Another weekend of Premier League thrills and spills has come and gone. With now just eight games separating us and the finish line, there was, yet again more drama to be had this weekend as the top and bottom really starts to shape up.
Here’s a look at five things we learned from this weekend’s fixtures.
Spurs lose to continue freefall and open up the last two Champions League spots
Just weeks ago we were looking at Spurs as the dark horses of this season’s title race. However, a rotten run of form, culminating in their shock 2-1 away defeat at Southampton on Saturday has left the North London outfit anxiously looking over their shoulders. James Ward-Prowse’s world-class free kick at St Mary’s inflicted a third defeat in four games for Tottenham as they succumbed to a resurgent second-half display by Southampton.
Now just four points separate four teams going into the business end of the campaign. Spurs will be desperate to get back to winning ways after an untimely wobble that has given the chasing pack every chance of a usurping what once looked such a nailed on slot for them in the top four.
Arsenal show spirit to end United’s hot streak
It’s a sign of how far Manchester United have come since those dark December days, when the top four looked all but a pipe dream, that they should go to The Emirates as many peoples favourites for the win.
Their recent resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been remarkable and United will have come have come to North London, walking on air after their heroics in Paris last Wednesday.
However, Arsenal were once again in impressive form when one of their top six rivals came knocking on their door. They will no doubt want to play with more control in the future, as they yielded an awful lot of possession and chances to United, but a spirited and determined 2-0 win will rank up there as one of Emery’s best results so far.
They sit in fourth, with just eight to play and look good value for a top four spot as things currently stand.
Brighton edge Palace to ease their relegation worries
Brighton had started 2019 as poorly as anyone and the scenes of relief last week at the Amex as they secured a first win of the year, with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield were very revealing. Going into their grudge match with Crystal Palace on Saturday though, their relegation worries were still very much alive and kicking.
A feisty game in South London, saw the Seagulls edge to a 1-2 win, courtesy of Glenn Murray’s 100th goal for the club and a wonder strike from Anthony Knockaert. The win leaves Brighton five clear of the drop zone and will do much to calm the nerves in Sussex after a woeful run of recent results.
Everton wilt on Tyenside to give Newcastle huge win
The top flight of English football can be a relentless and unforgiving place. Just ask Newcastle and Everton fans who endured just about every up and down that it’s possible to experience in a Premier League game.
Already a goal down, Newcastle were enraged when Jordan Pickford was given a reprieve by Lee Mason, after he had rugby tacked Salomon Rondon. The Venezuelan would have had an empty goal to shoot at after the England international flapped at a cross and the home side wanted a red card but saw their protests fall on deaf ears. Matt Richie saw his resulting penalty saved by Pickford, before Everton went down the other end to double their advantage and rub salt into the wounds.
Newcastle fought back though after half time and dramatically scored three times in the last 30 minutes, despite their final strike, via Ayoze Perez, being blatantly offside. Nevertheless, it was a huge win for The Magpies who now sit six points clear of the drop zone and just three behind Everton.
Liverpool battle the elements to secure a vital win and keep the pressure on City
After a textbook 3-1 win for Manchester City at home to Watford on Saturday, the onus was back on Liverpool on Sunday as Burnley came to Anfield. The Reds needed a win to keep the pressure on City and had to brave the feral elements on Merseyside, as a barrage of hail, wind, and sleet fell on Anfield, making conditions quite difficult to say the least.
Despite Ashley Westwood’s early goal giving The Clarets a shock lead, Liverpool rallied and duly got back in control of the match, showing great character to claw back a 2-1 lead going to half time.
They ultimately secured a 4-2 win to keep them just a point off the top spot. A brace from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will also be encouraging for Liverpool fans after their recent toils in front of goal.