Liverpool’s long-awaited Premier League title was finally confirmed on Thursday night following Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Reds had, earlier in the week, comfortably cruised to a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace. Jurgen Klopp’s men have had an incredible season and the Liverpool manager has finally delivered what the club’s fans have been dreaming about for years.
While the Premier League title is done and dusted, the relegation battle, as well as the European spots, are still undecided.
Let’s take a look at the 5 talking points from Premier League Matchweek 31
Manchester City defence to blame for poor season
Liverpool have had a dream season and continued their fantastic form from last campaign, and not much could have stopped them from winning the title. But, the gap between the Reds and second-placed Manchester City is a whopping 23 points as Pep Guardiola’s men have lost an incredible 8 games this season.
The blame for their performances this season in the league, as well as their loss against Chelsea, should firmly be placed on the defence. City have strength and quality in midfield and attack, but their defence is weak and doesn’t inspire confidence. Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy were very poor against Chelsea and cost them both goals, while the Blues could have scored more if not for goal-line clearances.
Chelsea push for third
Despite having very little of the ball, Chelsea looked deadly in attack, especially on the counter which was amplified by a lethargic City defence. Christian Pulisic seems to have settled into the side very well and caused a lot of problems for the City backline. The Blues will now target third-placed Leicester City, who are just a point ahead of Frank Lampard’s men.
The Blues have a slightly easier end to the league, with Liverpool and Wolves being the only tough fixtures, while the Foxes have to play Everton, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Tottenham, and finally Manchester United.
Anthony Martial finally delivering on his potential?
Anthony Martial scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United in the win against Sheffield United and looked deadly in front of goal. The three goals took the Frenchman to 14 goals in the Premier League this season – his highest tally – and 19 goals in all competitions.
Martial’s link-up play with Marcus Rashford was spectacular to watch, while the Frenchman’s composure in front of goal was impressive as well.
Four-way relegation battle
The battle to get out of the relegation zone is very close, as four teams – Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham United, and Watford – are separated by a point. West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford lost their games, while Villa could only draw against Newcastle United before losing against Wolves today.
Norwich City are bottom and don’t seem to have a chance of escaping the relegation zone, but it’s still uncertain which two sides will join them in the Championship next season.
Wolves continue UCL push; Sheffield United fading away
Before the Premier League was halted, Wolves and Sheffield United were touted to make a push for a Champions League spot. But over a week after the resumption of the league, it’s quite clear that only one team stand a chance of achieving it – Wolves. Nuno Espírito Santo’s men have won all three of their matches, while the Blades drew their first one – against Aston Villa, who are in the relegation zone – and lost the second one to Manchester United.
Wolves are in 5th place while the Blades are in 8th, eight points and five points behind Wolves and United respectively. The Blades need a miracle to even get into Europa League places as they have looked a shadow of their former self over the last week.