The Premier League season has taken many twists and turns though most of those have not been for 1st place, but have been reserved for the bottom three and who will finish in 4th place. At the top, the relentless form of Manchester City and Liverpool means that it has been a two horse race for some time and still only 1 point separates the clubs with City on 83 points and Liverpool on 82 with with four games remaining. Those two teams have scored an incredible 170 goals between them!
But let's look further down the table and say goodbye to Norwich who were officially relegated at the weekend as they lost 2-0 at Aston Villa. It was the Canaries 23rd loss of the season and they have been adept at coming up and going straight back down to the Championship, so we should expect Dean Smith's side to bounce back very soon, though there are, of course, no guarantees of that. It's not a shock that Norwich were relegated in the end as the writing was on the wall and the same can be said of Watford in 19th place. They can only get 34 points if they win their remaining games and Leeds and Burnley only need 1 point and Everton 3 points to end Watford's hopes and Frank Lampard's side still have five games left. It is safe to say that Watford will be joining Norwich. Burnley made good headway for survival at the weekend as they came back to beat Watford in the last 10 minutes after trailing 1-0 and won the game 2-1. The Clarets have now won their last 3 games and it's been almost a month since their last defeat. Forget 17th place as that win took them to 16th albeit on goal difference.
So now we have a new team in the mix and that is Leeds who a few weeks ago were showing just the right form under new manager Jesse Marsch to stay up. Leeds were pulling away and in fairness to them have only lost one game in their past five but they are now in 17th place with 34 points after losing 4-0 at home to Manchester City. Arsenal and Chelsea are up next for Leeds and the worry for them is that 18th placed Everton have a game in hand over them and are just 2 points behind. This was, as ever, a mammoth weekend for Everton a club who have not been relegated from the top flight in 71 years and never from the Premier League. But they came into their game against Chelsea five points adrift of safety. This isn't any Chelsea side though but the World and European club champions. It was an assured display from the Toffees. There was a healthy mix of the tactics that the club gave out to Liverpool recently; defending well, focused and pressing. But Everton attacked when needed, true it took a defensive mix up to let Richarlison in but the Brazilian forward made sure he was in the right place. Everton could have easily doubled their lead but Chelsea had great chances too. Lucky for Everton that they have as their fans chanted 'England's number 1 goalkeeper' because Jordan Pickford made some world class saves to deny Chelsea at least a point. Everton came over the line and won 1-0. Survival is in Everton's hands but they must start winning games away from home.
Premier League: To be relegated: Leeds 1.80, Everton 3.25, Burnley 3.75, Southampton 151.00, Brentford 201.00
The last week has more or less confirmed that the top 4 chase is now down to Arsenal and Tottenham. West Ham's slim chances were ended as they lost to Arsenal in what was a must win game for the Hammers. They will be lucky to qualify for the Europa League now although if they win the competition this season they would qualify for the Champions League. Manchester United can only get to 64 points and Arsenal only need 2 more points from their last four games so it seems very unlikely that United will get 4th. Then there is Tottenham who have 61 points and this really is a battle between the two north London sides for that final Champions League place. Make sure to mark May 12th down in your diary's as the two teams come face to face at Tottenham's ground for what could well prove to be one of the most mouth watering derby's for some time. And we shouldn't forget that Chelsea could be overhauled by both London sides. The Blues are in 3rd place with 66 points and have won just 1 of their last four games, who knows could we have a surprise on our hands?
Premier League: Top 4 finish: Arsenal 1.44, Tottenham 2.50
Finally congratulations to Fulham who have been promoted to the Premier League and they celebrated in style by smashing Luton 7-0. The London team have scored 106 goals so far and have one more game left to play.