Premier League witnessed yet another round of matches where teams gave their all to get a result and climb up the league table. Midweek fixtures have always had vital implications on the eventual outcome at the end of the season.
Gameweek 28 saw the top 8 sides in the league win their matches. This was one of those rare ocassions where almost all the teams in top half of the table came out as the winners. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United won away while Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton and Stoke won their matches playing at home.
There were no major movement in league places with Chelsea, City, Arsenal and United occupying the top 4 spot with Liverpool closing the gap quickly. Biggest winner of the Gameweek 28 for me were Aston Villa, who won 2-1 thanks to a late penalty by Christian Benteke. Villa’s win and subsequent losses for Burnley and QPR have given tim Sherwood some hope for surviving this season’s relegation.
All of these and much more happened in the Gameweek 28, here are the 5 things that we learnt from the pulsating midweek round of Premier League matches –
Campaign against Chelsea has gone on HOLD for now
I cannot exactly say what Jose Mourinho would make of all that happened at Upton Park where Chelsea were fortunate to come away with the 1-0 win, when replays clearly showed that Eden Hazard was in an offside position before scoring the only goal of the game.
In recent weeks, many decisions have gone against Mourinho (at least he thinks that way), so for a change a decision going his way must have pleased him and the entire Chelsea side. For now we can say that Campaign boys were on rest this week.
Liverpool keep marching towards the top 4
I would be willing to bet my mortgage on Liverpool finishing in top 4 based on their recent form and performances. Liverpool have not lost in premier league since the new year and have collected the most number of points as well.
Liverpool have the best attacking talent in the league. Their speed and decisiveness over the ball must be giving sleepless nights to those who are trying to fight for the top 4 place against the reds.
Do not count United out just now
Do Manchester United deserve to be in top 4 based on their performances? Perhaps not. But are they there? Definitely yes and they will stay in the run-in for the top 4 finish when the season ends in May. Van Gaal’s men know how to win matches, they proved it yet again by scoring the 90th minute winner against Newcastle.
No one should count out the red devils just yet, however, we will come to know a lot about United’s chances in next few weeks when they play the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Vincent Kompany is no-longer a definite starter for City
Yes, these were the words of Manuel Pellegrini after City’s 2-0 win over Leicester the other day. Kompany has been finding hard to replicate his form form previous seasons and rather surprisingly City skipper has looked to be trying too hard and lashing at the players while making tackles.
Kompany was benched in midweek game against the foxes and Pellegrini has made it clear to Kompany that if he wants his place back in the side, he will have to earn it. He will not get in to the team purely based on reputation or by being the club captain. I am wondering who will remain at City next season, Kompany or Pellegrini?
Alexis Sanchez breaks his goal-less run for Arsenal
Sanchez had not scored for Arsenal since 11th January in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Stoke. There have been suggestions that Ozil’s return has affected Sanchez’s form and influence in Arsenal’s side. All of that was put to rest when the Chilean scored a brilliantly finished goal against QPR and much like his early season goals, it ended up being the winneing goal for Gunners.
There is no questioning the fact that Sanchez’s form has indeed dipped in last few weeks but we can expect the Arsenal star to regain his best form ahead of their visit to Moncao in Champions League.
Special Mentions to Tim Sherwood and Mark Hughes for carrying their side to wins which was significant for their season. Aston Villa might have found their route-back to safety while Stoke’s season keeps getting better and better.