Movement above the relegation zone, while Spurs move into fourth
West Bromwich Albion needed a win to stay in touching distance of survival when they hosted Huddersfield Town in a six-pointer.
JOHANNESBURG – Game week 28 of the English Premier League was an important game week in the battle for the top four, but more intensely in the battle for survival at the bottom of the table. There were four fixtures this weekend, which all had their own unique impact on the league table.
West Bromwich Albion needed a win to stay in touching distance of survival when they hosted Huddersfield Town in a six-pointer. A win for the hosts would see them move to within three points of safety if all the teams above failed to win.
Three minutes into the second half the visitors opened the scoring courtesy of Rajiv van La Parra. Eight minutes later Steve Mounie increased the lead. Craig Dawson pulled a goal back for The Baggies, allowing for an interesting final 35 minutes. That seemed to be a consolation as the game ended 2-1 in favour of Huddersfield Town.
Over at the Falmer Stadium, Brighton & Hove Albion tackled Swansea City. Glen Murray scored a penalty in the 18th minute. Two goals in four minutes put the hosts 3-0 up with 17 minutes to play. Swansea only managed one shot on target in the match from their eleven attempts on goal. 4-1 was the score at full time after a Lewis Dunk own goal in 85th minute.
Burnley hosted Southampton at Turf Moor which was expected to have massive ramifications on the log if The Saints lost. However, the 1-1 draw has kept Southampton in the running to maintain their Premier League next season. Crystal Palace, however, were left heartbroken after an 88th-minute goal from Harry Kane gave the London club three points, thus relegating The Eagles to 17th, avoiding the drop zone on goal difference. With that victory, Spurs climb into the top four at the expense of Chelsea after their loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Staying with, arguably, the league game of the weekend, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho were surprisingly civil heading into the match despite publicly jabbing at each other over the last twelve months. Anything less than a win for United would see them drop to third after Liverpool convincingly beat West Ham United 4-1.
Willian opened the scoring in the 33rd minute for the visitors after a brilliant through ball from Eden Hazard. Seven minutes later Romelu Lukaku scored the equaliser assisted by Antony Martial. That was the Belgian forward’s first goal this season against top six opposition. Substitute Jesse Lingaard scored the winner fifteen minutes from time, the result sending Manchester United back into second place.
The results from the weekend see West Bromwich Albion rooted to the bottom of the table after Stoke City’s draw with Leicester City. Southampton’s draw lifts them to 16th above Crystal Palace and Swansea. The top three remain unchanged whilst Chelsea drop into fifth. Sixth placed Arsenal were not in action as they took on, log leaders, Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.
With ten games to go, it seems that the title is all but wrapped up as City need just six more victories. However, the race for the top four and the fight for relegation places seems like it will go to the final day of the season.