Pearson rounds up the Premier League as Benjamin Button gives Sunderland a slap

Roundup

Manchester United move back to 5th but Arsenal could overtake them again on goal difference if they win tonight. United’s 3-0 win away at Sunderland did some good to their goal difference however and they still have games in hand over the sides above. Sunderland did not lose any more ground on the teams above but it is now one game less in which they can save themselves. Although they still have a mathematical chance of survival, clawing back 10 points more than Hull in the remaining seven games seems increasingly unlikely.

Chelsea won their 24th game this season to reinstate the seven-point gap at the top of the table. It had been reduced to four points earlier in the day and so anything but a win could have seen an uneasy end to the season. The 3-1 win ends a good run for their opponents Bournemouth who had been on a five-game unbeaten streak before this. The south coast side are seven points clear of relegation and with only six games remaining, they probably have enough to reach safety.

Tottenham had narrowed the gap at the top courtesy of their 4-0 win at home to Watford in the early kickoff. That was their sixth straight win in the league and continues a good run of form. Spurs are the only team looking like they can mount a challenge to Chelsea, but it may be too late this season. Watford had won two games on the bounce but remain in the top half of the table despite this result.

Liverpool came from behind to beat Stoke 2-1 away and secured their fourth win in six games. It was a win which keeps them in 3rd in the league, six points ahead of 5th place. That result was Stokes’ fourth straight defeat and they drop to 13th in the league. They are still yet to register a win against any of the top nine sides in the league.

Manchester City returned to winning ways following their 3-1 victory at home to Hull. City were on a four game winless run before Hull’s visit. They keep pace with their rivals for a top-four finish with this win and have a four point gap to 5th ahead of Arsenals game tonight. Hull continue their poor away form for the season and have still won only once outside of their own stadium this campaign. They are still two points clear of Swansea but with only three home games remaining they may need to improve away.

Everton ended Leicester City’s winning run with at 4-2 home win. It was Everton’s first win in three but their seventh straight home win. They remain 7th in the table but are now level with Arsenal, but having played three more games. Leicester stay in 11th, still one point from a top half finish following their first defeat in six games.

Southampton condemned West Brom their fourth defeat in six games with their 1-0 win at the Hawthorns. They now have a good chance to leap West Brom in the table and are currently 9th, four points behind but having played two games less. West Brom are still in 8th place, but are now 10 points behind Everton above.

Burnley missed the chance to win their first away game of the season with a 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough. With only three away trips remaining it looks likely that they will be winless away from Turf Moor for the whole season. With the side sitting in 12th however, one point away from a top half finish, it shouldn’t bother their fans too much.

West Ham’s narrow win over Swansea should now see the team safe from any slim danger of relegation. The 1-0 win was their first victory in eight games and moves them eight points clear of the bottom three. Swansea remain in the final relegation place due to this defeat, their fourth in five games. They are still two points from safety due to other results.

Crystal Palace host Arsenal tonight. A win for Palace would move them six points clear of relegation danger. If Arsenal win then they move back to 5th and will be four points from the top four.

Before this week, United said that they would see how the next two games went before deciding on their priorities until the end of the season. Four points from two games will be less than they hoped but they are still in with a good chance of catching at least one of the sides above. They play Chelsea, City and Arsenal in the next five, and so it is these games which they need to win to secure a place in the top four.