Saturday and Sunday’s schedule of games featured some interesting fixtures for some of the leagues trophy seeking teams. As the league is currently structured, the top three teams are guaranteed entry into the Champions League tournament. The fourth place team is guaranteed a spot in the Europa League tournament and has the opportunity to play in a qualifying round to move up into the Champions league and the EPL’s fifth place team is allowed into a qualifying round to get into the Europa League. A lot is at stake for several teams in the league right now and the league standings couldn’t be tighter.
Chelsea moved into first place, with 56 points, following a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday on the strength of a hat trick by winger Eden Hazard. In second is Arsenal, who dropped out of first, have 55 points. Arsenal played at Liverpool on Saturday, and that’s the only good thing you can say about their performance. The Gunners lost to Liverpool 5-1 in a game they trailed 4-0 after 19 minutes. The victory strengthened Liverpool’s hold on fourth place in the league standings, with 50. In third place is Manchester City, who drew at Norwich City. That leaves City with 54 points in the league. The gap between third and first is so close, its almost impossible to predict a champion. Of more importance to league clubs however is the gap between fourth place and fifth place. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stated yesterday that he does not yet look at where his team is in regards to first place but rather where it is in regards to fourth place as that is where you need to finish to be in the Champions League.
Following Sunday’s games, the gap between fourth and fifth is three points, with Liverpool having 50 points and Tottenham having 47. Everton is also in the mix, sitting in sixth place with 45 points. With 13 games remaining in the league, its anyone’s guess as to which teams will occupy the top four spots at year’s end.
Contributing Writer: Kahlil Carazo