With just six weeks remaining of the 2013/14 Premier League season, Week 33’s action really spiced things up at both the top and bottom of the division.
Liverpool seized the title initiative with a 4-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday, which propelled them to the top of the pile after Chelsea and Manchester City dropped points against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, respectively.
Once again, it was a case of goals galore in the English top flight, with five of the weekend’s 10 matches boasting four or more goals for fans to savour.
Amongst the goalscorers were some of the usual suspects, who are analysed below together with a fully updated list of the Premier League’s top marksmen.
|Yaya Toure||Manchester City||17|
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||15|
|Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||15|
|Loic Remy||Newcastle United||13|
Luis Suarez, 29 goals
With the Reds scoring four goals at home, you’d be shocked if you didn’t see Luis Suarez’s name on the scoresheet. But the Uruguayan didn’t disappoint, calmly slotting the ball home to put Liverpool 2-0 up and fully in command of the tie.
In notching his 29th goal of the campaign, Suarez broke the record for a Liverpool goalscorer in a single season—per OptaJoe on Twitter:
29 – Luis Suarez has scored 29 goals this season; the most by any Liverpool player in a single PL season. Landmark.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 30, 2014
It’s been a remarkable season for the 27-year-old who, let’s not forget, was suspended for Liverpool’s opening five Premier League games.
The man that previously held the record for Liverpool goals in a single season, Robbie Fowler, said in a recent interview with Henry Winter of The Telegraph that he's happy to see a player of Suarez's calibre beating his records:
“Comparing Luis to me makes me feel good as he’s an extraordinary player. If he’s matching me and beating me, I’m happy with that. Luis is a brilliant player, one of those players that has me sitting on the edge of my seat."
There have been murmurs of "world’s best" when Suarez’s name has been mentioned, and Uber Football Fact compared him to the very best in the business—Cristiano Ronaldo—with some interesting results:
Cristiano Ronaldo this season 27 games 28 goals 8 assists 6 penalties Luis Suárez this season 27 games 29 goals 11 assists 0 penalties— Uber Football Fact (@UberFootFact) March 30, 2014
Suarez needs just one more goal to join an elite group of players to have scored 30 or more goals in a Premier League season.
The Liverpool front man will join the likes of Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Thierry Henry, Kevin Phillips, Robin van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo in the 30-goal club if he can find the net again—per The Top Tenner.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are now in pole position to win their first league title since the 1989/90 campaign, and if they can keep Suarez firing on all cylinders, you’d be brave to bet against them achieving just that.
Wayne Rooney, 15 goals
Fresh from a double at West Ham, complete with a goal-of-the-season contender, Wayne Rooney once again found himself amongst the goals as Manchester United welcomed Aston Villa to Old Trafford.
After Ashley Westwood’s free-kick gave Villa a shock lead, Rooney turned the game on its head at the end of the first half with two goals to take his tally to 15 for the season.
Juan Mata and Javier Hernandez put the result beyond doubt in the second half, but for Rooney, his goals had more significance than just being the catalyst behind three points for his club.
According to BBC Sport on Twitter, Rooney’s brace moves him into the top four on the all-time Premier League goalscorers list, with his total now sitting at 171:
With just 89 league goals required to catch up with Alan Shearer’s record and plenty of years left in his legs, Rooney has a great chance to become the league’s highest ever scorer. ESPNFC tweeted the stats:
Premier League all-time top scorers: 1) Shearer - 260. 2) Andy Cole - 187. 3) Thierry Henry - 175. 4) Rooney - 171. 5) Lampard - 170.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 30, 2014
While United have suffered a rather gloomy campaign under David Moyes, Rooney has been a rare shining light, adding 10 assists to his goal haul throughout the season.
With six games remaining, Rooney will undoubtedly add to his goal tally, and if his form continues, England could be the ones reaping the real benefits with the World Cup in Brazil just around the corner.
Jay Rodriguez, 15 goals
It has been a sensational season for Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez so far. Having struggled to make an impact with the Saints during the last campaign, the Englishman has found the formula for goals this season and has been rewarded with numerous England caps.
The 24-year-old netted a brace against Newcastle United on Saturday to join Rooney and Sergio Aguero on 15 goals for the season, as Premier League revealed on Twitter:
Southampton have been irresistible to watch this year, with their three core Englishmen Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert impressing from the very start.
All three players will be looking to make the plane to Brazil with England, and the way that they performed in the 4-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, manager Roy Hodgson will be hard-pressed not to pick them all.
The trio all got themselves on the scoresheet during Week 33, which seemed to excite The FA’s official Twitter feed:
Southampton’s fantastic season keeps rising from strength to strength, and if Rodriguez can continue producing the kind of performances that have taken him into the top-four goalscorers this season, then he could soon be about to become a World Cup star.