EPL Table: 2016 Standings After Saturday's Week 26 Results and Top Scorers

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2016

Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Diego Costa continued his remarkable revival since Guus Hiddink took over as Chelsea manager, netting his 10th Premier League goal of the season to help Chelsea thrash Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.

Costa moved up in the top scorers charts on a day in which Everton's Romelu Lukaku couldn't close the gap on Leicester City hotshot Jamie Vardy. Lukaku drew a blank during a disappointing home defeat for the Toffees against West Bromwich Albion.

Here are the full results from Saturday's games:

Premier League Week 26 Results: Saturday Scores
Sunderland2-1Manchester United
Bournemouth1-3Stoke City
Crystal Palace1-2Watford
Everton0-1West Bromwich Albion
Norwich City2-2West Ham United
Swansea City0-1Southampton
Chelsea5-1Newcastle United
Sky Sports

Here's what those results mean for the standings:

Premier League Standings: Week 26
PositionClubPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1Leicester City2515822053
2Tottenham Hotspur2513932648
4Manchester City2514562147
5Manchester United261187941
7West Ham United2610106940
9Stoke City2610610-536
13Crystal Palace269512-532
14West Bromwich Albion268810-1032
16Swansea City266911-1027
17Norwich City266614-2024
18Newcastle United266614-2224
20Aston Villa253715-2016

These are the division's top scores:

PL Top Goalscorers
1Jamie VardyLeicester City18
2Romelu LukakuEverton16
3Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur15
4Riyad MahrezLeicester City14
5Odion IghaloWatford14
6Sergio AgueroManchester City14
7Olivier GiroudArsenal12
8Diego CostaChelsea10
9Jermain DefoeSunderland10
10Georginio WijanldumNewcastle United9


Diego Costa, 10 Goals

Costa netted the first of three rapid-fire goals for Chelsea, all scored within the first 20 minutes. He made a smart run to connect with Willian's excellent through pass before slotting home confidently.

Costa's improved confidence under Hiddink has led directly to more prolific form in front of goal. Sky Sports Statto detailed exactly how much more effective the ex-Atletico Madrid star has been since Hiddink succeeded Jose Mourinho:

There's certainly been a greater spring in Costa's step since Hiddink arrived. He's making quicker, more decisive runs between the lines. The 27-year-old has rediscovered his ruthless streak as a finisher whenever he gets a chance.

Costa is playing so well he has people, including Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard, thinking about what might have been this season:

Chelsea's Premier League campaign will bear no fruit, but with a striker in this sort of form, the Blues have to be considered a genuine threat in both the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup.


Romelu Lukaku, 16 Goals

Lukaku was one of many misfiring Toffees players against West Brom. The beefy Belgian striker and his teammates aimed 34 shots at the Baggies goal, but it was telling only six were on target, per Sky Sports.

What should really frustrate Lukaku is that he received plenty of support in forward areas, in sharp contrast to Albion's match-winner, Salomon Rondon, according to Richard Jolly of the Guardian:

The range of those who came close is an indication of the commitment to attack. Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka in effect constituted a back two as everyone else swarmed forward. Their notional lone striker, Romelu Lukaku, was surrounded by colleagues. His Albion counterpart, Rondón, came off with an acute case of loneliness.

Ultimately, Lukaku cut a frustrated figure, knowing he missed the chance to usurp Vardy at the top of the scoring charts. Playing for a team as inconsistent as manager Roberto Martinez's Everton is likely to eventually undermine Lukaku's attempts to finish the season as the division's highest scorer.

As for Costa, he won't win that accolade, but he can win over the Chelsea supporters with his increasingly impressive improvement during the crunch period of the season.