Manchester United were comfortable in their 2-0 win over Swansea at Old Trafford, as Romelu Lukaku’s 100th Premier League goal and a fine Alexis Sanchez effort were enough to dispatch the Swans. United got both goals in the first half itself, and were in third gear for most of the game, barely troubled by a passive Swansea side, save for a pair of Tammy Abraham efforts which drew good saves from David de Gea. Their crosstown rivals, Manchester City, made short work of Everton, beating the Toffees 3-1 at Goodison Park. City too got all their goals before half-time, as Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling put Everton to the sword. Yannick Bolasie got one back with a fierce effort around the hour mark, but it was only a consolation. This now sets up the derby next weekend to be the title decider; win and City will be crowned champions in front of their hated rivals.
Tottenham took a giant step towards securing a place in next season’s Champions League, with a first win at Stamford Bridge in 28 years. It was Chelsea who took the lead, Alvaro Morata heading into the net after Hugo Lloris completely missed the incoming cross, but Christian Eriksen equalized on the stroke of half-time with a vicious swerving, dipping shot that bamboozled Willy Caballero. A quickfire double from Dele Alli then secured a famous 3-1 win for Spurs, who are now eight points clear of Chelsea in fourth place, with seven games to play. Elsewhere in London, Arsenal eventually beat Stoke City 3-0 at the Emirates, but it needed a late second-half rally to do so. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace, while Alexandre Lacazette got the other goal, with the first goal arriving on 75 minutes, that too from the penalty spot.
The majority of the division is preoccupied with saving themselves from the drop, and Newcastle took a big step in that direction with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield. Ayoze Perez scored in the 80th minute to send St. James’ Park into elation, and Newcastle into 12th place, seven points clear of the relegation zone. Huddersfield remain precariously perched in 16th place, only three points away from danger. One team who are certainly going down are West Brom, and they moved closer to that fate with a 2-1 defeat at home to Burnley. Scott Arfield scored for the fourth game in a row with a spectacular overhead kick, and Chris Wood added to the scoreline for the away side to wrap up the win, notwithstanding Salomon Rondon’s late effort. West Ham picked up a massive three points with a 3-0 victory over Southampton at the London Stadium, in a game which was on the watch for more potential crowd trouble. Joao Mario gave the Hammers the lead, and a Marko Arnautovic double before half-time left the Saints with too much to do. West Ham moved five points clear of the drop, while Southampton remain two points adrift of safety, with the games running out.
Watford and Bournemouth played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, with both teams practically having nothing to play for anymore. Kiko Femenia put the Hornets in front with his first goal for the club, but the Cherries equalized just before half-time through Josh King’s penalty. Roberto Pereyra’s effort looked to have secured the win, only for veteran Jermain Defoe to step off the bench and score the equalizer in stoppage time. Crystal Palace slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, to remain just two points above the drop zone. Palace took the lead through Luka Milivojevic’s penalty after Wilfried Zaha had been fouled by Loris Karius, but Sadio Mane levelled the score early in the second half. Mohamed Salah got the winner in the 84th minute, with his 37th goal of a stunning season, to keep Liverpool on the coattails of Manchester United. Finally, Leicester won 2-0 away at Brighton, leaving the Seagulls six points ahead of 18th-placed Southampton. Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy got the goals for the Foxes, after Brighton had missed a penalty through Glenn Murray.
United’s win was routine, but much-needed after the Champions League exit against Sevilla. City’s win at Everton sets up the derby as a potential coronation, and while a win for United would only delay the inevitable, it is imperative that the Red Devils do not let City be crowned champions against them.