Contenders made themselves known and pretenders fell off the pace in Week 35 of the Premier League.
Whether it were Liverpool, Arsenal or Everton grinding out a Sunday victory, the title race and the race for the final Champions League spot were both impacted severely. Just as well, Chelsea proved it may not be their year and Manchester United gave up any outside shot at getting into the Champions League.
Week 35 won't be in the books until Manchester City face West Brom on Monday, but let's go ahead and break down the biggest results from the weekend.
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Final Score|
|4/19||West Ham||Crystal Palace||0-1|
|4/21||Manchester City||West Brom||Monday|
|12||West Ham United||35||10||7||18||38||48||-10||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||33||6||15||12||40||51||-11||33|
Important Week 35 Results
Chelsea 1 - 2 Sunderland
As thousands of shocked supporters left Stamford Bridge clad in blue, the final score of 2-1 Sunderland left Chelsea's players on the pitch stunned.
After dominating much of the game and generating action all over the attacking third, the Blues suffered a defeat that takes the Premier League title out of their control.
Samuel Eto'o put Chelsea in front early on with a splendid goal in the 12th minute. But not long after, Connor Wickham equalized in the 18th minute, and the underdogs Sunderland were able to hold Chelsea scoreless heading into half.
Who will win the EPL title?
In the second half, Jozy Altidore came on for an injured Wickham and drew a penalty in the box in the 82nd minute. Fabio Borini scored the resulting penalty, and the Blues weren't able to bounce back after a whopping 31 total shots and 15 shots on goal.
Chelsea could have won the EPL title simply by winning their last four matches heading into the Sunderland affair. But now, the Blues will have to hope for help from Liverpool in order to have a shot.
That begins in Anfield next weekend, as Chelsea visit Liverpool. That's seemingly a must-win for Jose Mourinho and company if they're going to win the title, as they're already five points back with three to go.
And for Sunderland, the win could be season-defining for them. A loss would have all but wrapped up a relegation bid, but now they can move virtually out of relegation zone if they win the game they have in hand over Fulham, Cardiff City and Norwich City.
Norwich City 2 - 3 Liverpool
The Reds didn't even play a part in one of their biggest wins of the season. Liverpool watched Chelsea lose to Sunderland Saturday, a big boost to their title hopes.
But it would not have meant much if Liverpool didn't take care of business against Norwich City—which they did in a 3-2 win.
It had all the makings of a typical Liverpool blowout early. Raheem Sterling scored four minutes in and Luis Suarez added a second just seven minutes later. Just 11 minutes in, it was 2-0 Liverpool and they took that lead into the halftime break.
They were tested in the second half when Gary Hopper cut the Norwich deficit in half, but Sterling's second goal pushed the Reds' lead to 3-1, and a Robert Snodgrass 77th-minute goal wasn't enough to give Norwich the momentum for a late push.
Of course, the win pushed Liverpool's epic win streak to 11 games. Paul Carr of ESPN noted the crazy historical context:
3 current Liverpool players were alive when Liverpool last won 11 straight league games in a season: Gerrard, Toure, Brad Jones.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) April 20, 2014
They can smell the title outside Anfield, and it will reach a fever pitch with a win over Chelsea next weekend. But keeping up the pace is crucial for Liverpool, as Manchester City of Chelsea could both re-emerge into the thick of things with one Reds loss.
Everton 2 - 0 Manchester United
From Liverpool's jubilation to Manchester United's flat-out despair—the Red Devils continued their struggle through the 2013-14 EPL slate Sunday with a 2-0 loss to Everton.
The loss knocked United out of Champions League contention:
OFFICIAL: Manchester United will not be part of next season's Champions League, after being in the competition for 18 consecutive seasons.— FootballFacts101 (@FootballFact101) April 20, 2014
David Moyes' return to Everton, where he previously managed, didn't go as planned. The home side was only in possession 39 percent of the game but was bounds more aggressive with 17 shots and five on goal (United had nine and two, respectively).
Leighton Baines' converted penalty in the 28th minute put Everton on top for good, and another added just before the half by Kevin Mirallas was enough for them to lean on throughout a snoozer of a second half.
United had a keen possession advantage but not much else. Offense was hard to come by for Moyes and company throughout, and Wayne Rooney is looking worse and worse.
This may have been the case for some time, but United need to start looking toward next season. The roster is in some serious turmoil, and at the very least, the Red Devils need to get their star core of players both healthy and on the same page.
As for Everton, they continue to impress as of late and keep putting the pressure on Arsenal for the final Champions League spot. They're still one point back with Arsenal winning on Sunday.