Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur continued their solid form in Week 22 of the 2015-16 Premier League season, cruising to wins over Crystal Palace and Sunderland, respectively. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Everton played out a spectacular 3-3 draw on Saturday.
Bournemouth beat Norwich City 3-0 in a vital clash of teams battling to avoid relegation, and Newcastle United shocked West Ham United 2-1.
Here's a look at Saturday's results, as well as the updated standings:
|Manchester City||4-0||Crystal Palace|
|Newcastle United||2-1||West Ham United|
|Southampton||3-0||West Bromwich Albion|
|Aston Villa||1-1||Leicester City|
|5||West Ham United||22||9||8||5||8||35|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||22||7||6||9||-8||27|
Manchester City put together one of their best performances of the season on Saturday, easily disposing of Crystal Palace to temporarily move into first place in the standings. Leicester City later drew with Aston Villa, 1-1.
Sergio Aguero is returning to his best form and showed it against the Eagles, scoring a brace and handing an assist to David Silva. Fabian Delph had opened the scoring before Aguero hit twice to put Crystal Palace away.
His contributions for the final goal really stood out, however, showing an incredible turn of pace before selflessly laying it off for Silva.
Karl Matchett of Bleacher Report UK was impressed:
Absolutely roasted his man for the last goal and good unselfish play too to set up Silva.— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) January 16, 2016
The Citizens never had to play their best football, as Crystal Palace barely put up a challenge, but manager Manuel Pellegrini will undoubtedly be happy with his team's performance. With the likes of Delph and Pablo Zabaleta also impressing, City look to be rounding into form at a crucial time.
Not everything went perfect on Saturday, however, as Aleksandar Kolarov left the pitch on a stretcher. While it's unclear how severe his injury was, it would be a major blow to City's title chances if he were to miss a significant amount of time.
Chelsea and Everton were involved in one of the best and worst halves of football you'll ever see, producing little of note during the first 45 minutes of their 3-3 draw before exploding after the break.
John Terry opened the scoring with an own-goal and redeemed himself late with the equaliser in the 98th minute, although the late strike came with lots of controversy.
As shared by Everton FC News, he was more than just a little offside:
The Toffees should have put the match away when Kevin Mirallas handed them a 2-0 lead, but in two minutes, Chelsea pulled level. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas took care of the scoring and set up a nervy finish, where Ramiro Funes Mori was sure he had found the winner until Terry's last-minute heroics.
In the standings, Everton remain outside of the top 10, as they were unable to take advantage of Crystal Palace's loss. The Toffees are still in the race for a UEFA Europa League ticket, but they need to start winning matches with some consistency fast.
Chelsea still sit just six points above the relegation zone, and at this point, obtaining even a Europa League place will prove challenging.
Christian Eriksen scored twice to guide Spurs past Sunderland, with Mousa Dembele and Harry Kane also finding the net. Patrick van Aanholt had given the visitors the lead, but Tottenham showed lots of maturity to battle their way back and continue their fine run.
Per the club's official Twitter account, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was understandably happy with the result:
Mauricio: "I'm very happy. You could see our confident grow after Mousa's goal. It was a good performance."— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 16, 2016
Tottenham's great stretch of results hit a speed bump last week with the loss against Leicester City, but it seems that match was nothing but a hiccup, as the team looked just fine against Sunderland. With West Ham dropping a result against Newcastle, the road to a top-four finish suddenly looks wide open for Spurs.
Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum gave the hosts a shock two-goal lead inside 15 minutes, and the Hammers were unable to pull it back, despite Nikica Jelavic's goal early in the second half.