Gameweek 26 started on Tuesday night and ended last night for the Premier League, and the title race is still on, although Manchester United and Chelsea could have both taken advantage and put some more pressure on one another, but neither team took profit in a way, as United could only manage a lucky draw, while Chelsea lost, but are still ahead by one point over United. Arsenal got a vital win after 2 potentially disastrous games, but it was Liverpool which was at the receiving end as Arsenal brought back some hope in their race to catch up with both Man Utd and Chelsea, while Manchester City are slowly making their way up towards an entrance in the Big 4, with 2 games in hand, and leveled on points with Liverpool.
Chelsea let a glorious opportunity escape as they could have been four points clear of Man Utd, but alas they lost to a rejuvenated Everton side, 2-1 the final score. Chelsea were the ones to open the score, however, on 17 minutes , courtesy of Malouda, but the Toffees proved to be more menacing, and eventually equalized from a corner headed in by Saha on 33rd minute mark. Everton were causing Chelsea real problems, although Anelka, Lampard and Drogba had chances at the other end.
Saha even had a penalty saved by Cech, before eventually the pressure paid off and he scored the winner on 75 minutes to shock the Blues. Chelsea had a last chance to equalize, but Drogba could only find the bar in his way, preventing the Blues from snatching at least a point.
Manchester United were away to Aston Villa, a team which had already defeated them in the home game at Old Trafford, and the night promised be very tough for the Red Devils. Indeed Aston Villa were the ones to score the opener from a Cuellar header after 19 minutes of play, but the lead lasted only 4 minutes, as Giggs’ cross-shot was turned into his own net by Collins, which adds to an already large number of own goals United have benefited this season. United were then reduced to 10 men on the half hour mark as Nani was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Petrov, a red card which will deny Nani from appearing in the Carling Cup final on the 28th Feb.
Despite being down to 10 men, United still dominated the game in the second half, but suffered another blow when Giggs had to be subbed after a clash with a Villa player, whereby he was injured in the elbow, which could mean he could be out of the clash with AC Milan next week.
Arsenal players had to redeem themselves in the eyes of their fans as well as Arsene Wenger after losing at home 1-3 to Man Utd, then 2-0 away at Stamford Bridge, and this time they were up against Liverpool, which although were not playing brilliant football as well, but they had been scraping away points which led them back in the top 4. It was not the best of games, and although both sides had chances in the first half, the scoreline was still 0-0 at half-time. The Arsenal fans had to wait until 72 minutes before they exulted, as Diaby headed in the only goal of the game to give the Gunners some fresh air, and close the gap on the top 2.
Manchester City are also closing in on the fourth spot, as they saw off Bolton 2-0 on Tuesday night, with goals from Tevez and Adebayor, but the main star of the match was Adam Johnson, newly signed by City, and who made a big impact on his right wing, and who won the penalty converted by Tevez. Vieira also made an assist as his pass helped Adebayor to score. City have 2 games in hand, and are currently leveled on points with Liverpool, 5th and 4th respectively as goal difference separates them.
Another contender for the fourth spot, Tottenham, were held to a loss by Wolves, with Jones scoring the only goal for Wolves, although Spurs did create many chances but could not apply the finish.
The FA Cup 5th round will take place during the coming weekend, followed by the much anticipated Champions League ties as from next Tuesday, where Man Utd will travel to AC Milan, while Arsenal will travel to Porto and also the Chelsea-Inter Milan match, where Jose Mourinho will make his comeback against the Blues for the first time after leaving the club.