6 Things We Learned from Premier League Week 37
Premier League Week 37 was very eventful, with two clubs having their fate sealed in the relegation battle. Sunderland have almost pulled off the great escape after capping an unbelievable run of form with a win against Manchester United this weekend.
The title race took another turn as Manchester City saw past Everton to go top of the table on goal difference at the expense of Liverpool.
West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa all picked up wins to alleviate the pressure off their respective managers for another week.
So what have we learned from this weekend of fixtures?
Tottenham Continue to Self-Implode in the First Half
Tottenham Hotspur crumbled in the opening half an hour against West Ham United with their central defender, Younes Kaboul, having been sent off and the side down, 1-0. Things went from bad to worse for Tim Sherwood’s side as West Ham went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Conceding the first goal in a game was a common occurrence in March for the Lilywhites, with Tottenham surrendering the opening goal in six of their seven games that month. Sherwood had also previously criticised the high amount of individual errors being made in matches. It appears they still haven't learned their lesson.
Aston Villa Can Win Without Christian Benteke
Aston Villa’s 3-1 win against Hull City on Saturday proved the side can cope without their top scorer, Christian Benteke.
The Belgian international, 23, has been absent for the last five Premier League games with a ruptured Achilles tendon. It has been well-documented via Bleacher Report how Villa have struggled without their talismanic forward, considering he’s contributed to more than 30 percent of their league goals this season.
But Villa showed there is life without the former Genk man. Striker Andreas Weimann stepped up to the plate this weekend and scored a much-needed brace to earn the Villans their first win in seven.
Manchester United’s Problems Lie Deeper Than What a Managerial Change Can Fix
After a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, interim manager Ryan Giggs has now tasted both victory and defeat in the space of a week.
In the post-match interview on BBC Sport, Giggs said he was at a loss as to why United performed so poorly in the game.
After winning 4-0 against Norwich City in his first game since replacing the sacked David Moyes, Giggs now realises there's a lot that needs fixing with the club than just the wrong manager being in charge, evident from his comments on BBC Sport about potentially exiting this summer.
Stoke Have Been Justified in Bringing in Mark Hughes
Stoke City were the big winners this weekend after hitting Fulham for four to condemn the Cottagers to relegation. The victory also meant Stoke found their way into the top half of the Premier League table with just one game to go, while also having matched their best ever Premier League tally (57).
After taking over from the popular and successful manager, Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes was under great pressure to prove the Potters can go forward under him. With wins against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, Hughes has gone some way to proving his appointment was justified. Not to mention, being currently on course to lead Stoke to their best league finish (10th).
Ross Barkley Could Be a Real Gem for England
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley shone for the Toffees this weekend in their 3-2 defeat against Manchester City, which led manager Roberto Martinez to suggest, via Sky Sports, that he should start for England in this summer‘s World Cup.
Barkley scored a superb opener to put Everton ahead against City, curling a beautiful first-time shot over Joe Hart in goal.
Who Scored named the England international as the man of the match, with the 20-year-old boasting nine successful dribbles— three times more than any other player.
Jose Mourinho’s Second Stint at Chelsea Has Officially Unravelled
Chelsea dropped more points to bottom-half Premier League opposition this weekend after being held to a 0-0 draw against Norwich City. The Blues could now be mathematically out of the title race if Manchester City or Liverpool win their penultimate league game.
Mourinho has now failed to win at home in his last three in all competitions. Their wretched form also means the Chelsea manager is on course to finish with his lowest league tally in his four seasons with Chelsea collectively (83 points in 2006/07). Mourinho is now likely to have endured consecutive trophyless seasons.