World Football

EPL Table Week 38: Key Storylines from Weekend's Premier League Action

Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, right, celebrates with teammate James Milner after scoring the second goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Saturday May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)
Clint Hughes/Associated Press
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

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.

Premier League Table
POSTEAMPLDWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester City36255696375980
2Liverpool36255696465080
3Chelsea36246669264378
4Arsenal36227765412473
5Everton37209859392069
6Tottenham Hotspur37206115251166
7Manchester United361861260411960
8Southampton371510125345855
9Newcastle United37154184257-1549
10Stoke City371211144351-847
11Crystal Palace36134192843-1543
12West Ham United37117194049-940
13Swansea City37109185153-239
14Aston Villa36108183954-1538
15Hull City36107193748-1137
16West Bromwich Albion35715134254-1236
17Sunderland3698193857-1935
18Norwich City3688202860-3232
19Fulham3794243883-4531
20Cardiff City3779213172-4130
Sky Sports

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: 

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.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND-  May 03: Cardiff City's Craig Bellamy after his team are relegated during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Cardiff City at St. James'  Park on May 03, 2014  in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Richa
Richard Sellers/Getty Images

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 FulhamFelix 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.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho talks to the press at the Chelsea Training Ground on May 2, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

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.

 

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices