Week 28 of the Premier League season saw a lot of drama, controversy and goals, and now that all of the games have been played, it's time to take a look at the league standings.
Arsenal's loss away to Stoke City means we have a new team sitting in second place, as Liverpool have now passed the Gunners on the table. The Reds easily dismissed Southampton and will now have their eyes set firmly on Chelsea, who came away with a win over Fulham.
Manchester City battled Sunderland for the Capital One Cup, so the Citizens still have some games in hand.
Read on for a full league table and a breakdown of the title hopes for the top contenders.
All information is current as of Sunday, 2 March.
The Blues' 3-1 victory over Fulham gives Chelsea a bit of breathing room at the top of the league table, but Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are right on their tails.
It's not always pretty, but Jose Mourinho's men get the job done. Despite his team sitting at the top of the table, the Portuguese mastermind remains adamant his team is not the favourite for the league title, per CFC Transfer Live:
Chelsea not favourites for title, Manchester City are says Jose Mourinho http://t.co/PMKsE7izNw"— CHELSEA TRANSFER MKT (@CFCtransferlive) March 2, 2014
Rob Harris from The Associated Press reports Mourinho doesn't think too highly of the lead his team has built atop the standings:
Mourinho on Chelsea going 4 points clear: "I am not top of the league, I am there occasionally"— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) March 1, 2014
Chelsea's lead might not be the biggest Mourinho has ever worked with (City have two games in hand and could Chelsea join at the top if both games are won), but anyone would be foolish to bet against the Blues.
While City looked shaky defensively in their Capital One Cup triumph over Sunderland, as pointed out by ESPN's Ian Macintosh in the tweet below, Chelsea's defense seems almost impenetrable at times.
Demichelis and Kompany playing so high that they're inviting another big ball over the top.— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) March 2, 2014
And with Eden Hazard enjoying a season for the ages (12 goals and seven assists in only 27 games, per WhoScored.com), there's no reason to believe Chelsea won't be in the running to win it all until the very end.
Title hopes: good
Liverpool's dominant 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday underlined a simple fact: The Reds are good—really good.
Powered by arguably the top attacking partnership around Europe, there's not a defense in the EPL that isn't worried when facing Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Total LFC gave us this little statistic:
Liverpool will be a difficult out for any opponent, and they're in the thick of the title race. The team might lack the experience and defensive quality of Chelsea or Manchester City, but it makes up for it with the most explosive attack in the league.
Title hopes: solid
City remain arguably the best team in the EPL based purely on talent, and their 3-1 victory in the Capital One Cup was living proof.
The Citizens played well below their standards and allowed Sunderland far too much space to set up combinations in the first half. Yet a couple of crazy minutes and explosive strikes from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri were enough to turn the entire tie around and win City the cup.
Every team is going to have bad days, and the key to winning championships is winning games even when you're playing bad.
Add to that the return of Sergio Aguero, who made his first start since suffering a hamstring injury late January, and the Citizens seem to be gearing up for the stretch run quite nicely. As reported by The Associated Press' Rob Harris, City won't be satisfied with "just" winning the Capital One Cup:
Pellegrini won't be satisfied if the League Cup is Manchester City's only title this season http://t.co/3g4kbrCpMd— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) March 2, 2014
I'm going to side with Jose Mourinho here: City are still the favourites for the EPL title.
Title hopes: very good
Saturday's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City felt all too familiar. The Gunners have built a reputation for underwhelming at the worst possible times over the past few years, and this loss does little to change that.
Who will win the EPL title?
Mesut Ozil, who was the talk of the town at the start of the season, has been unable to truly convince his critics in the past few weeks and was given a chance to rest against Stoke. In hindsight, that might not have been the wisest decision, as Here Is The City are reporting Arsene Wenger confirms Ozil was deemed fit to start:
No he was fit to start. He has played many, many games. He came on at the right moment I think
The loss drops Arsenal to the third spot on the table, with City right on their tails. And with the schedule looking particularly brutal over the next few weeks, the Gunners might be in real trouble:
Arsenal next 5 games: Everton (h) Bayern Munich (a) Tottenham (a) Chelsea (a) Manchester City (h) #afc— Arsenal (@Goonerz1886) March 1, 2014
If Arsenal can survive these next few weeks, they might still have a chance. But surviving a schedule like that would be a daunting task regardless of form, and the Gunners aren't exactly flying high going into their next fixture.
Title hopes: slipping
Chelsea might be sitting pretty at the top of the table and Liverpool are definitely trending upwards, but Manchester City are still my favourites to win the 2013-14 EPL Championship, with Chelsea and Liverpool rounding out the top three. With the schedule as it is, fourth place and the final UEFA Champions League spot it brings will be the best Arsenal can hope for.