The Fallout After Super Sunday in Premier League Title Race

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIMarch 21, 2010

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United talks to Rio Ferdinand after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 21, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The results are in, and after the two big games on Sunday there is one apparent factor. Chelsea are the big losers of the weekend.

Manchester United 2 - 1 Liverpool

Arsene Wenger would probably allow himself a rye smile after the two games had unfolded. Although Manchester United had beaten Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford, they didn't look world beaters.

Fernando Torres gave the visitors the lead after five minutes, heading home a Dirk Kuyt cross. United looked sloppy at the back when defending the goal, with Torres finding acres of space in between Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand.

United were then awarded a dubious penalty when Javier Mascherano pulled down Antonio Valencia, the foul though was clearly outside the box with the winger falling into the penalty area and fooling referee Howard Webb.

Wayne Rooney saw his subsequent penalty saved by Pepe Reina, but the rebound fell back at Ronney's feet and he slotted home in the 12th minute. 

The game then swayed back and fourth without any chances being created. The next notable effort was a Rooney free-kick on the stroke of halftime.

As the second half progressed it was much of the same, then on 60 minutes Ji-Sung Park converted a Darren Fletcher cross to give the home side the lead.

This was how it would stay.

Fernando Torres had a couple of half chances but was unable to test Edwin van der Sar in the United goal.

Ferguson will be delighted with the victory, and a sign of emotion crept in as he pumped his fist while walking down the tunnel.

But even though the three points are massive, United still don't look the team to beat.

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 1 Chelsea

In the later kick-off Chelsea lost ground on Arsenal and United, as they drew 1-1 with Blackburn at Ewood Park.

All seemed to be back in working order in the fifth minute, Nicolas Anelka's good work set up Didier Drogba, who in turn finished with aplomb.

The Londoners dominated the rest of the first-half, without creating any clear-cut chances. Florent Malouda did have a long-range effort but that came to nothing.

A different Blackburn came out after the break, and Chris Samba had a header cleared off the line by Yuri Zhirkov.

But they continued to cause Chelsea problems and were rewarded when El Hadji Diouf levelled proceedings with 20 minutes remaining, heading home from six yards.

The Fallout

So after the two games what can be said about the title race.

Well Chelsea are all at sea at the moment, they just need to get back to winning ways and soon. They seem to be lacking creativity at the moment; they played a very narrow formation today and relied on Malouda to try and do everything on the flank.

United, look better than Chelsea. But there is still a nagging doubt with United. They are over-reliant on Wayne Rooney, and you feel if he has an injury or suspension his team will struggle for goals.

The real winners are Arsenal; they have the easiest run-in and after watching their two main rivals, they wouldn't be that worried. Only time will tell if Arsenal have the staying power, but at the moment they're looking the best bet.

United and Chelsea have to play each other, this could end up deciding the fate of the title. United win and they will take some stopping. Chelsea win and they push themselves back to the top.

While all this is happening, Arsene Wenger's men will be going about their business in the shadows. Waiting to pounce on their chance.

League Table

                             P          W         L          D          PTS

1. Man Utd          31       22        6          3           69

2. Arsenal           31       21        6          4           67

3. Chelsea          30       20        5          5           65


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