You couldn’t have predicted on Friday that we would have been treated to such a dramatic weekend of Premier League football with only Arsenal’s trip to Chelsea promising entertainment.
However, one of the highest scoring game-weeks of the season brought controversy, high-quality football and some shock results.
Is what we’ll be writing by late April…
Antonio Conte’s charges cruised past a sorry Arsenal on Saturday and stated further their insurmountable dominance over the chasing pack. With really only a young Spurs side still in their rear-view mirror, if the Blues put their foot down over the next few weeks, they’ll be champions with the time to spare.
Loser: Arsene Wenger
Fans would have been foolish to expect much more from Arsenal but their listless performance at Stamford Bridge still riled the club’s faithful. Wenger’s absence from the touchline didn’t help as his side put in one of the most pitiful performances of his turbulent reign.
If he does sign that reported two-year contract extension, expect an already toxic atmosphere at the Emirates to worsen further.
Winner: Romelu Lukaku
With the over-reliance on the goals of Romelu Lukau at Everton, when the Belgian plays well, the Toffees almost always win. Four goals and an unplayable performance, the former Chelsea man led to his side to a thrilling 6-3 win over an out-of-form Bournemouth. He has to maintain those levels if Ronald Koeman has any aspirations of closing the gap between themselves and the top six.
Loser: Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool seemed to have turned a corner in midweek with a much-improved performance at home to Chelsea but a turgid attacking showing at Hull saw the Tigers take a serious scalp without ever being genuinely threatened. They now have one win in ten, a narrow victory over League Two Plymouth, in a replay.
They have to face both Spurs and Arsenal in their next three and need a minimum of four points just to keep pace in the race for a Champions League spot.
Winners: Manchester United And City
After defeats for both Liverpool and the Gunners, both Manchester clubs knew three points were a must on Sunday. They took very different routes but both got there in the end. A last-minute howler from Lukasz Fabianski gifted the Citizens a 2-1 win over Swansea while United looked back to somewhere near their best as they cruised past Leicester.
Loser: Crystal Palace
As they have been for much of the past twelve months, Crystal Palace are in the worst form of any side in the league. The nadir of their current stint in the top flight came on Saturday as Sunderland blitzed Big Sam’s men in the first half and a fan confronted Damien Delaney as the unpleasant atmosphere at Selhurst Park reached a crescendo. Despite arguably having the best squad of any team at that end of the table, the Eagles are struggling to keep their heads above water.