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Winners and Losers from Premier League Matchweek 34

Shane EvansContributor IMay 3, 2021

Things you love to see: Gareth Bale scoring goals with a smile on his face.
Things you love to see: Gareth Bale scoring goals with a smile on his face.Associated Press

The Premier League season is winding down, giving us a clearer picture of how the table will shake out.

Manchester City will soon be crowned champions, the remaining two relegation spots are all but assured, and the top-four race is inching toward a conclusion. This weekend gave us more answers on each of these fronts while throwing the occasional spanner in the works.

First, we'll examine one of the great quandaries of our time: Gareth Bale and his second go-around at Tottenham.

       

Winner: Gareth Bale, Tottenham

It hasn't been the easiest season at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Despite some gaudy numbers (Harry Kane has 21 goals and 13 assists; Heung-Min Son has 16 goals and 10 assists), the club hasn't lived up to lofty expectations. Adding returning talisman Bale to a lethal attack was supposed to help push Spurs to challenge for the title.

Earlier in the year, they might have, but the negative approach of Jose Mourinho soured the once-promising group and resulted in the Portuguese losing his job.

For Bale, his triumphant second stint with the club has been stop-start from day one.

Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of a hapless and officially relegated Sheffield United was his best day yet. A hat trick of goals that peak Bale would be proud of was his first EPL treble in nearly a decade. Visible greys and all, the 31-year-old Welshman looked like he was enjoying himself...and we can all agree that's a good thing.

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Spurs, who are fighting for fourth, would love Bale to keep firing after this fantastic performance.

          

Loser: The Glazers' Ownership Tenure

Where do I begin? The Super League fallout continued Sunday with massive protests at Old Trafford ahead of Manchester United-Liverpool as fans broke onto the pitch, leading to the postponement of the match. Absolute scenes.

B/R Football @brfootball

Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford ahead of the match against Liverpool in protest of the club’s ownership 📸 https://t.co/kfTJJ3MgD6

It was one of the darker days in the long, glorious history of England's most successful club.

Supporters have been upset with the ownership of the Glazer family since they took over the club in 2005, and the botched Super League project was the final straw.

While there are many factors in play, no Premier League titles since 2012-13 is below the high standards the Red Devils are accustomed to. Meanwhile, Manchester City has increasingly become an equal rather than the noisy neighbors they were famously dubbed. 

Troubling times at Old Trafford, indeed.

       

Winner: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea

How good has Chelsea been with Tuchel at the helm? Really good. Take this stat, for example:

B/R Football @brfootball

Chelsea have now scored 32 points under Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League this season in 15 games—more than half their total (Lampard 29 in 19). Instant impact 💥 https://t.co/nD8GUcx5YD

That says a lot about the improvements made since the German took charge in January. While the Blues are focused, organized and versatile in attack, their main improvement is arguably on the defensive end. In 23 matches under Tuchel, they've allowed 10 goals—five in 22 matches without the anomaly of the 5-2 defeat to West Brom while down to 10 men for most of the match.

These numbers in the Premier League are outstanding, and the club is well deserving of its top-four status.

          

Loser: Manchester City's Trophy Celebration

Catherine Ivill/Associated Press

Hard to pin the EPL champions-elect (and comfortable 2-0 winners over Crystal Palace on Saturday) as losers, but if they were to feel hard done by about anything, it would be the delay in their title celebrations.

Had Manchester United lost to Liverpool yesterday, City would have been crowned champions. Unfortunately for Pep's merry band, the postponement of the match meant his side couldn't party yet. Another week of waiting for a manager who is firmly in the discussion for second-best in Premier League history.

MCFC Vision @MCFC_Vision

Pep Guardiola is about to win his 3rd PL title in 5 years. - Wenger won same in 20 years - Mourinho won same in 11 years. Pep Guardiola is a PL great. Best win ratio, most goals, best defence, beautiful football. Pep has made PL a bigger brand!

         

Winner: Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa

A name that hasn't got nearly enough love is Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa. It's not often a player who moves up to the big leagues from a club like Brentford has as instant an impact as young Ollie.

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

🔐 No striker has created more chances from open play in the Premier League this season than Ollie Watkins - level with Harry Kane, on 38 https://t.co/PcqmmcBjNo

With 13 goals and four assists in his first Premier League season, Watkins has caught the attention of Gareth Southgate, who is eyeing the 25-year-old for a place in his Euro 2020 England squad. Rumor has it that some of the big clubs may try to make his tenure at Villa one-and-done.

        

Loser: Jay Glazer, NFL on Fox

Not your traditional Manchester United owner.
Not your traditional Manchester United owner.Omar Vega/Associated Press

The slick-headed NFL analyst has been subject to social media abuse recently as he's been mistaken for Manchester United owners Malcolm and Joel Glazer.

He's taken it like a champ (warning: NSFW language):

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Just to be clear for the thousandth time as I woke up to all this stuff sent my way on social media... my family is from Brooklyn, NOT Tampa, we do NOT own Man U. We can’t sell bc WE DON’T OWN IT!! You can’t be that good a fan of them if you think an NFL Insider owns your team

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Ahhhh fuck it... after much consideration and many talks with my family (none) and due to the fact that the business is just getting in the way of my day-drinking I have, in fact, decided to sell my stake in Manchester United... this decision did not come easy

Fair dues to the man who normally breaks American football news and doesn't deal with futbol Twitter.

     

Shane Evans manages B/R Football content within the Bleacher Report app. For more, follow him on Twitter at @shanevans.

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