This week, the Premier League had some interesting matches that affected the point table at both ends. Leicester City, thanks to Huth and Mahrez took all three points and opened up a 5 point gap at the top of the table while Villa and Newcastle did well to take all three points in the relegation battle. Sunderland came from behind at Anfield while 10 men Southampton held onto all three points against the Hammers.
Here are 10 things we learnt from this weekend in the Barclays Premier League:
1. Leicester City firm favorites after win at Etihad:
The game against fellow title challengers, Manchester City for Leicester had all the makings of a crackling contest and the Foxes took all three points away from the home side. They now find themselves at the top of the table with 53 point, 5 more than Spurs in the 2nd place. Surely, Leicester City barring a drop in form are favorites to lift the Premier League title this season.
2. Swans still not safe:
The Irish outfit took just a point from the struggling Eagles this week and is in the 16th place with 27 points. They are just 4 points away from the drop zone and will need to find some consistent results to stay clear of the relegation battle come the end of the season.
3. Toffee’s finally winning games:
Everton have played some good football this season but have just not been able to string positive results together. Stoke City, who are in good form was a tough game but the Toffees took all three points from the Britannia and will be hoping for a European spot if the good run of results continues.
4. Villa showing resistance, Norwich might be going down:
Aston Villa have shown some great resistance in recent games and a 2-0 victory over the Canaries might go a long way in the relegations scrap this year. Norwich City are now firmly in the relegation zone, a point away from safety, but the run of games to follow might see the Canaries struggle for survival this season.
5. Kop walked out at 77, so did the players?
Mutiny was in the air at Anfield when the fans decided to quit the game at the 77 minute, as a protest against the raise in ticket prices for the next season. Liverpool were leading the tie 2-0 till 80 minutes, but an emptying Kop got to them as they let the lead slip and gave the Black Cats a point from this game. Even as a number of players expressed that the walk out was not an excuse, they cannot deny the fact that it had some part to play in the proceeding of the match.
6. Tottenham Hotspur in a realistic title challenge:
As one of the most consistent teams in England this season, Tottenham Hotspur did very well to take a point from Watford, a result that took them to the 2nd place in the points table, just 5 point off the leaders Leicester. Surely, an extended run of these results will see the Spurs in the midst of the title race at the end of the season.
7. Magpies move out of the drop zone:
Newcastle United spent big in the January transfer window and made a clear statement that they want to stay in the top flight next season. The results in the last few games has now seen the Magpies rise above the relegation zone and though they are safe just by a point, consistent results will see them play in the Premier League next season.
8. Koeman ecstatic as 10 men Saints do the job:
Wanyama’s red card early in the second half left Southampton defend a 1 goal lead against the Hammers this weekend. Some good defending from the back four and wasted chances by West Ham saw Koeman’s side take all three points and keep their European dream alive for next season.
9. Petr Cech deserves the title:
Arsenal were tested by the Cherries in the second half after the Gunners took a 2-0 lead and it needed an athletic Petr Cech to keep them in the game as the goal keeper gave Arsenal all three points on the night. The Gunners will have to do better and close off games if they are realistically challenge for the title.
10. Hiddink still unbeaten, Chelsea on the rise:
Ever since taking over as the manager from Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink is yet to lose a game with the Blues in all competitions. It looked like the record would be broken but for a late equalizer by Diego Costa against Manchester United this weekend. Both clubs played out a mid-field battle that hardly saw any chances on goal up until the Blues turned the screws in the final third of the game and almost got themselves all three points.
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