Pearson’s Premier League Roundup (with some FA Cup)

Roundup

Manchester United are now six points from a Champions League qualifying place following the weekends Premier League results. They will however have two games in hand going into the latter stages of the league and so victory in both of these will put them back into the hunt. United will play away at Chelsea tonight in the FA Cup hoping to maintain a long undefeated run.

Liverpool moved six points ahead of United after coming from behind against Burnley to win their third home game in a row. Burnley are yet to win away from home this season but they have not been beaten by more than one goal since December 3rd and have scored in each of their last 12 games. They currently sit in 12th in the league and should have enough quality to stay up now, but they need to add a few more points to their total before they can be certain.

Bournemouth took a large step closer to Premier League survival with a last minute goal from Joshua King to see off West Ham 3-2. King scored a hat trick as Bournemouth came back from a goal down to take the three points and cement their 14th place in the table. Following what was their first win since December, they now sit six points above the relegation zone and will be hoping they have turned their form. For West Ham it will be a difficult defeat after taking the lead early on and then equalising with only seven minutes to play. They stay in 11th on 33 points and outside of the top half on goal difference alone but Southampton above them have two games extra to play.

Hull City moved up a place to 18th courtesy of a 2-1 win at home to Swansea. Although they had put in impressive performances of late under Marco Silva, Hull were still lacking a good points return to show for it. This win takes them within a point of Crystal Palace and three behind those above that. Swansea are one of those teams just three points above Hull and although they too have been very good these last few months, they will still need to continue to pick up enough points to survive.

Everton beat West Brom 3-0 at Goodison Park to increase the gap top those below to seven points. If they can continue this impressive run of form then they have an outside shot of finishing higher in the league than their current 7th place. They now sit two points behind Manchester United and five from Arsenal but have played two games more. Everton have scored 26 goals in their last 11 games and lost just once so early December. West Brom however have now lost two in a row since reaching 40 points and seem stranded in mid table.

Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham all progressed to the Semi Final of the FA Cup and so Liverpool fans will be hopeful that they could lose focus on the league in the later stages of the season. All will have games to catch up but Liverpool have seen already this season that too many games during a month can hurt form. Arsenal came back from their Champions League exit to beat non league side Lincoln 5-0 at home. It is difficult to tell if it this game was a return to form given the level of opposition but it will surely give the side a moral boost. Spurs also had a big home win against lower league opponents with a 6-0 win over Millwall. The loss of Harry Kane after 10 minutes could see them struggle for goals if he is to miss any games in the run in. Man City rounded things off with a convincing 2-0 away win at Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough.

United now are six points behind qualification for the Champions League next year but with the option to qualify by winning the Europa League, the season may still end strongly. Prioritising the competitions will be the most important thing as they head into the end of the season especially with games still to play in Europe and two extra league games to catch up on.