Mother nature put a halt to two Premier League matches on Wednesday, but there were still four contests that featured some of the EPL's top clubs.
Heavy winds near Goodison Park reportedly caused roof tiles to fly all over local streets, postponing the Everton versus Crystal Palace matchup. In a statement posted on the team's official website, Everton said it will speak with the league on Thursday morning about rescheduling the fixture.
CEO Robert Elstone confirms the safety of fans was the key factor in the decision to postpone Wednesday night's game: http://t.co/UEzFjJSj4p— Everton (@Everton) February 12, 2014
Likewise, Manchester City called off its home match due to the extreme weather and will have to find another day to play Sunderland. Sitting just three points off the pace of first-place Chelsea, Man City fans surely wish they could have seen how their club fared against a lowly opponent.
Manchester City can confirm that this evening's fixture versus Sunderland has been postponed due to exceptional and escalating weather 1/3— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) February 12, 2014
The stakes are rising with every passing matchday as the EPL season heads to the home stretch. Here's a look at the updated league table following Wednesday's action and a look at the evening's top matches.
|11||West Ham United||26||7||7||12||-5||28|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||26||4||12||10||-8||24|
|Feb. 11||West Ham||2 - 0||Norwich City|
|Feb. 11||Hull City||0 - 1||Southampton|
|Feb. 11||Cardiff City||0 -0||Aston Villa|
|Feb. 11||West Brom||1 -1||Chelsea|
|Feb. 12||Arsenal||0 - 0||Manchester United|
|Feb. 12||Stoke City||1 -1||Swansea City|
|Feb. 12||Newcastle||0 - 4||Tottenham|
|Feb. 12||Fulham||2 - 3||Liverpool|
|Feb. 12||Manchester City||Postponed||Sunderland|
|Feb. 12||Everton||Postponed||Crystal Palace|
Manchester United claimed a 1-0 victory over Arsenal the last two times these two played, but Wednesday's tilt at the Emirates resulted in a scoreless tie.
The Gunners entered the contest just two points behind Chelsea, which played to a 1-1 draw against a West Bromwich Albion outfit that is trying to avoid relegation, but couldn't come up with much on offense. In fact, both Arsenal and United seemed to be lagging on the pitch until the final stages of the match.
Phil McNulty of BBC Sport noted that both teams were trying to rebound after disappointing results, as Arsenal lost to Liverpool 5-1 on Saturday while United surprisingly tied bottom-feeding Fulham 2-2 on Sunday.
It showed in a game that was desperately disappointing in between a flurry of chances in the opening and closing minutes, ending in a result that did not serve the purposes of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger or United counterpart David Moyes, other than in avoiding defeat.
Former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie came closest for the visitors but his early effort was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, who also turned the Dutchman's late header onto the bar.
The Gunners showed some late life but couldn't put anything past keeper David de Gea, who also got some nice help from his defense.
Following the match, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger acknowledged that his team was playing conservatively.
Arsene Wenger: "I thought we were concerned not to concede. We were hit by the five goals on Saturday and you could feel that maybe" #ARSMUN— Premier League (@premierleague) February 12, 2014
For now, Arsenal holds second place, a point behind Chelsea, while Manchester United is still 11 points back of fourth-place Liverpool.
Fulham 2-3 Liverpool
Pesky Fulham was at it again on Wednesday, playing a powerhouse tough for 90 minutes.
This time around, Fulham looked like the aggressor, taking leads on two different occasions against Liverpool. An embarrassing Kolo Toure own goal put the Reds in an early 1-0 hole, but Daniel Sturridge notched an equaliser in the 22nd minute. It marked his 16th score of the season, second only to teammate Luis Suarez.
TOP SCORERS These players have struck most in the #BPL this season: Suarez 23 | Sturridge 16 | Aguero 15 | Hazard, Yaya Toure 12 | Remy 11— Premier League (@premierleague) February 12, 2014
Fulham charged up their home fans in the second half when Kieran Richardson scored in the 63rd minute, but the lead didn't last long by way of a Philippe Coutinho goal. That all set the stage for some dramatic stoppage-time theater.
Two minutes into added time, Fulham right-back Sascha Riether clumsily brought down Sturridge in the box, allowing Steven Gerrard to secure the victory with a spot kick. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers shared lofty praise for Gerrard with Neil McLeman of the Mirror.
“Steven Gerrard is peerless in situations like that,” Rodgers said. “He showed brilliant composure. There’s no better person to take a penalty right at the end to win the game.”
Liverpool needed the three points in the race for fourth place and a coveted Champions League berth, as Tottenham claimed a 4-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday. For now, the Reds will stay three points clear of Spurs.
Last-place Fulham, meanwhile, is four points away from safety with 12 matches to play.