Manchester City went into Old Trafford and dominated Manchester United on Tuesday to remain in the driver's seat for the EPL title.
City now trail table leaders Chelsea by three points, but they have two games in hand.
After the Manchester Derby triumph, City manager Manuel Pellegrini watched as other title contenders in midweek action were less than inspiring.
Arsenal suffered a draw with Swansea City on Tuesday after an own goal from Mathieu Flamini in the 90th minute. Liverpool were then in action on Wednesday, and although the Reds picked up three points, it was a listless performance in a 2-1 over lowly Sunderland.
All of this sets up for a wonderful title race, which Jason Pettigrove of B/R and beIN Sports excitedly points out:
Fan bloody tastic title races in both La Liga and the EPL. Best seasons for years— Jason Pettigrove (@jasonpettigrove) March 26, 2014
Have a look at the results and the table following this action, and then we'll delve further into the title outlook.
|March 25||Arsenal vs. Swansea||2-2|
|March 25||Man United vs. Man City||3-0|
|March 25||Newcastle vs. Everton||3-0|
|March 26||West Ham vs. Hull||2-1|
|March 26||Liverpool vs. Sunderland||2-1|
|March 29||Man United vs. Aston Villa||TBD|
|March 29||Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea||TBD|
|March 29||Southampton vs. Newcastle||TBD|
|March 29||Stoke vs. Hull||TBD|
|March 29||Swansea vs. Norwich||TBD|
|March 29||West Brom vs. Cardiff||TBD|
|March 29||Arsenal vs. Man City||TBD|
|March 30||Fulham vs. Everton||TBD|
|March 30||Liverpool vs. Tottenham||TBD|
|March 31||Sunderland vs. West Ham||TBD|
Source: BBC Sport
|11||West Ham United||31||9||7||15||-7||34|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||30||5||13||12||-12||28|
The Citizens title hopes are looking better than ever. Just don't tell Pellegrini this.
The manager shared his thoughts on the title race following his team's victory over United, and Yahoo! Sports passed them along in an article by PA Sport:
I don't think so. We will continue fighting with the other three teams, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, and we have to win the two postponed games and continue playing the way we play. I am not thinking about the title. Tomorrow we are thinking about Arsenal.
Who will win the title?
City will be thinking of Arsenal because the Citizens will next travel to Emirates to take on the Gunners this Saturday. That is a must-win match for Arsenal.
The Gunners trail Manchester City by three points and have played two more matches. The Gunners have just seven league matches left. After City, they will travel to take on Everton. Beyond that, the schedule is very manageable.
Still, it will be time to start thinking of next season if the Gunners drop another. Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell, as Football-News tweets, knows the Gunners are hanging by a thread:
Arsenal need a 'miracle' to win title, says Campbell: The former Gunners star believes their 6-0 hammering at the... http://t.co/wIuNmGQiFL— Football-News (@Bot_Football) March 26, 2014
The crushing draw to Swansea City came on the heels of their 0-6 embarrassment against Chelsea. The Gunners need a performance to rally around.
Speaking of Chelsea, the Blues remain in a strong position.
Although they need City to slip up. Jose Mourinho's men trail the Citizens in goal differential by 13. So essentially, they must finish with more points than City. That means, if Chelsea picks up three points in all of their remaining matches, they will need City to miss out on at least four points.
Chelsea have just one daunting league match remaining, and that is a huge one. The Blues travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool on April 27. That is the same Liverpool squad that trails Chelsea by just a point.
Liverpool were listless against Sunderland, and had Jake Livermore hit the net instead of the crossbar, the Reds would not have escaped with the win.
Still, Liverpool have been strong prior to that match. Squawka Football helps highlight:
Liverpool are the only EPL team who are unbeaten in 2014 - with 9 wins & 2 draws. Their title push is gathering pace. pic.twitter.com/T7ft8ScctE— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 26, 2014
They will have to remain strong to stay in the title race.
Leading up to their showdown with Chelsea, the Reds have some tough matches ahead. That includes a home date with Tottenham, an away match against West Ham and a home date against Manchester City.
As for City, if they are going to take the league crown, they will definitely earn it. The Citizens have the previously mentioned away matches against Arsenal and Liverpool as well as a May 3 away match with Everton.
The Citizens have the depth and talent to withstand this schedule, but this is also a team that has struggled with consistency this season. For example, it was just five league matches ago that they limped to a 0-0 draw with Norwich City.
The only certainty for the remaining Premier League season is that it is going to be exciting.