While form generally held during Saturday's Week 16 Premier League action, there were a few results that certainly caught the eye.
Arsenal would surely like a mulligan after their trip to Manchester City went sour. And Chelsea might have liked their win over Crystal Palace to have been a bit more convincing.
The home teams held strong in the early games, with four wins and two draws. But there were just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting—a weekly occurrence in the Premier League. Let's take a look back on all the scores and highlight a few surprises.
|Manchester City||Arsenal||Manchester City win, 6-3|
|Cardiff City||West Bromwich Albion||Cardiff win, 1-0|
|Chelsea||Crystal Palace||Chelsea win, 2-1|
|Everton||Fulham||Everton win, 4-1|
|Newcastle United||Southampton||Draw, 1-1|
|West Ham United||Sunderland||Draw, 0-0|
|Hull City||Stoke City||Draw, 0-0|
Arsenal Concedes Six Goals in Loss
It's not terribly surprising that Arsenal lost at the Etihad Stadium—after all, only Bayern Munich have taken points there across all competitions this season—but that they conceded a whopping six goals in the loss is a bit confounding.
The Gunners came into the match with the league's best defense, at least statistically, having only allowed 11 goals on the season. The fact that City have now scored just over one-third of the goals Arsenal have allowed is remarkable.
Surely City won't be pleased that they allowed three goals as well, but they never trailed in the contest and—save a few promising stretches of play scattered about here and there for Arsenal—they looked like the better side throughout.
Nobody in the Premier League has so much as drawn City in their home digs, so Arsenal can't be buried for the loss. But if they truly are a Premier League title contender, they simply can't lose in the way they did against the Citizens.
They'll have a chance to redeem themselves in another huge test next weekend against Chelsea.
Crystal Palace Makes Chelsea Sweat
Yes, the Blues probably could have scored more than the two goals they registered had Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni not played brilliantly. But make no mistake about it, this was not an easy 2-1 victory for Chelsea.
Palace consistently created solid chances off of set pieces—Damien Delaney seemed to run free every time Palace earned a corner—and Stuart O'Keefe nearly equalized in the 77th minute, but his short-range effort was blocked by excellent efforts from John Terry and Petr Cech.
In the end, the Blues did what they needed to do to earn the three points, but Palace deserve to be commended for really making them work in the process. Had they earned a draw, it wouldn't have been an unjust result.