The penultimate weekend of the 2014-15 Barclays Premier League had a bit of everything in it. Despite Chelsea wrapping up the title a few weeks back, the race for the final automatic Champions league spots was still on between Manchester United and Arsenal. The Europa league spots are still up for grabs as well thanks to Liverpoola s shock loss. Southampton picked up a stunning win to go within two points of Liverpool and could yet surpass the Merseysiders.
Leicester City and Aston Villa will no longer have to worry about their safety after results elsewhere meant that the duo will be safe. However, Sunderland, Newcastle and Hull City are still in the mix. Here a few talking points from the weekenda s action.
Manea s hat trick was so quick, it might never be broken
When Liverpoola s legendary striker Robbie Fowler scored the fastest hat trick in 1994 against Arsenal, few thought it could be broken. Fowlera s three strikes came in four minutes 32 seconds and the fact that it was scored against Arsenal was even more laudable. However, Southamptona s Sadio Mane completed his hat trick in just below three minutes. Two minutes and 56 seconds, to be precise. Although the goals came thanks to some bizarre defending from Aston Villa, credit has to be given to the 23-year old Senegalese for taking his chances clinically.
Three minutes is a time period in which many teams would struggle to create one let alone three chances, so Manea s triple strike could be one of the greatest moments in the Premier league era.
Liverpool fans give a grand farewell to Stevie G despite a loss to Crystal Palace
It was a day when the Liverpudlians simply did not care about the result. With their charismatic captain Steven Gerrard making his final Anfield bow, the Kop wanted to give the living legend a farewell that he would never forget, and they did just that. For one last time, they were seeing a player who not only gave the side everything, but also to the city of Liverpool.
Crystal Palace showed a lot of class with a guard of honour for the 34-year old but were very brutally competitive on the pitch. Alan Pardewa s men were deserved winners on the day, but it was an occasion for Gerrard more than anything else.
Hull City look dead and buried
Steve Bruce had a huge task on his hands as his side travelled to face Tottenham. The tigers looked up for it and soon began the game like a top half team in truth. The build-up play was brilliant, but the finishing let them down once again. Both the Tottenham goals were excellently taken after Hull Citya s goalless domination.
To their credit though, Hull never gave up despite going two down. The final game against Manchester United will be their last chance to somehow slip out of the clutches of relegation, but even a win will be useless if Sunderland and Newcastle pick up three points themselves.
De Gea and Falcao might have played their final games for Manchester United
David De Gea and Radamel Falcao have had contrasting seasons at Old Trafford and both could leave once the transfer window opens. De Geaa s form has been so good that an inevitable bid from Real Madrid is lurking in the background. Falcao, on the other hand, has been awful. His hefty wages coupled with Monacoa s asking price could mean that Manchester United will not make his deal permanent.
The Colombian was taken off in the second half and his response pretty much showed that it was his last game. De Gea suffered a knock to his hip and could miss the final against Hull City.