Coming into the weekend, most folks would have assumed Chelsea beating Crystal Palace was a given. After all, the Blues were atop the Premier League table, while Palace were lingering near the bottom.
That's why they play the games, folks.
Chelsea's stunning loss to Crystal Palace completely opened up the title race between the top four teams and was the most stunning result in a weekend full of intriguing ones. Let's take a look back at the key results and the updated table.
|11||West Ham United||31||9||7||15||34||41||-7||34|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||31||5||14||12||36||48||-12||29|
Wait, what? Did Crystal Palace really beat Chelsea?
Yes, yes, they did, as John Terry's own goal off a Joel Ward cross did the Blues in. From ESPNFC:
Shocking defeat as Chelsea lose for the 2nd time in their last 3 PL matches, 1-0 to Crystal Palace (Terry own goal). pic.twitter.com/qABBD6iWyE— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2014
There is no question that result will have a gigantic impact on the title race, as Manchester City and Arsenal are yet to square off, while Liverpool face Tottenham Sunday. Suddenly, the top of the Premier League feels very wide open.
May the best team win.
If you prefer wild finishes to top clubs losing, well, West Brom versus Cardiff City was certainly your flavor. Going into stoppage time, the scored was tied, 2-2, and then, well, madness happened.
From NBC Sports Soccer:
GOAL! Incredible finish at the Hawthorns, as West Brom go 3-2 up through Thievy... then Daehli equalized for Cardiff in the 95th minute. WOW— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 29, 2014
That result was certainly a relief for other clubs toiling in or near the relegation zone, as both West Brom and Cardiff escaped with just a point and kept things close in the basement.
Meanwhile, Manchester United and David Moyes quieted the critics (at least for a day) with an impressive 4-1 win over Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney notched a brace for the Red Devils, while Juan Mata opened his United account, and Javier Hernandez added a late goal to seal things up for last year's champions.
While support for Moyes has continued to wane, he received mostly roaring cheers when he entered Old Trafford Saturday. Moyes had the following to say after the match, via the Premier League's Twitter account:
.@ManUtd boss David Moyes on MUN 4-1 AVL: “I thought we did a good job. I’ve found that the support inside Old Trafford has been fantastic”— Premier League (@premierleague) March 29, 2014
A big win doesn't change the fact that United is still seventh on the table, of course. But for a day, the supporters were appeased.
In other action, both Southampton and Swansea City rolled, beating Newcastle 4-0 and Norwich City 3-0, respectively. Stoke City also earned a victory, knocking off Hull City 1-0.
In the day's final game, Arsenal and City drew even, leaving Chelsea at least temporarily atop the table. Liverpool will have the chance to go ahead of the Blues on Sunday, however, as they host Tottenham. Could the Reds put themselves in the title driver's seat?
It's all up in the air in the Premier League. An amazing weekend of footy only promises to get more intriguing.