Let's be honest—Championship Sunday lost some of its luster on Saturday. Arsenal wrapped up another berth to the Champions League, and both Fulham and Cardiff City were relegated.
But there's still the matter of the league title on the line and that last relegation place to address, both still very much up in the air. And in a season full of twists and turns, well, it seems likely there will be another twist in this plot.
Before we go through the major storylines of the weekend, however, let's take a look at where we stand on the table.
|12||West Ham United||37||11||7||19||40||49||-9||40|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||35||7||15||13||42||54||-12||36|
The league title remains City's to lose after their huge win over Everton, 3-2. Should they beat Aston Villa and West Ham—with both games at the Etihad Stadium—they will be the Premier League champions with a superior goal differential to Liverpool, unless the Reds somehow erase a nine-goal deficit in that regard.
That's not happening.
And City are now overwhelming favorites to win their second title in three years, per Paul Carr of ESPN:
Manchester City is now a 79% favorite to win the Premier League, per Soccer Power Index: pic.twitter.com/YIkwwuRmXy— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) May 3, 2014
Everton's loss also guarantees that Arsenal are heading back to the Champions League for the 17th straight year. And it means that Hull City are headed to the Europa League. The winner of the FA Cup automatically qualifies for the tournament, and Arsenal and Hull City are in the final. But since the Gunners are headed to the UCL, Hull gets the Europa bid by default.
So congrats, you Tigers (sorry, couldn't resist).
Everton, too, are headed to the Europa League, unless they lose their next game and Tottenham win while somehow erasing the 19-goal difference currently separating the two clubs in goal differential.
Yeah, that's not happening.
While those clubs found some joy on Saturday, Fulham and Cardiff City are left with despair. Fulham have been dreadful all season long, while Vincent Tan's reign over Cardiff City continues to be controversial. Many will feel the team wouldn't be in this position had Tan not sacked Malky Mackay.
As for Fulham, Felix Magath—the club's third manager since December—is already gunning for a return to the Premier League next season, as he told The Guardian on Twitter:
Of course, there are no guarantees that the task will be his after Fulham failed to stay in the Premier League. But at least he's looking forward already, not back. It's that sort of attitude that Fulham will need to make their EPL return.
As for the action to come, Liverpool find themselves in a must-win situation against Crystal Palace on Monday, while Arsenal and West Brom will play a rather meaningless match on Sunday morning.
The one match worth watching is Chelsea facing Norwich City after that. The Blues still have very slim odds to win a title, but more importantly, a loss by the Blues and an Arsenal win would mean Chelsea were just two points clear of Arsenal for third place.
That's not a huge deal, but the team in fourth has to go through Champions League qualifying, so it's not ideal.
The huge deal is for Norwich as they try to avoid relegation. A loss would virtually ensure their relegation, as Sunderland would be three points clear, hold a game in hand and possess a vastly superior goal differential.
A win for them would make things interesting. A draw would keep them alive. A loss would send them back down. Bet on the latter.