Pearson’s Premier League Roundup: United’s unbeaten run is finally ended

Roundup

Manchester United’s 25 game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. It is now three games without a win for United and they remain in fifth place. The gap to fourth is only four points but with just three games remaining it may be too much to overcome before the final day. This was Arsenal’s third straight home win and puts them six points behind fourth with an extra game to play this week.

West Ham beat Spurs to pick up their first win in four and with it all but ended the title race. Their 1-0 home win on Friday keeps the gap between the top two at four points but with Chelsea still to play tonight. A win for Chelsea will see them all but take the title as they will be seven points clear with three to play. The win was the third successive clean sheet for West Ham and moves them into 12th place in the league, level on points with 10th. For Totte, ham it was a disappointing evening and ends a nine match winning run. They remain in second, seven points clear of third place.

Liverpool may well finish the season inside the top four this season but it will be more down to good early form and the failings of others than anything else. They remain in thirrd thanks to a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton but are now just a point ahead of Man City having played a game extra. Finishing fourth will still mean qualification to the Champions League but they still need to win their final two games for it to be assured. They are five points ahead of Man United in fifth having played one game extra and seven points ahead of Arsenal having played two extra. One more slip in the final two games could let the other sides in. Southampton remain in mid-table but drop one place to 10th. This was their second 0-0 draw in a row and the fourth game without a win.

Man City smashed five passed Crystal Palace and it may have been more such was the attacking intent on show. They improved their goal difference during this game, something which could be vital at the end of the season. They went up to 3rd place over night but fell back to fourth following Liverpool’s point. The win was City’s first in three following two successive draws. Palace should still be safe in the league but they are now the only other side which could be dragged into the relegation battle with Hull, Swansea and Middlesbrough. They are five points ahead of Hull and the bottom three but have now lost their last three games and play Hull next weekend in what could decide both teams future.

Everton’s 1-0 loss to Swansea was their third league game without a win, and their third without scoring. They have now not won in seven away games and will almost certainly finish in a respectable seventh this season. For Swansea however this was a huge win as it was enough to move them out of the relegation zone with only two games remaining. The win was their second straight victory at home and their third points return in three games. They are now one point ahead of Hull with a better goal difference.

West Brom are still searching for a win as they have now gone six league games without one. Although the 2-2 draw at Burnley was their first points return in five outings, they are now just two points clear of the mid-table sides below them. If this winless run continues they may well finish as low as 15th. The draw was enough to move Burnley onto 40 points for the season and with it all but secure their status in the league for next year. Only a huge swing in goal difference would now see them be relegated.

Leicester beat Watford 3-0 and move into the top half for the first time since September. This was their second straight league win and leaves them two points behind West Brom in 8th. If they can improve on their position before the end of the season it will be the highest place they have reached since winning the league. Watford drop to 15th place and mathematically need another point from their final three games to be sure of safety. Although they have now lost three in a row it will take some unusual events for them to go down now.

Bournemouth and Stoke played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Saturday, a result which did little for either side’s league position. Bournemouth are now unbeaten in three games and sit in 11th in the league level on points with 10th. A win in their next match could move them into the top half. Stoke drop to 13th place but have not won in three games. They would most likely need to win both their remaining games to finish the season inside the top half.

Bottom of the table Sunderland had a big impact on the relegation battle above them with their 2-0 win away at Hull. That defeat for Hull was their first home loss in the league since Boxing Day and was enough to drop them into the bottom three following Swansea’s win. It was Sunderland, who were relegated last week, first win in 11 games and they stand a chance of moving off the bottom before the end of the season. They are now four points behind Middlesbrough, with both having three games remaining.

With three games remaining defeat away to Tottenham next week could all but end United’s hopes of a top four finish. Having thrown away their title shot this week however, there is no telling how Spurs will play. With one foot already in the Europa League final qualification for the Champions League is still possible. The side however need to keep the winning mentality around the club and prove they can beat anyone on their day.