After another enthralling long weekend of Premier League action, Matchday 30 to be precise, it’s now time to look back at all of drama of the last few days as David Moyes’ West Ham United slipped to a third consecutive defeat and Pep Guardiola’s league leaders took another huge stride towards an early title coronation.
The weekend’s football was kicked-off at Old Trafford live on Sky Sports on Saturday lunchtime with the renewal of a classic North West derby between Manchester United and Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho’s men would overcome Jurgen Klopp’s to boost their chances of finishing second, Marcus Rashford striking two early goals to put them in the driving seat, a spectacular Eric Bailly own-goal made things interesting late, but United held on.
Attention then switched to five traditional 3 PM starts, the first of those being held at the London Stadium where the Hammers entertained Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
It would be a nightmarish afternoon for Moyes’ men, as Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood ensured a 0-3 thrashing, though the main headlines were made off the pitch with many supporters protesting in the stands and invading the pitch over the way their club is being run, it dropped them down to 16th.
Also, at that time, the Hawthorns Stadium was the venue for a desperate day for Alan Pardew’s West Bromwich Albion as they welcomed fellow Midlander’s Leicester City under Claude Puel.
Salomon Rondon did give the Baggies a dream start early on, leaving the Foxes to ruthlessly hit back through Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Kilechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra to plunge another nail into the coffin of West Brom at the bottom of the table.
On Merseyside, yet one more home team was laying out a must-win encounter in the form of Sam Allardyce’s Everton against Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park.
The Toffees were to enjoy a relatively plain-sailing afternoon on Merseyside, Gaetan Bong outing through his own net to give them the lead, then Cenk Tosun popped up with two in two a little later, late drama ensued as Anthony Knockaert was dismissed for the visitors and the hosts missed a late penalty, 2-0 in the end.
Meanwhile, two sides scrapping for their English Top-Flight status did battle at the John Smith’s Stadium, David Wager’s Huddersfield Town and Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City.
The Swans feared the worse when they had Jordan Ayew sent off inside the first ten minutes, however, the Terriers couldn’t punish them, and they left Yorkshire with a valuable point in the fight for survival, a missed opportunity for the home team.
The afternoon kick-off that involved the lowest teams in the standings came at St James’ Park, a real relegation six-pointer if there ever was one between Newcastle United and Southampton.
Rafa Benitez’s men got off to a fast start thorough Chelsea loanee Kenedy and never looked back, adding two more via the Brazilian again and Matt Ritchie, the result plunged the Saints ever further into trouble and led to the sacking of Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday.
The day’s final offering saw Antonio Conte’s Chelsea play host to Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, BT Sport’s live evening kick-off and an exciting one too.
The West Londoners threatened to end the match as a contest in the first-half, racing into the lead with the help of goals from Willian and a Martin Kelly own-goal, only for Patrick van Aanholt to pull one back in added-time for the Eagles, giving the Blues a late scare.
The first of two Sky Sports Super Sunday clashes was played out at the Emirates Stadium, a North London derby between Arsene Wegner’s Arsenal and Javier Gracia’s Arsenal.
The Gunners were out for revenge after their loss at Vicarage Road earlier in the season, Shkodran Mustafi and new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured they got it to the tune of 3-0, Troy Deeney missed a spot-kick for the Hornets.
Then to the South Coast where, at the Vitality Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur hoped to put their European woes behind them by beating Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth on the road.
They were shaken up by an early Junior Stanislas goal, the afternoon got even worse for them after Harry Kane’s injury, although they recovered, Son Heung-min marking Mother’s Day with a brace and Dele Alli and Serge Aurier getting on the scoresheet either side of him, making it 1-4.
But, the Premier League wasn’t done there for this Game Week, there was still, the small matter of Monday Night Football to attend to, this time, Stoke City hosted runaway leaders Manchester City.
As expected, it would be a rather untroubling night for Pep Guardiola’s men, they merely required a smart doubler from playmaker David Silva to restore their 16-point lead, now just three wins from the title, leaving Paul Lambert’s Potters firmly inside the bottom three.
So, now that the spills and thrills from yet another weekend program of the league that we all know, and love have been well and truly reviewed, UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-legs will take centre stage in midweek, but never fear, the Premier League returns next Saturday afternoon for four matches.