Liverpool and Manchester City will take it to the wire in the Premier League title race, whilst the relegation fight is shaping up. Here is a look at the Winners and Losers from the weekend fixtures. Bet on the Premier League here.
Manchester City retained their position at the summit of the Premier League table courtesy of Liverpool’s failed attempt to win the Merseyside Derby against a determined Everton. The Citizens have had a very busy schedule but they have always done enough to secure all three points. Their latest win came against Bournemouth who set out to defend from the word go, only to be undone by a Riyad Mahrez strike. The title race is now down to two great teams separated by a point, but with Manchester City enjoying the privileged position. If they don’t drop points until the end of the season then they will be in for a second consecutive title.
Chelsea made a step in the right direction to reduce the gap on Tottenham and Arsenal in the Premier League top-four race with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. This was another win for Maurizio Sarri, delivered in difficult conditions against highly motivated opponents. The decision by embattled Italian manager to restore Kepa Arrizabalaga to the starting lineup paid off big time following the incident in the League Cup final. The Spanish goalkeeper put up a very spirited performance to ensure that his team got all the three points and his manager will be happy with how he responded on the pitch. He will still continue to enjoy the trust of the manager who had every right to drop him following his refusal to be substituted.
Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United
Romelu Lukaku’s late winner eventually saw off Southampton as the Red Devils moved back into the top four. The Belgian striker has been on the sidelines since the arrival of Ole Gunner Solksjaer, and he did not waste an opportunity to impress his boss. The win was typical of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson as Lukaku scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game. He will have given his manager enough reasons to consider him for a starting position in the coming days, but most importantly they will be satisfied with how they have managed to turn around their season.
Liverpool lost an opportunity to maintain their two-point lead at the summit of the table after being held to a goalless draw by Everton. Jürgen Klopp and his men might blame the wind for their dropped points, but Manchester City have the full advantage of a title run-in owing to their loss. Liverpool, looked uninspired going forward and this will deal a huge psychological blow to their ambitions for the season. At one point, they were seven points ahead of Manchester City and if things go against them they will remember how they lost the opportunity to maintain their lead.
The relegation trio of Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield
The relegation battle has been a pretty interesting one and it was bad news for all three teams fighting for survival. Fulham were handed the defeat by Chelsea, whilst Huddersfield and Cardiff City succumbed to Brighton and Wolverhampton. Cardiff City are on 25 points in the table, two points behind Southampton, but a win could have seen them move up to 17th in the table. Fulham and Huddersfield are quite a distance behind and need a miracle to survive the drop come May. One thing for sure though is that the results from the weekend will have done more harm to their chances for survival.
Arsenal were left to rue two dropped points in the North London Derby against Tottenham following their 1-1 draw in the weekend. The Gunners were very organized in defence and were it not for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s missed a penalty, they could have bagged all three points. The striker came on for Alexander Lacazette but was unable to inspire his side even after being awarded a penalty.