It doesn’t get much tighter than the top of the English Premier League table after a weekend that featured a number of critical victories from the top clubs.
Every team that was in the top seven of the table that played on Jan. 11 or 12 picked up an important three points to keep pace with its competitors.
Things may have followed form, with the better teams getting the job done against the bottom-feeders of the EPL, but there are plenty of capable squads throughout the standings. Here is a look at the latest standings in the EPL after a weekend of competitive contests:
|English Premier League Table|
|West Bromwich Albion||4||8||9||21|
|West Ham United||4||11||6||18|
The first game from the Jan. 11 and 12 slate that jumps out is Manchester City’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United for the sheer fact that it put them back atop the standings. Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo put home the two goals for the EPL’s current top team, but it didn’t come without an air of controversy.
Newcastle tied the game up late in the first half, but the goal was wiped out for an offside call. And at the end of the day, Manchester City stretched their impressive unbeaten streak to a sterling 15 games.
Manchester City’s victory knocked Chelsea back into second in the table after the Blues held the top spot temporarily following a 2-0 win over Hull City. Also of note were victories from Everton (2-0 over Norwich City) and Tottenham Hotspur (2-0 over Crystal Palace).
Perhaps the most exciting game on the Jan. 11 and 12 slate was Liverpool’s thrilling 5-3 victory over Stoke City. When it looked like the Reds were going to pull away, Stoke City answered with a goal until the final minutes.
It may have been a difficult game for Liverpool supporters to sit through given how nerve-wracking it was, but Luis Suarez made sure of the victory with two critical goals, keeping Liverpool within striking distance of the top of the EPL Table.
However, Kyle Bonn of NBC Sports' Pro Soccer Talk pointed out that it took a bit of fortune for the Reds to take home the nail-biter:
On a day when refereeing decisions have already been brought to the forefront at St. James Park, Liverpool benefited from another contentious decision. A penalty was given by referee Anthony Taylor after Raheem Sterling had a breakaway but failed to get clear of Marc Wilson. With Wilson defending tightly, instead of attempting to cut inside Sterling went to ground and won the penalty.
Arsenal will look to continue the recent hot streak for the EPL’s top teams against Aston Villa on Jan. 13.