Premier League Winners and Losers After Saturday's Updated Week 27 EPL Table

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Marcos Alonso of Chelsea celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on February 22, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Chelsea and Manchester City were the big winners of Saturday's Premier League action, narrowly beating Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, respectively, to put some distance between themselves and their main rivals.

The Citizens now lead the Foxes by seven points in the race for second place, and the Blues sit four points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham.

Elsewhere, Brighton & Hove Albion held Sheffield United to a 1-1 draw, Crystal Palace beat Newcastle, Burnley cruised past Bournemouth and Southampton defeated Aston Villa.

Here are the standings after Saturday's fixtures:

Premier League @premierleague

Man City pull clear of Leicester in 3rd 📈 #LEIMCI https://t.co/0Ww7RffaxN

Here are your winners and losers from Saturday.


Winner: Olivier Giroud

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard took a risk by starting Giroud against Spurs, and the decision paid off after just 15 minutes, when the veteran forward scored the opener:

The 33-year-old has started just three Premier League matches all season, and his lack of action will have some questioning his spot in France's national team going into the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament this summer. Giroud fits Les Bleus' system like a glove, however, and showed on Saturday that he can still be effective, even without regular minutes.

It was a major statement from the former Arsenal man, who appears in line to once again start for Les Bleus this summer.


Loser: Jose Mourinho

While the final scoreline would indicate this was a close match, Chelsea were far better moving forward than Spurs. The only goal the visitors got came off the leg of Antonio Rudiger, highlighting their struggles in the attacking third.

Spurs played with no real tactical plan and seemed to lack an extra gear when it was needed. Mourinho may be dealing with several key injuries―most notably Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son―but that's no excuse for the poor tactical choices.

The loss also took his record against Lampard to 0-3:

B/R Football @brfootball

—3/3 wins against Jose Mourinho —First manager to beat him home and away in the same league season Frank Lampard loves coming up against his old mentor 💪 https://t.co/fVsImeA1Yj

Mourinho has done some good work in north London since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino, but after his struggles on Saturday, his team once again sits four points behind the Blues in the race for the top four.


Winner: Riyad Mahrez

Gabriel Jesus got the winner for City at the King Power Stadium, but Mahrez did the hard work with a fantastic run. He got the defenders out of position before playing in his team-mate, even though he could have gone for personal glory.

It was the top moment of what was a great match for the Algerian:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Riyad Mahrez’s game by numbers vs. Leicester City: 100% successful take-ons 96% pass accuracy 5 chances created 4 fouls suffered 3 tackles won 3 shots 1 assist A happy return to the King Power. 🙌 https://t.co/P3AngKHRvN

The home fans jeered their former star for large stretches of the contest, and it must have felt good for Mahrez to silence them with a star showing that struck a massive blow to their bid to finish in second place.


Loser: Sheffield United's Champions League Hopes

The Blades were never expected to be battling for a Champions League spot at this stage of the season, but as it stands, they're tied for fifth place on points with Spurs. City's UEFA ban means that spot could be enough to advance to Europe's top club competition next season, pending the Sky Blues' appeal.

Dropping points at home against the likes of Brighton is not a recipe for success in the race for the top five, however, and the draw means the Blades have won just two of their last five matches.

Sheffield United will face Chelsea, Leicester and Everton in the final weeks of the season, before ending the campaign against Southampton. They need to pick up as many points as they can before that difficult run.