Here’s what happened in the Premier League this weekend, in case you missed it…
READ ALL ABOUT IT
WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Liverpool 3, Everton 1 || Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 2 || Hull City 2, West Ham United 1 || Southampton 0, Bournemouth 0 || Burnley 0, Tottenham 2 || Manchester United 0, West Bromwich Albion 0 || Leicester City 2, Stoke City 0 || Watford 1, Sunderland 0 || Swansea City 0, Middlesbrough 0 || Arsenal 2, Manchester City 2
WHAT STOOD OUT
Title race back on? It was never off
Relegation battlers Crystal Palace pulled off the shock of the weekend with its win over leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. That result, combined with Tottenham’s victory at Burnley, means the Blues’ lead was cut to seven points with 11 matches remaining.
So, it would seem the title race is back on after Chelsea were all but handed the crown by most pundits a few shorts weeks ago. In reality, the race was never off. Tottenham have been playing some inspiring soccer the past few months and have looked like legitimate title contenders. While Chelsea enjoyed a comfortable lead, Spurs stayed within range. Now, there’s a crack in the door, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men can walk through it and make things even more interesting.
Don’t kid yourselves—Chelsea is still the favourite to win the league. But 11 games are more than enough time for Tottenham to leapfrog them in the table. Chelsea hosts Manchester City on Wednesday and two weeks later visits Old Trafford for a date with Manchester United. Tottenham’s next three opponents are Swansea (away), and Bournemouth and Watford (both at home). If Chelsea trips up over their next three games, and Tottenham does what it’s expected to do, things may go down to the wire in the month of May.
Arsenal breathing sigh of relief but not quite on track yet
Philippe Coutinho scored a beautiful go-ahead goal for Liverpool against Everton.
Anfield honoured former Liverpool captain Ronnie Moran who recently passed away.
“We have to be there if Chelsea fail, and we are there. We are fighting for the Premier League.” – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Arsenal vs. Manchester City offered up four goals and plenty of excitement. You always had the sense that more goals were coming, too.
Swansea vs. Middlesbrough wasn’t especially entertaining, prompting this gem from James Sharman:
THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME
From an attacking perspective, Everton didn’t offer much at Anfield, and star forward Romelu Lukaku was especially quiet.
CRISIS CLUB OF THE WEEK: SUNDERLAND
The Black Cats lost at Watford this week, and look a sure bet to be relegated.
THE BIG QUESTION
Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:
SIX PACK OF STATS
• Everton’s Matthew Pennington is the fifth player to score his first ever Premier League goal in a Merseyside derby (Ferguson, Riise, Meireles, Naismith).
• Christian Benteke has scored in each of his last three Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, each with a different club.
• Andy Carroll is the 44th English player to reach 50 Premier League goals.
• Craig Shakespeare is the first English manager in history to win his first four Premier League games.
• Rudy Gestede has now gone 39 Premier League games without a win, the longest winless run in the competition.
• Arsenal have won the same number of points (51) after 28 games this season as they did in 2015-16, with the same record (W15 D6 L7).
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool: A man-of-the-match effort in the Merseyside derby, with a goal and an assist for the Brazilian livewire.
2) Danny Simpson, Leicester City: He set up both goals for the Foxes and posed a dangerous attacking threat down the right flank.
3) Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace: Scored one goal and set up another in the Eagles’ shocking win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.