By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 32
- Full results
Easter weekend brought plenty of Premier League football to get stuck into along with your eggs, and as usual Britwatch sports is here to breakdown the top stories from match-week 32.
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Manchester City Can Beat Manchester United For The Title
When Manchester City moved 16 points clear of their neighbours Manchester United, it was revealed that the Citizens could be in a position to win the title when they face the Red Devils at the Etihad stadium.
It turns out that this is exactly the scenario we will be getting when the two rivals meet for the final time this season next weekend, adding a little spice to a rather one sided Premier League title run. There is no doubt that City will go on to win the Premier League, but can they do it by beating their neighbours? It would be quite the story.
Manchester United may not be fighting for the title anymore, but they are aiming to cement themselves as the ‘best of the rest’, so a 2-0 win against Swansea did their bid no harm at all. Romelu Lukaku netted his 100th Premier League goal to give his side the lead after only five minutes. Alexis Sanchez would score his second goal for the club just 15 minutes later as the hosts dominated the early proceedings. Swansea improved after half time, but they failed to really threaten a United side that was always in control.
City needed a win to be on track to win the title next week, and predictably they won easily away at Everton. It took only four minutes for City to slice open the Toffees’ defence when Leroy Sané scored the opener. Gabriel Jesus would make it two by finishing off a slick counter attack just minutes later. Raheem Sterling would make it three before half time, putting the game beyond a poor Everton side. The Toffees did grab a consolation through Yannick Bolasie, but it did not affect the result.
Manchester City are now one win away from the Premier League title, meaning a win against Manchester United next week will see them claim the Premier League title.
Spurs Break Stamford Bridge Curse
Heading into Sunday’s clash against Chelsea, Tottenham had not won at Stamford Bridge in 28 years. It became known as the curse of Stamford Bridge as despite some close games, the North London club could not get past their rivals at their home ground, until now.
It looked like the Blues were going to continue their unbeaten run here against Spurs when Alvaro Morata gave them a deserved lead after half an hour, but the goal seemed to Spur the away side on. Christian Eriksen’s lopping long range effort found its way in off the crossbar right before the interval.
Tottenham came out the better side in the second half, and two goals from Dele Alli had them dreaming of that elusive Stamford bridge win. Chelsea threatened a few times late on, but they could never get back into the game. Spurs closed it out to claim their first win at Stamford Bridge in 28 years, their first since the inception of the Premier league.
However, the 3-1 victory was more than just breaking a curse. Tottenham increased the gap between themselves and Chelsea to seven points, near enough guaranteeing Mauricio Pochettino’s side another crack at the Champions League next season whilst damning Chelsea to the Europa League next season.
There Was No Revival For The Bottom Three
Easter weekend proved to be a terrible on for some of the sides battling relegation, but in particular the bottom three. Southampton, Stoke City and West Brom all suffered defeats over the weekend, leaving all three sides with a mountain to climb to save themselves from relegation.
West Brom remain bottom of the table after losing at home to Burnley 2-1. Ashley Barnes opened the scoring with a spectacular volley after 22 minutes before Chris Wood would add a second after 73 minutes. West Brom threatened a late comeback when Salomon Rondon scored with seven minutes to go, but he could not prevent the hosts from suffering their eighth straight defeat.
The Baggies are 10 points from safety with just six games to go. They are all but relegated at this point, and they might have to think about possible life in the Championship. Burnley are still dreaming of European football next season as they remain five points behind Arsenal.
Things did not go much better for Southampton who were condemned to a 3-0 defeat at West Ham. It was a fine performance from the Hammers who returned to the London stadium for the first time since the pitch invasion. Two goals from Marko Arnautovic and one from Joao Mario saw the Hammers move clear of the relegation zone and keep Southampton 18th.
With their closest rivals falling to defeat, Stoke had the chance to boost their survival hopes when they travelled to the Emirates on Sunday. Things looked promising after a good first half performance, but as the full time whistle sounded they had suffered the exact same fate as the rest. Two goals from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty saw Arsenal run out 3-0 winners thanks to a late flurry of strikes that leave Stoke 19th in the table.
Salah Stays On Golden Boot Course
Another week, another goal for Mohamed Salah. Despite going behind to Crystal palace, the Egyptian helped Liverpool turn the deficit around and secure a 2-1 victory by scoring the winning goal on Saturday at Selhurst Park.
It was the 29th of the campaign for Salah in the Premier league, putting him five clear of Harry Kane in the top scorer charts. The English striker returned to action on Sunday, but his injury has given Salah ample opportunity to all but seal the Golden boot.
The Egyptian is also chasing a Premier League record 34 goals in a single campaign. He has five to get in the six games remaining, and given his form it would be not shock to see that record broken come May.
The win has kept Liverpool two points behind Manchester United in second, and with Jose Mourinho’s side away at Manchester City next weekend, the Reds could leapfrog United into second by beating Everton.
What Else Happened?
Newcastle all but confirmed their status as a Premier League team for next season with a crucial 1-0 win at home to Huddersfield. The Magpies now sit 12th in the league, seven points above the relegation zone. Huddersfield are still well in that fight however, being only three points ahead of Southampton.
Brighton will still have to look over their shoulders after a 2-0 loss at home to Leicester. The Seagulls are six points clear as things stand, which should be enough but nothing to be comfortable about.
Watford and Bournemouth played out one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. The Cherries struck late to earn a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road, and put an end to Javi Gracia’s 100% home record as Watford manager.
Predictions Round Up
It was quite the succesfull week for both of our writers. Usually 13 is enough to win the week, but Neil’s good score was bested by Niall’s 18 for the week. The gap is now only nine points with still plenty to play for.
||Actual Score||Neil (218)
|Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool (3)||Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool||Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool (1)|
|Brighton 1-0 Leicester||Brighton 0-2 Leicester||Brighton 1-1 Leicester|
|Man United 2-0 Swansea (3)||Man United 2-0 swansea||Man United 2-1 Swansea (1)|
|Newcastle 1-0 Huddersfield (3)||Newcastle 1-0 Huddersfield||Newcastle 2-0 Huddersfield (1)|
|Watford 2-2 Bournemouth (3)||Watford 2-2 Bournemouth||Watford 0-0 Bournemouth (1)|
|West Brom 1-2 Burnley (3)||West Brom 1-2 Burnley||West Brom 1-2 Burnley (3)|
|West Ham 1-1 Southampton||West Ham 3-0 Southampton||West Ham 2-2 Southampton|
|Everton 0-2 Man City (1)||Everton 1-3 Man City||Everton 1-3 Man City (3)|
|Arsenal 3-1 Stoke (1)||Arsenal 3-0 Stoke||Arsenal 3-0 Stoke (3)|
|Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham (1)||Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham||Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham|
The Premier League returns on April 6th
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