Less than a month remains in the Premier League campaign. While the positioning of individual clubs has changed quite a bit throughout the season, the overall theme of close races in just about every area is staying constant right down to the wire.
Most years, fans are fortunate when one race goes down to the final matchday. Last year, it was the battle for the final Champions League berth. This year, it appears there will be multiple things to get decided, ranging all the way from the league title to relegation.
Of course, with every match down the stretch carrying such a high level of importance, there are surely some memorable goals on the horizon. So let's check out the results and goalscorers for Matchday 35, which will be updated through the end of play Monday.
Matchday 35 Results
|Date||Home Club||Road Club||Final Score|
|4/19||West Ham||Crystal Palace||0-1|
|4/21||Manchester City||West Brom||3-1|
Matchday 35 Goalscorers
|1||Mile Jedinak||Crystal Palace|
|1||Pablo Zabaleta||Manchester City|
|1||Sergio Aguero||Manchester City|
|1||Martin Demichelis||Manchester City|
|1||Graham Dorrans||West Bromwich Albion|
Recap of Top Performances
A poor run of form had dropped Swansea uncomfortably close to the relegation zone, and another loss on Saturday would have amplified the pressure on the Swans. Instead, they went out on the road and earned three key points against Newcastle, in large part thanks to Wilfried Bony.
Who was the most impressive player of the week?
The Ivorian striker leveled the match during first-half stoppage time and then connected from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time to add another loss to Newcastle's recent woes. More importantly, he provided his own club with some breathing room above the relegation cutoff.
Bony has enjoyed a successful first campaign at Swansea. He has scored 13 league goals in 31 appearances for a side that has needed that type of attacking effort due to some lackluster defending, the double Saturday being among the most vital of the bunch.
The club's official site passed along comments from interim manager Garry Monk about what Bony has brought to the squad:
Bony has been great. He has stepped up to the plate in his first season here.
He's a massive character and he works so hard every day.
He has goals, but he's also a handful for defenders when he's not scoring. He deserves a lot of credit because he's been brilliant for us.
No other player scored a brace or better on the first day of the week's action, but there were a couple of other key goals to highlight attacking success.
Is the title race over after Chelsea's loss?
One came from Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini, who converted from the penalty spot for Sunderland in a shocking upset of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The win gives the Black Cats life in a season that looked all but lost a few weeks ago.
American international Jozy Altidore went down in the box after a sliding tackle attempt by Cesar Azpilicueta. Whether a penalty should have been rewarded is certainly up for debate, but the Chelsea defender put himself in danger once he went to the ground.
As it turns out, Borini ended up scoring what could end up being one of the biggest goals of the season for Liverpool, even though he's not on the team.
OptaJoe noted that it was the first penalty conceded by Chelsea in league play in more than a year:
1 - Chelsea have conceded a Premier League penalty for the first time since January 12, 2013 (against Stoke City). Upset.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 19, 2014
The other notable goalscorer came from Tottenham rising star Harry Kane. The 20-year-old forward has been handed more opportunities in the final stages of the campaign and certainly hasn't let them slip away. He has now scored in three straight matches for Spurs.
His tally this week ended up being the winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Fulham. It keeps the club within striking distance of a Champions League berth, albeit still needing a lot of help. More likely, it will help secure a Europa League spot.
Regardless of how the season finishes up for Tottenham, they should be very encouraged about the future of the attack with Kane making a major statement in recent weeks.
On Sunday, the Reds took full advantage of Chelsea’s stumble by beating Norwich City and opening up a five-point lead at the top of the table. The Liverpool faithful owes a huge amount of gratitude to Raheem Sterling, as the teenager was sensational and played a part in all three goals—scoring two of them himself and adding an assist to his tally.
As per usual, Liverpool opened the match by unleashing the might of their awe-inspiring attack. The result? A two-goal cushion after just 11 minutes.
Sterling opened the scoring with a sublime strike from outside the box that took a little nick off defender Michael Turner before screaming past keeper John Ruddy and into the back of the net. The 19-year old then displayed his vision and touch with an absolutely beautifully weighted cross which found Luis Suarez unmarked in the box—and the Uruguayan knew what to do with it.
Sterling’s last highlight of the day came in the 62nd minute and was a much-needed response after Gary Hooper’s goal had given the hosts confidence that they could mount a comeback. The Liverpool star intercepted a wayward Norwich pass in his own half and took it the distance.
He was lucky enough to get a nasty deflection that caused his shot to pop up and fly over Ruddy, but he was very deserving of that good fortune:
Raheem Sterling gets the bit of luck that majestic run deserved. How Liverpool have needed him today.— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) April 20, 2014
Sterling’s brilliance has been on display all season, and his manager is certainly paying attention:
Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling is the best young player in Europe. "I don't see anyone better." pic.twitter.com/GWPSnyexhx— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 20, 2014
Elsewhere in the EPL, Lukas Podolski notched a brace as Arsenal strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win over Hull City. The double was, of course, very important for the Gunners as they try to hold onto the final Champions League spot, but the goals also lifted Podolski’s stature in the EPL record books:
Lukas Podolski is now the third leading German scorer in Premier League history (19 goals). Clinical performance from him today.— Chris Wheatley (@GoonerTalk) April 20, 2014
Arsene Wenger's side needed those goals as Everton beat Manchester United to keep the pressure on the Gunners.
The matchday ended Monday with Manchester City keeping their title hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Sergio Aguero scored his first goal since January in a season derailed by injuries. Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis also added scores in a historic event for the EPL:
This is the 1st time 3 Argentinians have scored in a PL match (Zabaleta, Aguero, Demichelis). Argentina 3 - West Brom 1.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 21, 2014
Graham Dorrans added a goal for West Brom, but it was not enough for the road team to remain competitive.
City still need help to get back to the top of the league table, but three points on Monday help them remain in contention.