After another pulsating weekend Matchday of the Premier League, Game Week 29 to you and me, it’s now time to look back at all the action from the last few days of Top-Flight football as David Moyes’ West Ham United were hit for four in South Wales and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City continued their march towards securing the title in early April.
The drama of the 29th round of matches of the 2017/2018 campaign was kicked off at Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime live on Sky Sports, Sean Dyche’s Burnley hosted Sam Allardyce’s Everton.
The visitors were first to strike through Cenk Tosun’s first goal in English football, though things soon went pear-shaped for them, Ashley Barnes pulling the hosts level and Chris Wood heading home the winner, before the dismissal of Ashley Williams made matters worse for the Toffees.
It was then on to five traditional afternoon 3 PM kick-offs, one of them being the Wembley Stadium encounter between Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur and David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town.
It would be a relatively easy afternoon for Spurs as they only required goals from Son Heung-min, both assisted by Harry Kane to ease to a 2-0 victory and retain fourth spot, dropping the Terriers back into danger.
At the same time, two mid-table sides met at the King Power Stadium in the form of Leicester City and AFC Bournemouth, under the guidance of Claude Puel and Eddie Howe respectively.
It looked for all the world like the Cherries had wrapped up the three points in the first-half through a Josh King penalty, only for a Riyad Mahrez free-kick to earn the Foxes a point and break their hearts, the Algerian’s first since almost moving to Manchester in January.
Meanwhile, in Hertfordshire and more specifically Vicarage Road, it would be a desperate afternoon for Alan Pardew’s rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion as they travelled to face Javier Gracia’s Watford.
The Baggies showed exactly why they are seven adrift at the bottom in the second period when a midfield mix-up played Troy Deeney clean through to beat Ben Foster, the game’s only goal and another nail in the Albion coffin.
Also, at 3 PM, but across the border and into Wales at the Liberty Stadium, Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City were entertaining Moyes’ Hammers in a real relegation six-pointer.
The Swans dominated from the off, going ahead through Ki Sung-yueng, and doubling that lead via Mike van der Hoorn, Andy King and Jordan Ayew from the penalty spot killed the game off in the second period, Michail Antonio netted a consolation for the Irons, their 1000th PL goal.
If the stakes were high in Swansea, they were even higher on the South Coast at the St Mary’s Stadium as two of the league’s bottom four outfits met in Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton and Paul Lambert’s Stoke City.
Not many were holding out for an English Top-Flight classic and they didn’t get one ether, with both sides holding out for a cagey and nervy goalless draw, which did little to improve either of their fortunes in a tight bottom half.
In the evening and live on BT Sport, yet one more relegation-threatened outfit in Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United made the treacherous trip to Anfield to do battle with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
As expected, plain-sailing was the word to describe the Reds’ evening as Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s efforts gave them a 2-0 win and put them temporarily second, another worrying result for the Magpies.
The first of a Sky Sports Super Sunday double the day after saw Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal to the American Express Community Stadium.
If the Gunners had been under pressure at the start, the heat was turned up in Sussex as the home side deservedly left with the three points after strikes from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray rendered a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal useless.
The first Super Sunday affair was going to be a hard act to follow in terms of making the headlines for the league leaders and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
The game’s defining goal coming courtesy of the free-scoring Portuguese Bernardo Silva in the first period, it gave the Citizens an 18-point lead at the top of the table, while the champions are now comfortably inside the top four.
However, the PL wasn’t done there for the weekend, there was still the matter of a Sky Sports Monday Night Football battle of Crystal Palace and Manchester United to attend to at Selhurst Park.
Roy Hodgson’s Eagles struck the first two blows, Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt striking either side of the break, but Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils soon brought them back to Earth through Chis Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, leaving Nemanja Matic to net a scintillating added-time winner and cut City’s lead to 16 once again.
So, now that all the spills and thrills from yet another full program of the league that we all know, and love have been well and truly reviewed, the UEFA Champions League round of 16 will take centre-stage this midweek, but never fear, the Premier League returns next Saturday lunchtime at Old Trafford.