5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LAST WEEKEND'S PREMIER LEAGUE
Manchester United spoiled Manchester City's title win, winning 3-2 in Saturday's derby, keeping their local rivals from winning the championship this weekend. City still has a 13 point lead while the race for the top four has been cut short as Chelsea faltered again in a 1-1 home draw with West Ham United, while Southampton seems to be closer to joining the Championship next season following their winning games this week.
In the midst of the Premier League, there were 5 main things that happened:
1. The first 45 minutes of the game were unfruitful for Manchester United and it seemed that local rivals, Manchester City, were guaranteed to claim the title in the sweetest of fashions. Paul Pogba said that watching Manchester City celebrate would have been "like a death" for United fans. After so much criticism this season, it was Pogba who went about rekindling United's game with two goals early on in the second half. Pogba's second goal was set up by Alexis Sanchez and his free-kick also set up Chris Smalling's winning goal as United's two momentous signings of the Jose Mourinho era clicked together for the first time. "It's good that they've been able to link in together," said Smalling. "It's a great, great turnaround."
2. Chelsea was desperately playing to keep their top-four hopes alive, Eden Hazard had a good game and gave a strong performance despite his inconsistent season beforehand. Unfortunately, Hazard's performance wasn't enough to redeem Chelsea as the match ended in a 1-1 draw against West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Hazard used his agility to make strategic passes, leaving the West Ham defence running around in circles. Yet Chelsea couldn't keep up and a late equaliser by Javier Hernandez left Antonio Conte's fifth-placed side lagging 10 points behind Tottenham and Liverpool with only six games left.
3. Harry Kane will always be in the spotlight for his goal-scoring performances, but Christian Eriksen showed in Tottenham's 2-1 win at Stoke that the driving force of Mauricio Pochettino's team is the dynamic Dane. Kane was playing in his first game after a long recovery from an ankle injury but it was the Eriksen who lead Tottenham to victory, securing their place in the top four.
4. With Liverpool's team stripped of Mohamed Salah through injury and keeping Roberto Firmino among others in reserve for Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal, second leg at Manchester City, Everton will get few opportunities as valuable as this to win in the Merseyside derby. An eight year long history of losses now stands at 17 games as Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius showed more signs of his growing status in a 0-0 draw at Goodison. Loris Karius made a phenomenal stop from Yannick Bolasie's curling effort that was aimed at the top corner to add to the record of his 13th clean sheet in 24 appearances this season.
5. Liverpool could make it back to the Champions League semifinals for the first time since Rafael Benitez was in charge at Anfield a decade ago. In contrast to his esteemed past, Benitez has strategized to get and keep Newcastle out of the Champions League. This appears to be a successful target as they achieved a 2-1 win at Leicester on Saturday which took the Magpies up to 10th and 10 points clear of the relegation zone.Benitez has disregarded a lack of investment from Mike Ashley to keep Newcastle afloat, but holding onto him for another campaign would be detrimental for the future of the team.