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EPL Table Week 31: Where Every Team Stands After Matchday 30

HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Edin Dzeko (R) of Manchester City celebrates his goal with team mates Jesus Navas (L) and David Silva during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester City at the KC Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Hull, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images
Shehan PeirisCorrespondent IIIMarch 16, 2014

The Premier League title race promises to come down to the wire, after Chelsea’s loss to Aston Villa on Matchday 30 made it a free-for-all among the top four teams. The weekend’s action brought plenty of highlights, goals and even a few red cards, and this is what the EPL landscape looks like after the dust settled.

EPL Table: Week 31
Pos.TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesGoal DifferencePoints
1Chelsea302064+3366
2Liverpool291955+4162
3Arsenal291955+2562
4Manchester City271935+4460
5Tottenham Hotspur301659-153
6Everton281495+1251
7Manchester United291469+1248
8Southampton301299+645
9Newcastle United2913412-343
10Aston Villa299713-634
11Stoke City3081012-1234
12West Ham United298714-631
13Hull City298615-730
14Swansea City297814-529
15Norwich City307815-2429
16West Bromwich Albion2951311-1028
17Crystal Palace298417-1928
18Sunderland276714-1625
19Cardiff City306717-2925
20Fulham307320-3524
PremierLeague.com
Matchday 30 Results
HomeScoreAway
Hull City0-2Manchester City
Swansea City1-2West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland0-0Crystal Palace
Stoke City3-1West Ham United
Southampton4-2Norwich City
Fulham1-0Newcastle United
Everton2-1Cardiff City
Aston Villa1-0Manchester City
Manchester United0-3Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur0-1Arsenal
PremierLeague.com

 

Chelsea Come Up Empty in Villa Park

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Ramires of Chelsea (3L) is shown a red card and is sent off by referee Chris Foy after a challenge on Karim El Ahmadi of Aston Villa (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Par
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

The most important result of the week from a title race standpoint was Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa—which extended Jose Mourinho’s dry spell at Villa Park.

The Blues dominated possession but were unable to create many real scoring chances out of it. Paul Wilson of The Guardian revealed how the home side was able to stifle the Chelsea attack:

Villa spent the first 10 minutes bemused by the movement and interchangability of Chelsea's three-quarter line of Oscar, Willian and Eden Hazard as the visitors opened the game with businesslike intent, moving the ball around smartly and purposefully and always appearing to have a spare man making himself available.

It was impressive to watch, yet Chelsea's approach work did not lead to any openings in front of goal, just speculative long shots from Willian and Oscar. Most of the actual attacking threat was being channelled through the industrious Hazard, and once Villa worked that out they settled down and began to put together some moves of their own.

Chelsea’s frustration was on full display, as they had two men sent off, and Mourinho himself was banished to the stands for his protests and objections.

Playing at a numbers disadvantage for the last 20 minutes, the Blues defense succumbed to the Villa pressure to give up the only goal of match. It came in the 82nd minute when Fabian Delph got a fortunate touch on a low ball across the box to flick it into the back of the net.

Mourinho’s comments earlier in the week, via the BBC, when he labeled Manchester City as the “favorites” to win the league crown seemed like more of his famous mind games, but those words ring true after the loss.

 

Liverpool Outclass Manchester United To Help Title Aspirations

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal by kissing the steadicam during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, Engl
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City were always in the hunt thanks to their games in hand, but Liverpool and Arsenal needed Chelsea to lose to boost their chances of hoisting the EPL trophy at the end of the year. Well, that Chelsea loss happened on Saturday, and Liverpool made sure to capitalize on it by beating United in Old Trafford.

It wasn’t the prettiest match you’ll ever see, as most of the goal scoring came from the penalty spot. The Reds drew three penalties, and skipper Steven Gerrard converted two of them just before and after half-time to put Liverpool in the driver’s seat.

With the two goals, Gerrard cemented his status as a thorn in the side of the Red Devils:

The win lofted Liverpool into second place (although third-place Man City have two games in hand) and put them squarely in the championship race.

For United, the loss dampens their hopes of playing in Europe next year and is yet another chapter in an enormously disappointing season.

 

Tomas Rosicky Pushes Gunners to Win in North London Derby

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

In a physical and hard-fought game, all it took was one moment of brilliance from Tomas Rosicky in the second minute to decide the outcome. Both sides had their fair share of possession and promising build-up play, but Rosicky was the only one to display the touch and skill to put one of those chances in the back of the net.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a couple of tremendous opportunities that were squandered that would have increased Arsenal’s lead, but Arsene Wenger’s side managed to hang on for the critical win.

The loss for Tottenham means they have to start worrying about who is behind them, Everton, instead of focusing on trying to crack the top four—a goal that is out of their hands now.

With the victory, the Gunners are now in third place with a fixture against league-leading Chelsea looming on the horizon for next week.

Looking at Chelsea's remaining schedule, next week will be a make-or-break match for Arsenal's title hopes, as it looks like a fairly easy end to the year for the Blues.

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