchester City in one word- Boom. That summed up Liverpool’s performance on the night as Manchester City were clueless for most of the game. Liverpool whose revenge was vindicated are now just 6 points off City and United in 4th and 5th spots respectively.