After Chelsea could muster no more than a draw with lowly West Bromwich Albion, Arsenal had a chance on Wednesday to steal back the top spot in the Premier League table.
The Gunners couldn't manage a score against Manchester United, however. Of course, as has become custom at Emirates, Arsenal kept the away team off the board.
So mark down a draw for both the table's top teams.
Jose Mourinho's men entered this week with a one-point edge on Arsenal after the Gunners were drubbed, 5-1, by Liverpool in Matchday 25. Chelsea couldn't seize the moment, but they will maintain a one-point lead over Arsenal.
Manchester City is just tree points back and was in good shape to take the top spot based on goal differential, as they have a home match with Sunderland on the schedule.
That match, along with Everton hosting Crystal Palace, will have to wait however. Due to high winds and unsafe conditions, both were postponed.
Have a look at the table and results from week, and then I'll highlight some of the more intriguing matches.
|Week 26 Results|
|Feb. 11||Cardiff vs. Aston Villa||0-0|
|Feb. 11||Hull vs. Southampton||0-1|
|Feb. 11||West Ham vs. Norwich||2-0|
|Feb. 11||West Brom vs. Chelsea||1-1|
|Feb. 12||Arsenal vs. Manchester United||0-0|
|Feb. 12||Everton vs. Crystal Palace||Postponed|
|Feb. 12||Manchester City vs. Sunderland||Postponed|
|Feb. 12||Newcastle vs. Tottenham||0-4|
|Feb. 12||Stoke vs. Swansea||1-1|
|Feb. 12||Fulham vs. Liverpool||3-2|
|11||West Ham United||26||7||7||12||-5||28|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||26||4||12||10||-8||24|
West Brom 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea was ready to eek out a 1-0 victory here and move four points clear in the table. Then, in the 87th minute, David Luiz lost Victor Anichebe, and Anichebe netted the equalizer.
The Mirror does a solid job of summing up the loss:
While it is easy to pin the loss on the late lapse, Mourinho knows better. Here is the frustrated manager in a post-match quote provided by ESPN:
A complete team kills this game: 2-0, goodbye. We didn’t. For 60 minutes, only one team [was in the game] and that team couldn’t kill the game, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half. For 10 minutes, the game was poor, and for the last 20 minutes, only one team [was in it] and that team fought a lot to get a goal and a point. I think they deserved it.
In the second half, we were not strong enough to kill the game. They had a reaction, and we couldn’t cope with the reaction. The team stayed back. We started being too deep.
I was feeling that, even if I put some attacking players on, it wouldn't help because the team were really under pressure, and it looked impossible for my defenders to get out of the first third of the pitch.
We gave them the ball and waited for them to put it in our box and fight against it. But it is not our game. It's not how we feel comfortable. A lack of personality. We must have the personality to get out.
Chelsea will have plenty of time to think about this before again taking the pitch in EPL play. Their next league date does not come until Feb. 22, when they host Everton.
It is also important to give some credit to West Brom. Although they have not won a league match since Jan. 1, they now have three draws in their last six league matches, and those came against Everton, Liverpool and now Chelsea.
West Brom is currently in 17th place and in real danger of being relegated, but this team has some strong recent performances to build on.
Cardiff City 0-0 Aston Villa
Playing at home, struggling Cardiff needed three points from this match to boost their chances of avoiding relegation.
Aston Villa certainly have relegation concerns of their own, but with a point on the road, they are now at 28 points on the season and in 11th place.
After a woeful first half, Villa had their opportunities to take three points from this match. Leandro Bacuna and Gabriel Agbonlahor had an opportunity to net the match's only goal, but they couldn't come through.
In the end, it is Cardiff who must be kicking themselves. They dominated the first half and even had two shots bounce off the woodwork.
That is little consolation now.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to be eyeing this match as an opportunity for his team to pick up three badly needed points. It didn't happen, and now Cardiff must show serious improvement to avoid relegation.
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United
Arsenal dominated 57 percent of possession in this match. They also fired off nearly three times as many shots and shots on goal as the Red Devils.
David De Gea had a solid day in goal with four saves and Manchester United did a good job picking up 26 tackles.
While it was a valiant effort from the Red Devils' suspect midfield and back line, Arsene Wenger seemed content to play for the draw. Lukas Podolski remained on the bench even as it became clear Arsenal was going to have a hard time scoring.
Obviously, picking up a draw here is not the end of the world for Arsenal, but it would have been a worthy gamble to risk sacrificing back-end vulnerability to get a better chance to score and pick up a full three points.
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