Neither Chelsea nor Arsenal were able to enhance their Premier League title credentials as Liverpool battled back into contention on Wednesday.
The Reds came away with a much-needed victory after defeating lowly Fulham 3-2; closing the gap to top spot to just four points following draws for Chelsea and Arsenal.
Two matches— Everton v Crystal Palace and Manchester City v Sunderland—were postponed due to inclement weather:
Let's take a look at the full table and results following Matchday 26 and highlight a few of the top clubs heading into Matchday 27.
|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||2-3|
|11||West Ham United||26||7||7||12||-5||28|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||26||4||12||10||-8||24|
Sure, this seems like a rather easy observation, as Chelsea currently hold the top spot in the Premier League rankings; however, the current streak to get them into that position must be addressed.
Chelsea have not lost a match since their meeting with Stoke City on Dec. 7 of last year. Since then, they have won eight of their 11 fixtures with three draws.
On Tuesday, it appeared Chelsea would come away with yet another victory as they led West Brom 1-0 heading into the dying minutes of the match. However, in the 87th minute, Victor Anichebe was able to find the back of the net and force a draw.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left with a foul taste in his mouth, confessing his side had thrown away two points. After the fixture, he delivered this statement during an interview with PremierLeague.com:
In the last 20 minutes they put us under pressure and they scored a goal as a consequence. Maybe they deserved that point. A point is a point and at the end of the season we will see. I think the game for 60 minutes was completely in our hands, West Brom didn't put one foot in our box. We couldn't kill the game. We were comfortable in the game, maybe too comfortable. We didn't kill the game when we had the chance. In this moment we have one more point than before. If Arsenal and City win tomorrow they go above us but that is their job. Every game is difficult and every team needs points.
As it turned out, Arsenal were not able to capitalise. City, meanwhile, now have a game in hand that could see them move level on points with Chelsea at the top.
Ever since the club's back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Chelsea at the end of December, Liverpool's attack has come alive, as the club has gone on a scoring frenzy.
In their most recent seven matches, the Reds have won five and drawn two, allowing them to hold steady in the fourth position in the league table.
Credit must be given to a fantastic offensive effort, as the club has now scored 22 goals in their last seven fixtures, including netting five goals twice and four goals once over that span.
On Wednesday, Liverpool relied heavily on their attack once again, defeating Fulham 3-2 thanks to goals from Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard.
Steven Gerrard is peerless in situations like that. He showed brilliant composure. It was a great result. We've had to show character to come form behind twice. A brilliant victory.
If Liverpool can improve defensively in the coming weeks, they are positioned nicely to launch an assault on the title, particularly as they are still to play Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham at Anfield.
Watch out for Spurs. The club have been quietly climbing up the standings and are only three points adrift of Liverpool.
Since a 5-0 loss to the Reds on Dec. 15 of last year, this club have been on an absolute tear.
Tim Sherwood's men have come out victorious in seven of their last 10 fixtures, including two draws and one loss. During that span, they have only suffered one major setback, the 5-1 loss at the hands of Manchester City.
Tottenham's attack has been impressive, scoring a total of 21 goals over those 10 matches. On Wednesday, Spurs continued their impressive run, beating Newcastle United 4-0.
Led by striker Emmanuel Adebayor—who scored twice in the contest—Tottenham dominated the fixture with a combination of a dangerous attack and masterful goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris.
Once the match concluded, during an interview with PremierLeague.com, Tottenham manager Sherwood confirmed his intention to hunt down Liverpool:
I'm a perfectionist. There was a spell at start of the second half when Hugo had to pull off some saves. I've been critical of the way we've started matches, but not today. The boys looked sharp from the start. We've got to keep on the tail of Liverpool—they are relentless. I hope they keep on checking over their shoulders and see Spurs are still there.
Although Liverpool have also looked fantastic of late, the gap between the fourth and fifth position continues to remain tight.
With the top five clubs now separated by seven points, we are certainly in for plenty of drama as the season moves along.
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