The weekend has been full of shocking moments. West Ham continued their great form and showed their credentials to keep fighting for a Champions League spot, Manchester United picked up three points in London against Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City picked up a rare loss at home against Leeds. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Liverpool were able to win after their hard-fought European games.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 : 3 Manchester United
Jose Mourinho’s team lost a good opportunity to get closer to the privileged positions in the league table. The early defeat of Leicester meant that the Brendan Rodgers’ squad will have yet to struggle to guarantee themselves a place in next year’s Champions League edition. The race to reach the most important competition in Europe is being highly demanding.
With this in mind, the Londoners scored the first goal thanks to an effort of Son and reached the half-time leading on the scoreboard. Before the Korean had scored, Cavani had shown his frustration when his goal was disallowed via VAR. Nonetheless, the Uruguayan would redeem himself later on the game when he scored the victory goal after Fred had equalised the match.
Greenwood sentenced the match in the last seconds. Mourinho tried to earn at least a draw with the entrance of Gareth Bale, and yet, they suffered a harsh defeat which probably buried one of the last chances of Tottenham Hotspur to reach a Champions League spot.
Although the distance of 6 points with West Ham United does not seem insurmountable, the fact that Liverpool and Chelsea are the other contenders to reach the Champions League makes the enterprise of the Londoners quite utopian.
West Ham United 3 : 2 Leicester
The season of the Londoners is being absolutely brilliant. In spite of their lack of resources in comparison to other great squads such as Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal or Tottenham, they are showing a thrilling resilience to keep the Champions League spot. This afternoon they faced Leicester, another underdog which was comfortable enough in the third position barely a couple of weeks ago.
But after two consecutive defeats and the excellent moment of their persecutors, Brendan Rodgers’ team are not without the risk to be thrown out from their privileged position. In the match, they showed great spirit during the second half thanks to the two goals of Iheanacho.
Nevertheless, the extraordinary first half of West Ham was enough to obtain an advantage that was always to be difficult to overcome. Special mention to Jesse Lingard, who is performing excellent in the last weeks and surely has Euro 2020 in mind.
Manchester City 1 : 2 Leeds
The great surprise of Saturday was the defeat of the leaders of the Premier League. Despite having just the 29% of possession and playing with 10 men for the red card of Cooper, Marcelo Bielsa emerged as the winner in his particular battle against Pep Guardiola.
The mutual admiration that they profess to each other is hard to conceal, and while the Chilean has defined the Catalan as ‘a magical man‘, Guardiola has always admitted to being an admirer of Bielsa. This defeat will not hurt the chances of Manchester City winning the Premier League, and yet, it will be interesting to see how it can affect the crucial match against Borussia Dortmund and Haaland.
Precisely, it cannot be denied that Guardiola was thinking more about the Champions League game as he decided to play with less usual players, including Ake, Zinchenko, Ferran Torres or Mendy.
Meanwhile, Leeds has reached the astonishing number of 45 points and is much closer to the Champions League sports than to the relegation zone. In his first Premier League season after many years, Marcelo Bielsa’s team is being alongside West Ham the most enjoyable surprise of the competition.
Liverpool 2 : 1 Aston Villa
In spite of scoring first, Liverpool went on a deserving come-back with the goals of Salah and Alexander-Arnold. While the Egyptian had scored his 19th goal of the Premier League and is being one of the few bright points of Klopp’s team, the English had somehow make amends after his disastrous performance against Real Madrid on the last Champions League match.
In just three days, the finalists of 2018 will face each other again to reach the semifinals. After the 3-1 win in the first leg and the victory in ‘El Clasico‘, the Spaniards will surely be a gigantic obstacle for Liverpool.
Crystal Palace 1 : 4 Chelsea
It would not seem unreasonable to consider Chelsea as one of the best teams in Europe. Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel in January, the team of London has only been defeated once, in the absurd match of last week against West Brom.
They have yet to confirm the Champions League spot due to its awful start of the season, but their comfortable victories against Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Porto in Europe are certainly a display of their strength. Within these precedents, Crystal Place was ruthlessly destroyed in 30 minutes. Still, they are in a comfortable position at the table.