Liverpool buckle under pressure, Lukaku delivers: Winners and Losers from Matchday 29

Matchday 29 came to an end yesterday, leaving only nine games until the season comes to a close. With each week, the competition is heating up as the teams battle for the top positions in the League, while managers battle for their jobs.

This week saw the title race picture take a turn once again, and a once-discounted team are making a bid for the top four positions once again.

On the other end of the table, Southampton and Cardiff City are fighting against relegation.

With that in mind, here are the winners and losers from this week’s Premier League matchday.

Loser: Liverpool

Liverpool were once 7 points clear at the top of the table and had the chance to go 10 points ahead. Since then, however, they have squandered too many points to go behind Manchester City.

The Reds have picked up two goalless draws in their last three league games, which has helped Manchester City top the group.

When contending for the title, draws are not acceptable, and Liverpool have learnt this the hard way, as the accumulation of dropped points has now heaped more pressure on their players.

Winner: Romelu Lukaku

For a long time now, Romelu Lukaku has come under criticism from the fans for his inability to convert in the penalty box. He has also attracted criticism for his increased upper body size since the World Cup, which, according to some people, have contributed to his bad form.

However, Lukaku’s performance in the match against Southampton silenced all critics.

The Belgian was the one to provide Manchester United with the breakthrough goal twice in the second half, helping them to win the game and get three points to climb up to fourth in the table.

Losers: Southampton and Cardiff City

Both Southampton and Cardiff City are fighting against relegation this season. With Southampton having 27 points, and Cardiff City having 25, they are 17th and 18th on the table currently.

This week’s loss against Manchester United will hit Southampton particularly hard, as they were ahead at one point, only to see Manchester United come back and snatch a win.

Cardiff, on the other hand, have suffered two miserable defeats in the span of days and confidence won’t be high.

Winner: Maurizio Sarri

While the Chelsea manager’s problems are far from done, Sarri has finally got something positive to think about.

The gaffer’s inability to get the best out of the squad was further exacerbated when Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted off the pitch in the EFL Cup final, in the end, possibly costing Chelsea the Cup.

Now, Sarri finally has two back to back wins against Fulham and Tottenham. While his job is far from secure, this does certainly give him a little time to focus on the problems at hand.

Loser: Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has clearly not turned out the performances the Old Trafford faithful would like to see from him this season.

With United going through an injury crisis, he had another opportunity to impress against a relegation-threatened club this time.

In the match against Southampton, not only was he uninspiring for the 51 minutes that he played, but he joined the other players on the injured list. This might be the last straw as far as the fans are concerned, as Sanchez’s time at Manchester United appears to be numbered.

Winner: Pep Guardiola

Manchester City are now a point clear at the top of the Premier League table. Given that they were a bit behind just a fortnight or so ago, this position is more than impressive.

Their consistent performances have paid off, and weak performances from Liverpool have certainly helped.

Guardiola’s side have managed to grind out a couple of 1-0 wins which show they have the winning mentality.

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