The Premier League Matchday 26 was played over two weeks due to the first-ever winter break. However, the break made no difference to the frenetic action on the field, last-minute goals, VAR controversy as the Premier League nears the end of the season with places for Europe and Premier League safety up for grabs. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool continued their unbeaten run; Manchester United defeated Chelsea to intensify the battle for Champions League spots, while Bournemouth’s defeat to Sheffield United has further put them in a threat of relegation. Here is a round-up of Premier League highlights for Matchday 26
Liverpool look unbeatable at the moment and they remain on course for their first Premier League title, which might be a golden one, considering their fantastic run of performances in the tournament. Bottom side Norwich, who had pulled off an upset against Manchester City earlier in the season, were in the game for most parts in the clash at Carrow Road, but a Sadio Mane goal put all those hopes down as Jurgen Klopp's men ended with a 1-0 win. Liverpool and Norwich look certain to remain where they are the moment in the Premier League standings at the end of the season.
Manchester United controversially defeated Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in a game which saw VAR making more headlines than Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial. Maguire was surprisingly not sent off for a challenge on Michy Batshuayi, while Kurt Zouma’s goal was disallowed after a foul in the box. United’s victory means that they climb to 7th in the Premier League standings and are three points off Chelsea, who are at 4th with 41 points.
Tottenham had Son Heung-Min to thank on their trip to Villa Park as the forward scored a crucial winner deep into stoppage time after Toby Alderweireld added to the scoresheet of both the teams. Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham now are fifth in the Premier League standings, one point ahead of 6th placed Sheffield United, who recorded an impressive 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Arsenal recorded a massive 4-0 victory over Newcastle and Everton also defeated Crystal Palace at home to seal a place in the top half of the table. Wolves played out a draw against Leicester, pegging both teams further behind in their race for a Top 4 finish and Premier League second place. Burnley recorded a surprising 2-1 victory at Saint Mary's over Southampton and both clubs look primed for a Premier League spot next season as well. Manchester City and West Ham’s clash at the Etihad Stadium was postponed due to a storm and is rescheduled for Wednesday evening (Thursday morning IST).
Brighton and Hove Albion would be disappointed not to bag all three points against relegation-threatened Watford, who continue their resilient fight for survival under new boss Nigel Pearson. Defeats for Aston Villa, Norwich City and Bournemouth make their Premier League survival more difficult, but with Brighton and Watford both dropping points and West Ham facing Manchester City, the teams look primed for a fierce relegation battle. Brighton, at 15th in the Premier League standings, are only three points off 18th placed West Ham and it would be interesting to see how this race pans after the title race is all but done now.