Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Manchester City are one win away from lifting their third Premier League title in six seasons.

The Premier League’s top four all registered wins over the Easter weekend, but the chasing pack made no headway as Manchester City took another big step towards the title.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned from the English top flight’s latest round of matches.

City poised for coup de grace

Manchester City’s procession to the Premier League title could reach its crowning glory against arch-rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium next week. Saturday’s 3-1 win at Everton means Pep Guardiola’s side will become champions for a third time in six seasons with victory in the local derby.

Against who better for City to deliver a fitting coup de grace and show the rest of English football how far they have fallen behind the best team in the land? United have improved in most areas this season, but Jose Mourinho admitted “there is a club which is making it practically impossible to follow”.

Lukaku milestone appeases critics

Romelu Lukaku became the youngest overseas player to score 100 Premier League goals when his deflected shot set Manchester United on their way to a 2-0 home win against Swansea.

The Belgium international has had plenty of detractors among Reds’ fans following his £75million summer move from Everton, but Saturday’s goal was his 26th for Mourinho’s side in all competitions this season and he appears to have put his goal drought through October and November behind him.

The former West Brom striker is the 28th player and fifth youngest in total to reach the milestone.

Salah on course to break more records

Mohamed Salah is doing his level best to upstage Manchester City by blazing a trail towards the player of the year award. He had a relatively quiet game at Crystal Palace, but his late winner kept Liverpool hot on the heels of Manchester United in the race for second place.

The Egypt striker’s 29th Premier League goal of the season saw him equal the record of scoring in 21 matches in a 38-game season, jointly held by Cristiano Ronaldo (2007/8) and Robin van Persie (2012/13). His overall total of 37 goals takes him past Robbie Fowler’s record of most scored in a single season by a Liverpool player in the Premier League era.

Spurs tighten grip on Champions League spot

bpanews_7cff0366-1945-4966-9e57-e00c7fb36067_embedded235793840
Dele Alli (number20) is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring Tottenham's third goal at Chelsea

Chelsea’s bid for Champions League football was dealt a major blow as Tottenham strengthened their grip on fourth place with their first win at Stamford Bridge in 28 years. Victory for the Blues would have lifted them to within two points of their London rivals, but a 3-1 defeat leaves them eight points adrift with seven games to go.

Gary Lineker scored Spurs’ winner the last time they won at Chelsea in 1990 when Sunday’s two-goal hero Dele Alli was not even born. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are unbeaten in the league in 2018 and few will bet against them finishing above Antonio Conte’s side now.

Hughes has it all to do

bpanews_7cff0366-1945-4966-9e57-e00c7fb36067_embedded235775351
Mark Hughes has plenty to ponder after Southampton's defeat at West Ham

Southampton’s top-flight status looks even more precarious after their winless Premier League run was extended to five matches. Mark Hughes has been tasked with keeping them up and the omens looked good when they halted Wigan’s giant-killing exploits in his first game in charge to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

But in the former Stoke boss’s first league game in charge, the Saints turned in one of their worst displays of the season and slumped to a 3-0 defeat at West Ham. The south-coast club have won only one of their last 18 league games and remain in the bottom three.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph