Pearson’s Premier League Roundup as Arsenal head north to Middlesbrough

Roundup

Arsenal go into tonight’s game away to Middlesbrough having watched their closest rivals all win over the weekend. They now find themselves in 7th place in the table needing a win to move back above Everton. Middlesbrough, however, are battling for survival and need points if they are to try to survive this season.

A 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford means that Chelsea have now dropped eight points in eight games. Their lead at the top of the league is now down to four points over Spurs and this was the first time they failed to score since September. Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to 22 league games and with it kept pace with the other sides vying for a top four finish. They move to fifth place having dropped down a place following Saturday’s results. United are still four points behind Man City but with a game more left to play.

Tottenham beat Bournemouth 4-0, the third time in five home games they have won by this scoreline, to close the gap at the top. They have now won seven games in a row and carry momentum heading into the final six games of the season. Bournemouth dropped to 16th in the league following the heavy defeat at White Hart Lane. They are still seven points clear of Swansea in the final relegation place and with games quickly running out they look to be safe. They play the bottom two in the next two league fixtures and so results in these should assure them of survival.

Liverpool had their second narrow away win in a row as the beat West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns. That was their fifth win in seven games and keeps the six points ahead of 5th place United. They now have just five more games to play in which to try to seal a top four finish. West Brom remain in 8th place but have now lost five of their last seven, three of which were at home. They have scored just three goals and picked up four points since reaching the 40 point mark in late February.

Manchester City had briefly moved into 3rd place thanks to their 3-0 win away at Southampton. It was their second victory in a row following an earlier four-game winless run. They are four points ahead of United in fifth but having played a game more. The two sides meet next in the league with City at home. Southampton remain in 9th place but are now level on points with Watford behind and at risk of falling outside the top half of the table.

Everton secured their eighth straight home win with a 3-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday and ended the day in 5th place. Since United’s win they have dropped again into 6th but are just seven points away from an unlikely finish in the top four. Burnley drop to 14th in the table, eight points above the bottom three. They should now have enough points to be assured of their place next season but this was another away match with no points won.

Watford beat Swansea 1-0 at home to remain in 10th place and with it push the visitors closer to relegation. This was Watford’s third home win running and they have not conceded at home since early March. They sit inside the top half but one points but are level with Southampton above. Swansea, on the other hand, have now lost five of their last six and look to be running out of time in which to save themselves. They are still only two points below the line in 18th, but with only five games remaining opportunities to pick up points are running out.

Stoke ended a five-match winless run with a 3-1 win at home to Hull. That win moved them into 11th and despite an average season, the side are just one point behind a place in the top half. For Hull however, this could have been a good opportunity for some away points for the first time since February the 1st. The defeat leaves them two points above the bottom three but now the sides above have pulled away somewhat. They are five points behind the team above.

Leicester drew 2-2 away at Crystal Palace, a result which did little for either side. Both had been on a good run recently with five wins from six. Leicester dropped below Stoke and into 12th place in the league, they are now three points behind a top half finish to the season. The draw means that Palace move a little further above the bottom three and towards safety. They are now seven points clear and crucially there is now another side separating them from relegation. They moved above Bournemouth on goal difference.

West Ham and Sunderland shared the points following their 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light. It was a game in which the visitors led twice, only to be eventually pegged back by a 90th-minute equaliser. That result was only their second point’s return in seven games but was enough to move them 13th with a nine-point cushion over the bottom three places. Sunderland remain bottom but this was the first time they had scored a goal in eight games. The draw was enough to move them closer to safety but they still need to gain nine points more than Hull over the final six games to survive.

Arsenal still have enough games remaining to finish inside the top four but they will likely need to win all of their remaining games. Anything but three points in this game will all but end their Champions League hopes for next season.