The penultimate weekend of the Premier league has been and gone. Excitement and stress came thick and fast. Relief came a little later, for some anyway. Here is the penultimate Premier League weekend review.
The first game to be played on Saturday saw Southampton romp to a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa. This game included a remarkable two minute and 56 second hat-trick from Southampton’s Saido Mane, the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick. Even after this heavy defeat, results elsewhere mean Aston Villa can concentrate on the FA Cup final knowing they will be playing Premier League football next season. Southampton are in seventh place, and are hoping a Europa League place may come their way.
Sunderland and Leicester City played out a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light. The point gained by Leicester secured their Premier League status. Sunderland are now three points clear of the last relegation place but are not mathematically safe. A point at either Arsenal or Chelsea, which is no easy task, will see the Black Cats safe. Two defeats and the Black Cats will be nervously looking at the final scores in other games.
Newcastle, after leading 0-1 at half time at already-relegated QPR once again pressed the self-destruct button and lost 2-1. A 30-yard strike from Leroy Fer secured the three points for QPR. This defeat for Newcastle means a victory in their final game against Sam Allardyce’s West Ham is a must due to their inferior goal difference. A defeat or draw for the magpies and a Hull City victory next Sunday would see Newcastle relegated.
Hull City travelled to Tottenham knowing that with Manchester United as their last game at least a point would be the least they could accept. They lost 2-0. Tottenham, wanting to strengthen their grip on a Europa League place, were obviously not in the mood to be handing out favours. Second half goals from Chadli and Rose consigned Hull to defeat. This result puts Tottenham one point behind fifth-placed Liverpool. As for Hull, they stay on 34 points and now must beat Manchester United to stand any chance of beating the drop.
The final game on Saturday saw Liverpool entertain Crystal Palace. Liverpool, in Steven Gerrard’s final game at Anfield, couldn’t find a win for their soon to be departed captain as Crystal Palace came from behind to win 1-3. Goals from Puncheon, Zaha and Murray cancelled out Lallana’s opener for Liverpool. The result leaves Liverpool needing a win to guarantee fifth place. Crystal Palace sit in twelfth place and are guaranteed a mid-table place come the end of the season after a good second half of the season under Alan Pardew.
Other games played on Saturday saw relegated Burnley play out a 0-0 draw with Stoke City. West Ham United were beaten at home 1-2 by Everton. Stoke, West Ham and Everton are all guaranteed mid-table finishes.
Swansea City and Manchester City played first on Sunday with Manchester City running out 2-4 winners. Two goals from Yaya Toure and a world class save from Joe Hart helped Manchester City on their way to victory. This result means Swansea City stay eighth and whatever happens now that is where they will finish. The win for Manchester City puts them on 76 points and with a superior goal difference to Arsenal a point in their final game should guarantee second place.
Manchester United and Arsenal played in the second of Sunday’s games, drawing 1-1. An own goal by United’s Tyler Blackett cancelled out Ander Herrera’s first half strike. Due to Arsenal having a superior goal difference over Manchester United, a point at home to Sunderland on Wednesday should see Arsenal cement third place. A win would put them in with a slim chance of achieving second place.
The final game of this Premier League weekend (and Monday) saw champions Chelsea travel to West Bromwich Albion. Surprisingly, they were thrashed 3-0. Chelsea were already one down when Fabregas was sent off in the first half. Two further West Brom goals in the second half completed the scoreline. West Brom now have a chance of finishing in the top half the table.
We can’t quite turn our attentions fully to the last weekend of the season due to the Arsenal vs Sunderland game on Wednesday night. As mentioned previously at least a point would guarantee third place for Arsenal. A point for Sunderland would guarantee them survival. Whatever happens, the last week of the Premier League season is sure to be an eventful one.