Chelsea look at another week on top of the league table as Arsenal are held to a draw which holds them back by a point from achieving their title ambitions. Week 26 brought about joy, sorrow, jubilance and dismay to many a fan of the Premier League.
The race to the top has never been so intense. With just 7 points separating the top 5 teams and 5 points the bottom 5, every match matters. Even a draw could decide whether a team finishes top or face relegation. With every passing week the match results only bright the teams nail-bitingly closer to each other. All teams have but one thing common, which is 26, the number of games they all have played (Save Manchester City, Everton, Crystal Palace and Sunderland). With just 12 weeks left to Football fans can only wait to see what happens at the end.
Mixed Feelings for Londoners
Some say Premier league starts in London and ends in London. The Current league standing reflects just that. Chelsea lead the league table while their City rivals Fulham are struggling at the bottom. Of the six London sides two celebrated victories, two were held to a draw, one narrowly lost and the last left the field without playing having their match postponed.
Chelsea Fc had two things to look forward to in their battle against West Bromwich Albion. One was to increase their lead at the top of the table and the other was the introduction of the new signing Salah. However only one wish was fullfilled, the Blues were held to a draw by West Brom with a late equalizer by Victor Anichebe to negate Ivanovic’s goal. The London side had just reached the top position and this was soon under threat as their draw ensured the gap between them and their city rivals Arsenal was only a mere 2 points. A victory at the Emirates would make sure Arsenal reclaim their top spot.
Arsenal on the other hand faced their longtime rivals Manchester United. The Red Devils have struggled all season and had just come from an embarrassing draw against Fulham. Arsenal too looking to recoup from a Liverpool thrashing played their heart out only to leave with a point each. West Ham United leapt from 15th place to 11th with a goal each from James Collin and Mohammed Diame against Norwich City.
Liverpool’s narrow Victory and the Sherwood Show
Liverpool played host to Fulham FC who were brimming with confidence after stealing a point against United. With Holtby their new signing showing glimpse of brilliance their hopes were high. Kolo Toure awarded them with an own goal and gave them the lead in little over 8 minutes. However a magic ball from Gerrard to Sturridge saw Liverpool equalize in the 41st minute. Richardson later brought one back for Fulham and restored the lead. A brilliant move from Coutinho and a late Gerrard penalty saw the Reds take home all three points much to the disappointment of Fulham.
Tottenham reveled a 4 nil thrashing of Newcastle United and inched closer to the top four with an Emmanuel Adebayor brace. A dispute as to who churned out a better performance between Paulinho and youngster Nabil Bentaleb was only overshadowed by a sensational goal by substitute Nacer Chadli who came on as a Substitute for Aron Lennon. Crystal Palace remained the only London team who didn’t play a game as their match against Everton was postponed due to bad weather.
In and Around the United Kingdom
In other parts of the Country, Southampton beat Hull City by a solitary goal from Fonte in the 69th Minute and maintained their unbeaten run to 8 matches. With that loss Steve Bruce’s men dropped two places from 11th to 13th. Elsewhere in Wales Cardiff City and Aston Villa played each other to a goalless draw which saw the Welsh side sink to a lowly 19th position. Stoke and Swansea faced each other for a mid-table battle which saw them share a point a piece with goals from Peter Crouch and Chico Flores. Manchester City were unable to play against Sunderland as their game was postponed and are yet to find out if they can leap frog Arsenal.
The Match Scores
- West Ham United 2- 0 Norwich City
- Hull City 0 – 1 Southampton
- Cardiff City 0 – 0 Aston Villa
- West Brom 1 – 1 Chelsea
- Stoke City 1 – 1 Swansea City
- Arsenal 0 – 0 Manchester United
- Newcastle 0 – 4 Tottenham Hotspur
- Fulham 2 – 3 Liverpool
- Manchester City vs Sunderland – Postponed
- Everton vs Crystal Palace – Postponed
Player of the Week
Stevie G showed everyone why they call him a legend in the Liverpool Camp. Not only did he churn out an utterly exceptional performance he added to it an assist as well as a goal. All that was missing from his show was a cup victory. Gerrard has adapted very well to his deeper midfield role under Rodgers’ and has only improved his performance match to match.
Team of the Week
No Manchester City, Sunderland, Everton or Crystal Palance players have been included as they have all not played in this week.
Goal Keeper – David Marshal- has been said to have won the points for Cardiff with his world class performance and stunning saves against Villa. However the other contenders for this position Adrian Castillo’s performance is also worth a mention.
Defence – The Arsenal trio Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Keiron Gibbs looked solid against United and earned their Spot in the Team of the week. Ivanovic’s solid defending and goal completes the back four.
Midfield – Steven Gerrard’s man of the match performance ensures he plays in the deep playmaker role. Paulinho and Bentaleb’s performance against Newcastle was something to witness, the Spurs Duo were at the top of their game, Calum Chambers yet another promising youngster from Southampton churned out a fantastic performance,Pablo Hernandez was Swansea’s most promising player. His cross for Chico Florez was what earned a point for Swansea.
Striker – Adebayor was the most successful striker of the week scoring a brace. His new found form finds him as the Striker for the Team of the Week.