After another enthralling weekend of Premier League action, Matchday Twenty-Six to be more precise, thrilled audiences all over the world once more, it’s now time to look back at all the spills and thrills as Pep Guardiola’s League leaders were frustrated away at Turf Moor and David Moyes’ West Ham United left the South Coast empty-handed.
The few days of English Top-Flight Football was kicked-off on Saturday lunchtime, Sean Dyche’s Burnley playing host to high-flying Manchester City at Turf Moor.
For only the fourth time this season in the League, the Citizens didn’t take the full three points, they had led through Danilo early on, and looked to be holding on to that until Johann Berg Gudmundsson popped up for a point inside the final ten, reducing City’s lead at the top.
It was then swiftly on to the traditional afternoon ties, beginning at Old Trafford where the Citizens’ title rivals would have no such problems against David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town.
Strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez’s first for the club made sure of a relatively easy afternoon for Jose Mourinho’s men after a tricky result in midweek, though things weren’t’ so plain-sailing fort Leicester City when they hosted Swansea Coty at the same time.
Carlos Carvalhal continued his revival with the Welsh club as they took a point from Claude Puel’s side at the King Power Stadium, defender Federico Fernandez cancelling out an early Jamie Vardy notch.
On the South Coast at 3 PM, another of the League’s former struggling teams now on the up in the form of AFC Bournemouth welcomed Stoke City to the Vitality Stadium.
Here, Eddie Howe’s men were able to pile more misery on Paul Lambert’s Potters in dramatic circumstances, late strikes from Josh King and Lys Mousset rendering Xherdan Shaqiri’s opener useless.
Under a 100 miles West of Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium three days ago, Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion were tasked with entertaining the travelling Hammers at the American Express Community and boy did they.
Free-scoring veteran Glenn Murray fired the hosts into the lead very early on, before Javier Hernandez levelled things up with a neat finish, leaving two efforts out of the very top drawer from Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross to wrap things up in the second period.
In the final of the Saturday afternoon starts, perhaps the most entertainment that the day had to offer was showcased at the Hawthorns Stadium when Southampton made the trip to face West Bromwich Albion.
Ahmed Hegazi gave Alan Pardew’s men the dream start, but Mauricio Pellegrino’s side hit back through Mario Lemina, Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse, Salomon Rondon made the affair interesting at the end, although there was nothing that could be done to prevent the Saints gaining some crucial ground at the bottom.
The final offering of the first day of action saw an under-pressure Arsenal play host to Everton at the Emirates Stadium, two of the League’s more senior Managers in Arsene Wenger and Sam Allardyce doing battle.
There could only be one winner, the home side and this was confirmed by an Aaron Ramsey hat-trick and additions from debutant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Laurent Koscielny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbing a worthless consolation for the visitors.
A day later, Super Sunday scarcely disappointed either and it was a matter of saving the best till last for sure though first, all attention was on Selhurst Park for a key Relegation matchup.
Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace and Rafa Benítez’s Newcastle United were facing off with each other and there would be no separating them, a Luka Milivojevic penalty saving a point after Mo Diame’s opener.
All eyes were then on Anfield next for what promised to be the pick of Game Week 26 with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool seeking revenge against Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Mo Salah did what he does best early on to give the Reds the advantage, but a wonder strike from Victor Wanyama levelled the scores, record-breaker Harry Kane then missed a penalty, leaving Salah to win it in added-time in stunning fashion, or so everybody thought, one last twist in the tale allowed Kane to convert a second contentious penalty, 100 PL goals for him and a share of the points on Merseyside.
However, the English top-Flight wasn’t quite done there for the few days, there was still the matter of Monday Night Football to attend to, Javier Gracia’s first home match in charge of Watford, playing host to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
It would be a thorough disaster for the Blues at Vicarage Road, Troy Deeney putting the hosts ahead after Tiemoue Bakayoko’s red card, Eden Hazard levelling, though a late flurry of goals from Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra ensured a 5-1 triumph for the Hornets.
So, now that all the ups and downs from a pulsating few days of the League that we all know, and love have been well and truly reviewed, Emirates FA Cup Fourth-Round Replays will take centre-stage this midweek, but never fear, the Premier League returns next Saturday lunchtime at Wembley Stadium.