"I used some words of Margaret Aspinall; we put them up on the wall in the dressing room."
Raheem Sterling scored a brace as Liverpool went five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 3-2 win over Norwich City. Sunderland shocked Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to hand Liverpool the advantage in the title race.
Manchester City moved within six points of leaders Liverpool with a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion. Lukas Podolski scored two goals as Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win at Hull City.
Everton beat Manchester United 2-0 with goals from Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas.
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2 – 5:30pm KO, Saturday
Bottom of the league Sunderland arrived at Chelsea knowing that only a win would help their survival in the Premier League.
It was a bad start for the visitors as Samuel Eto’o opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 12th minute. Sunderland, fresh from their midweek draw against Manchester City had other ideas as Connor Wickham equalised six minutes later.
After being level at the break, Chelsea started a second half onslaught, but to no avail. A penalty was then awarded to Sunderland eight minutes from time for a foul. Former Chelsea player and current Liverpool loanee, Fabio Borini confidently slotted the winner to give the Mackems three valuable points.
With this loss, José Mourinho’s run of seventy-seven Premier League games undefeated at Stamford Bridge came to an end.
Norwich City 2 Liverpool 3 – 12pm KO, Sunday
A potentially tricky fixture for league leaders Liverpool proved just that as they eked out a win that needed character, resolve and mental strength.
The Reds were quick out of the blocks with youngster Raheem Sterling scoring from twenty-two yards in the 4th minute. The Canaries, stunned, conceded again as Sterling set up Luis Suárez to score his 30th goal of the season.
The second half was a different story as Norwich came out flying. A boisterous start saw Norwich pull a goal back in the 54th minute from Gary Hooper. But eight minutes later, Sterling fired his second goal of the match.
Norwich did not give up, scoring again thirteen minutes from time through Robert Snodgrass. The home side however could not equalise as Liverpool went five points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers revealed how he inspired his players: “We were at the memorial service this week; there was hope for the families there as well. I used some words of Margaret Aspinall; we put them up on the wall in the dressing room. She talked about stress and how it can prove difficult for you, but it can also offer you great determination to fight.”
A Liverpool fan in India tweeted: “As Stevie Gerrard says, we go again!”
Hull City 0 Arsenal 3 – 2:05pm KO, Sunday
Arsenal’s Champions League ambitions were aided by Everton’s midweek defeat as the Gunners took full advantage.
In this FA Cup final dress rehearsal game, Arsenal started strongly with Aaron Ramsey scoring in the 31st minute. German International Lukas Podolski notched Arsenal’s second goal on the stroke of half time.
The second half was similar to the first as Podolski secured the win with a goal in the 54th minute.
The only positive for Hull being this defeat could see Arsenal clinch a Champions League spot, leaving The Tigers to take the vacant Europa League spot even if they lost the FA Cup final.
Everton 2 Manchester United 0 – 4:10pm KO, Sunday
A fan dressed in a Grim Reaper outfit by the dugout was the final nail in the coffin for David Moyes, as Manchester United lost 2-0 to Everton.
Manchester United started brightly with some good possession, but Everton were equally up to the mark. A penalty to Everton in the 28th minute was converted confidently by Leighton Baines.
Everton pushed on and got their deserved second goal, with Kevin Mirallas scoring two minutes before half time.
Everton old boys, David Moyes and Wayne Rooney had no major influence in the match. It was another bad day at the office for Manchester United.
A fed up Manchester United fan on Facebook said: “Enough is enough. Moyes must go.” After a weekend of speculation, Moyes was sacked as manager of Manchester United.
Manchester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 1 – 8pm KO, Monday
Manchester City convincingly beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
West Bromwich Albion could not get into the match early on as Pablo Zabaleta scored in the 3rd minute for the home side. City were not going to sit back as they doubled their lead through Sergio Agüero only seven minutes later.
Albion did not capitulate though as Graham Dorrans pulled one back in the 16th minute. The goal could not inspire an equaliser as Martin Demichelis restored City’s two goal advantage nine minutes before the break. Some more Albion pressure came to nothing as the match ended 3-1 to Manchester City.
Speaking to the media, West Bromwich Albion manager, Pepe Mel said: “We were against the best squad in the Premier League and going behind in the third minute made it difficult.”
Tottenham Hotspur beat Fulham 3-1 at White Hart Lane to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa and Southampton provided the only goalless encounter of the weekend as Cardiff drew 1-1 against Stoke City. Newcastle United’s season worsened, losing 2-1 at home to Swansea City. Crystal Palace secured their Premier League status with a 1-0 away win at West Ham United.