“Two games to go, we have to win and rely on City to lose or draw.”
Chelsea beat leaders Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield to blow the Premier League title race wide open. Liverpool dominated possession, but goals from Demba Ba and Willian gave Chelsea a crucial win.
Yaya Touré inspired Manchester City to a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace and now lie three points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
Ryan Giggs began his reign as Manchester United’s interim manager with a 4-0 triumph against Norwich City.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League hopes remained alive after a 1-0 away win to Stoke City. Sunderland’s bid for survival continued as they hammered Cardiff City 4-0, whilst Everton lost momentum following a 2-0 defeat to Southampton.
Southampton 2 Everton 0 – 12.45pm KO, Saturday
Everton’s hope of Champions League spot was dealt a huge blow as they were comprehensively beaten 2-0 by Southampton at St. Mary’s.
The visitors were behind within a minute of kick off when a Rickie Lambert cross from the left was headed into his own net by Antolín Alcaraz.
The Toffees fell further behind in the 31st minute when a Nathaniel Clyne cross eluded both John Stones and Alcaraz as Seamus Coleman nodded the ball into the corner.
The Merseyside club is in fifth place, only three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.
Stoke City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 3pm KO, Saturday
Tottenham earned their first away win in six matches after beating a 10 man Stoke City 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium.
Emmanuel Adebayor raced past Glenn Whelan and delivered a perfect cross to the far post for Danny Rose to send a bullet header past Asmir Begovi? into the net. It was Rose’s first goal in the league for four years
Ryan Shawcross was sent off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Rose. Rose was later substituted after being booed by the home crowd for a shove on Geoff Cameron.
Stoke were the better side with 10 men but resilient Tottenham held on to a vital win as they gave themselves hope of finishing above Everton.
Manchester United 4 Norwich City 0 – 5.30pm KO, Saturday
Manchester United’s interim boss Ryan Giggs could not have hoped for a better managerial start as his team destroyed Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring on forty-one minutes after Steven Whittaker fouled Danny Welbeck. Rooney sent Norwich keeper John Ruddy the wrong way from the resulting spot kick.
Three minutes into the second half Rooney doubled the lead with his 17th league goal of the season. He got the ball on the left wing, cut in and delivered a right footed drive, which slipped into the net off the post.
Juan Mata scored twice in ten minutes in the second half as Norwich City crashed to yet another defeat.
Mata volleyed a Phil Jones cross in for his first before touching in Anton Valenica’s cross for his second. A delighted United fan from Pakistan said on Facebook:
“Unbelievable reception by OT crowd for Giggsy. I was dancing with joy. This is what United is all about. Magical stuff.”
Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2 – 2.05pm KO, Sunday
Liverpool lost their first match in sixteen games to Chelsea at Anfield.
José Mourinho masterminded a seamless Chelsea performance. The visitors defended deep, absorbed the pressure and stopped the Reds from playing.
Brendan Rodger’s men had the possession but failed to break the rear guard of the visitors.
In the 45th minute, Steven Gerrard slipped inside his own half whilst trying to control a pass from Marmadou Sakho and allowed Demba Ba to run through on goal and slide the ball past Simon Mignolet.
The second half was similar to the first with Liverpool attacking and Chelsea defending. Daniel Sturridge was introduced but Liverpool just huffed and puffed away without any luck.
In the 90th minute, Fernando Torres broke clear on goal and unselfishly played it into the path of Willian who slotted the ball into an empty net. Mourinho was out celebrating as the goal silenced the Anfield crowd.
Liverpool’s defeat leaves them two points ahead of Chelsea, with two fixtures to go.
An optimistic Liverpool fan in India said o Facebook: “Two games to go, we have to win and rely on City to lose or draw.”
Crystal Palace 0 Manchester City 2 – 4pm KO, Sunday
Manchester City moved to within three points of leaders Liverpool with a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park.
City’s talisman Yaya Touré ensured a nail biting finish to the Premier League with a match winning performance.
Edin Džeko put City ahead on four minutes after converting a sublime Touré cross. On forty-three minutes, Touré doubled City’s lead with yet another brilliant individual goal.
He got the ball just inside the Palace half, played a one-two with Džeko and Samir Nasri before firing past Julián Speroni.
Palace tried to get back into the game but Touré ensured City held on to claim a priceless win. After the match, City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “What matters is only what we do between now and the end of the season.”
Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion earned a 1-0 victory over West Ham United. Fulham could only manage 2-2 draw against Hull City. Jonjo Shelvey scored a spectacular goal as Swansea City beat Aston Villa 4-1. Connor Wickham scored twice for Sunderland in a 4-0 win against Cardiff City.
The race for the title is going to the wire. Are we in for a repeat of last season? We will find out in the coming two weeks.