5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action

Everton gave themselves a Premier League lifeline by beating Chelsea on a dramatic day at Goodison Park.

It’s like you’re top of the table and in the hunt for a top four spot as title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool both won, as did Champions League contenders Arsenal and Tottenham.

Here, the PA news agency looks back on another eventful weekend in the top flight.

Fireworks, flares and fever

Everton manager Frank Lampard celebrates a vital victory for the Toffees against his former club Chelsea (Jon Super/AP)

Fireworks were set off in the early hours of Sunday morning outside the hotel where the Chelsea squad were staying ahead of their game at Everton. The pyrotechnics didn’t stop there as a lit blue smoke canister was launched onto the pitch after Richarlison’s second-half winner for Everton. The Brazilian could still find himself in hot water with the Football Association after picking up the canister and throwing it away. But not even the threat of disciplinary action against Richarlison could spoil a win that brings Everton within two points of Burnley and Leeds in the battle for survival.

Burnley rebound

Watford v Burnley - Premier League - Vicarage Road
Burnley players celebrate the late winner of Josh Brownhill at Burnley (John Walton/PA)

When Burnley sacked Sean Dyche after nearly a decade in charge of Turf Moor, it was suggested the Clarets had lost their minds. Mike Jackson has been placed under interim control, with his only managerial experience spanning short spells at Shrewsbury and Tranmere and Burnley’s Under-23 side. Still, Jackson took 10 points from four games to lift Burnley out of the relegation zone. Not only that, but Jackson (2.50) has a higher points-per-game average this season than Pep Guardiola (2.44) and Jurgen Klopp (2.41).

No respite in the fight for the title

Leeds United v Manchester City – Premier League – Elland Road
Manchester City’s Fernandinho jumps for joy after scoring his side’s final goal in their 4-0 win at Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

A punch from Liverpool landed, then a quick response from Manchester City. The title race continues to shift one way and then the other as City and Liverpool continue to win. The Reds were frontrunners this weekend as Klopp shuffled his pack for a Saturday lunchtime fixture at in-form Newcastle. New faces, same result, as Naby Keita’s strike secured a 1-0 victory. Away from top spot for a few hours, City responded with a 4-0 triumph at Leeds. With four games to go with a point difference in favor of City, it seems to be a question of who blinks first.

Defense best form of attack

West Ham United v Arsenal – Premier League – London Stadium
Arsenal defender Gabriel (right) celebrates the winner’s goal at West Ham (John Walton/PA)

Arsenal maintained their two-point lead over Tottenham in the hunt for a top-four spot and Champions League football next season. Spurs had kept the pressure on their north London neighbors by beating Leicester 3-1 in a Sunday kick-off earlier, with boys Harry Kane and Son Heung-min likely on target. Arsenal’s goals came from more unpredictable sources, with centre-backs Rob Holding and Gabriel scoring. It was only the fifth time in Premier League history that both Arsenal centre-backs had scored in the same game.

The same old Norwich

There was a familiar sinking feeling for Norwich as the Canaries were relegated from the Premier League for a record sixth time. It was a cruel irony for boss Dean Smith that judgment day had come at his former club Aston Villa, but just five wins all season meant the Canaries’ instant return to the Championship was inevitable. Summer signings did not shine, Daniel Farke had left at the start of November and now Smith – who oversaw a promotion campaign at Villa – faces the challenge of galvanizing Norwich at the second tier.

About Jerry Richter

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