Many phrases can sum up the current scenario – ‘It’s never really over till the fat lady sings’, or perhaps ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch’. This is not to suggest that Man United were, but if they were, they know now that they are in a title race; a genuine one at that. Chelsea’s controversial win over fellow Londoners Spurs had thrown the gauntlet at United, but Sir Alex’s men failed to respond as they went down against a spirited Gunners side at the Emirates.

Man City all but confirmed their place in next year’s Champions league competition when they got the better of relegation favourites West Ham. Mancini’s job looks secure now as he is set to break City’s trophy drought, in addition to bringing Champions league football to the Eastlands. Blackburn rovers ended their run of ten games without a win with a valuable win over Owen Coyle’s Bolton.

Kenny Dalglish’s revival of Liverpool FC is in full bloom now, as yet another win at fortress Anfield moved them above Tottenham on goal difference, with the latter yet to play at Anfield.

Dalglish aims to bring glory days back to Merseyside

The big Midlands derby produced plenty of drama as Wolves and Birmingham shared the spoils and picked up a crucial point each. Mic Mcarthy’s Wolves should have been looking for all three points as Birmigham found themselves down to 10 men for majority of the game. Blackpool and Wigan also earned a point each in home matches in their bid for survival, whereas West Brom continued their upward movement in the table.

Game Of The Weekend:  Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Carlo’s men did what they had to – win their game and wait for United to falter. However, the day began on a grim note for the Blues as Sandro’s thunderous strike gave Tottenham a scarcely deserved lead. However, with a goal’s advantage, Harry Redknapp’s side looked to have found their calmness, but disaster struck at the stroke of half time when Spurs goalkeeper Gomez pulled off yet another customary howler. Debate still rages on whether goal should have stood or not, no one knows for sure, but calls for goal line technology just got louder. It was a matter of an inch or two and it was perhaps beyond human judgment.

The second half began with the home side looking to force the issue, while Tottenham looked to hit them on the break.  In the dying moments of the game, substitute Salamoun Kalou broke the deadlock; replays, however, showed that the Ivory Coast front man was marginally offside and the goal should have been ruled out. The Stamford Bridge faithful couldn’t care less, nor should they, as they say luck favors the brave.  A fortunate victory for Ancelotti’s side, but their luck seems to be turning. Harry Rednapp and Spurs can forget Champions League qualification and focus on Europa League qualification that seems like a tough task in itself.

Ancelotti- Back in the business

Player Of The Weekend: Alex Song

The combative Cameroonian midfielder had the arduous task of man marking Man United’s inspirational striker Wayne Rooney. Song displayed ample courage and produced a quite remarkable display that almost made Rooney redundant to the United cause. Alex Song has always been rated highly in Arsenal circles and showed just why. He broke every United offense and quickly turned defense into attack with a measured display at the heart of midfield. Song’s performance was a throwback to the days of Patrick Viera; certainly the highest order of praise one can give him.

Alex Song- Backbone of the Arsenal

Honorable mentions should go to Liverpool’s dynamic striker Luis Suarez and West Brom’s in-form striker Peter Odemwingie, both excelled in their jobs as front men for their respective clubs.

Goal Of The Weekend: Sandro Thunderbolt Rocked The Bridge

Tottenham’s Brazilian import has found life in the premiership tough to be honest with his best performances coming in the slower, cagey pace of Europe. However, Sandro shook the whole of Stamford Bridge into disbelief with a mouth watering thirty-yard effort that rocketed past a diving Peter Cech into the top right corner.  Sandro’s effort was well worthy of a win, but Chelsea’s fight and some harsh officiating deprived him of the honor.

Nigel De jong’s effort against Avram Grant’s West Ham wins the consolation price.

Controversy Of The Weekend: Too Many To Pick One

The events at Stamford Bridge were controversial for sure, but those will be covered in a later section. Let’s visit North London for our share of notorious moments:

Nemanja Vidic’s blatant hand ball was the talk of the town after the first half at the Emirates stadium, but with Arsenal too getting away with a clear cut penalty for Clichy’s challenge on Michael Owen late on; both camps felt hard done by, equally.

Now, off to the Midlands:

At Saint Andrews, there was more controversy in store as Craig Gardner was sent off after a second yellow for deemed simulation. However, the replays weren’t conclusive enough, so how the referee decided to act in the manner he did remains a mystery. To be fair to Gardner, he wasn’t anywhere near the penalty box to be looking for an obvious advantage, some referees like to think that proving a point is more important than the point itself.

Embarrassment Of The Weekend: One Incident, Many Victims

‘Horrendous’ Gomes: When people think that ‘this’ one could be his worst howler, Gomes comes up with another one in the biggest of games. Few weeks after his error against Real Madrid, the Tottenham custodian was once again hiding his face after he fumbled a speculative shot from distance by Frank Lampard. The ball slipped through his hands and slowly crept towards the goal line much to the agony of Tottenham and Man United’s fans. Although the goal was wrongly awarded, the situation would not have arrived had Gomes stuck to the basics.

Mike Cairns: You might not have heard of him before, but you surely have now. The assistant referee, who adjudged the ball to have crossed the line, was in no position to do so but decided to make a wild ‘guess’ which was surely influenced by the Chelsea players and more so by the home fans. With the cameras focused upon him two minutes after the incident, he would be glad that the F.A. rules stops the media from asking the refs to explain their decisions.

Harry Redknapp: Surely, one man that would be feeling the embarrassment from within would be the Tottenham manager. With Gomes making the top 10 goalkeeping howlers on youtube his own special section, Harry is certainly letting the Brazilian fulfill his ambitions by selecting him for every game. Cudicini, who has been error prone himself, must be wondering what he has done to be considered worse than Gomes.

FIFA: Perhaps not. It’s hard to say that they would be embarrassed at all since they love football from the stone age. When is technology going to play a role in key title-changing decisions?

Headlines Of The Weekend: Title Race On, Back Off, Now Back On

Seriously, we should all know better by now. Just when we think that it’s all over in the race for the premiership crown, the team at the summit falters.

Chelsea looked to be cruising at the beginning of the league campaign, then suffered a major blip and seemed to have completely gone off the boil; however, this weekend’s results leave them firmly on the tail of leaders United. With a win at Old Trafford, Ancelotti’s Chelsea will astonishingly reclaim pole.

Man United have gone on through the season in almost cruise control, but the defeat at Emirates leaves them precariously close to second place Chelsea, Fergie’s men need to win next weekend so as to silence everyone once and for all.

Team Of The Weekend

Reina (Liverpool), Carr (Birmingham), Carragher (Liverpool), Koscielny (Arsenal), Cole (Chelsea), Song (Arsenal), Mulumbu (West Brom), Davis (Fulham), Silva (Man City), Suarez (Liverpool), Odemwingie (West Brom)

football formations

Race For The Golden Boot

Dimitar Berbatov – 21

Carlos Tevez – 19

Darren Bent – 16

Robin van Persie -14

Andy Carroll -13

Results Of The Weekend

Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United

Chelsea 2-1 Totteham

Blackpool 0-0 Stoke City

Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle

Birmingham 1-1 Wolves

Sunderland 0-3 Fulham

Man City 2-1 West ham

Wigan 1-1 Everton

West Brom 2-1 Aston Villa

Blackburn 1-0 Bolton