The elite clubs in the English Premier League kept pace with each other on top of the table in Week 21, taking advantage of favorable matchups throughout the weekend.
Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea remain in a tight battle for the top spot in the league, while Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham are not far behind. However, none of the top seven clubs entering the week faced each other, providing all of them an opportunity to gain three points.
Here is a recap of Matchday 21 with a look at the latest standings in the EPL.
|14||West Bromwich Albion||21||4||9||8||-5||21|
|17||West Ham United||21||4||6||11||-9||18|
|Jan. 11||Hull City||0-2||Chelsea|
|Jan. 11||Cardiff City||0-2||West Ham United|
|Jan. 11||Everton||2-0||Norwich City|
|Jan. 11||Southampton||1-0||West Bromwich Albion|
|Jan. 11||Tottenham||2-0||Crystal Palace|
|Jan. 11||Manchester United||2-0||Swansea City|
|Jan. 12||Newcastle United||0-2||Manchester City|
|Jan. 12||Stoke City||3-5||Liverpool|
|Jan. 13||Aston Villa||1-2||Arsenal|
Chelsea earned the three points they needed with a 2-0 road victory over Hull City. After a scoreless first half, Eden Hazard got the Blues on the scoresheet before Fernando Torres helped the squad pull away late.
However, the story of the day was Petr Cech in net, who earned yet another clean sheet for his club to set a new record, according to BBC Sport:
It was Petr Cech's 209th clean sheet for Chelsea, a new club record beating Peter Bonetti's previous record of 208. pic.twitter.com/hXUEuRveZt— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 11, 2014
This 2-0 score seemed to be a common theme on Saturday as it was the same positive result for Tottenham, Everton, Manchester United and West Ham United.
Everton likely had the most dominant effort of the day as Norwich City had little chance to keep up. The home side held possession for 63 percent of the match and took 25 shots to secure the victory.
Meanwhile, Tottenham got a much-needed goal from Jermain Defoe, who is on his way to Toronto FC of the MLS in February.
One of the few surprises that took place on the first day of action was Sunderland's 4-1 victory over Fulham. Ian Darke of BT Sport discusses Sunderland's ability to surprise people:
Fulham leaking goals. 4 at home to Sunderland is a shocker. Poyet has wins over Man C Chelsea Everton Man Utd and Newc since appointed— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) January 11, 2014
The play continued on Sunday as Manchester City blanked Newcastle 2-0 at St. James' Park. Edin Dzeko put the Citizens ahead in the eighth minute and Alvaro Negredo would put the match away late in injury time, handing the Magpies just their third league home loss of the season.
Additionally, Liverpool overcame Stoke City on the road. Luis Suarez scored a brace for the Reds as they won 5-3 in an offensive struggle.
Matchday 21 concluded on Monday with Arsenal topping Aston Villa 2-1. The Gunners scored twice in a one-minute span in the first half to all but bury the Lions. Christian Benteke would narrow the gap in the 76th minute but Villa weren't able to equalize on their home pitch as Arsenal reclaimed the top spot in the league table.
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