The race to qualify for European football next season took more twists and turns in the week, with Chelsea moving up to third place and a fourth straight win for Manchester United helped them to move to within one point of fourth place. We look at the standout games from another pivotal weekend of Premier League football.
Sheffield United v Chelsea
Sheffield United welcome Chelsea to Bramhall Lane on Saturday for an important game for both clubs’ aspirations of European football next season.
The Blades secured a last-gasp win in midweek against Wolves to boost their hopes of making the Europa League next term. John Egan’s injury time winner meant that United extended their unbeaten run to three games and moved above both Arsenal and Tottenham into seventh place, just one point behind Wolves.
Chelsea’s entertaining 3-2 win at Crystal Palace in midweek saw them move above Leicester City into third place as they strengthen their grip on a spot in the Champions League next season. It was their fourth win in five games and the fifth game in a row where they have scored two or more goals.
When the sides met earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge, they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. On Chelsea’s last visit to Bramhall Lane, back in 2006, the Blues won 2-0, current manager Frank Lampard got on the score sheet that day, but you have to go back to 1993 for the Blades last win over Chelsea.
Tottenham v Arsenal
A very different North London derby takes place on Sunday as Arsenal make their first visit to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to face their bitter rivals.
Spurs currently sit in ninth place, one spot below Arsenal, following their controversial 0-0 draw at Bournemouth in midweek. Jose Mourinho was left fuming after an obvious foul on Harry Kane was not punished with a penalty. The result meant Spurs have won just twice since the return from lockdown, but both those wins have come at home.
Arsenal are now unbeaten in four games and would have made it four wins in a row but for Jamie Vardy’s late equaliser for Leicester in midweek. In both their away games in the Premier League since the resumption of the season, the Gunners have won 2-0, at Southampton and Wolves, and will arrive at Spurs with plenty of confidence to extend their away form.
This is the first meeting between these clubs at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Arsenal have not won at Spurs since 2015. When the sides met earlier in the season at the Emirates, the game finished 2-2 after the visitors lost a 2-0 lead.
Manchester United v Southampton
Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Monday evening looking for a fifth win in a row to keep the pressure on Leicester City and Chelsea in the race for Champions League football next term.
The Red Devils are the form team in the Premier League, scoring 15 goals in their last five games and they became the first side in EPL history to win four games in a row by a three-goal margin. In Mason Greenwood United seem to have unearthed another young talent and he has scored four goals in the last three impressive wins.
Southampton have little to play for but have lost just one of their five games since lockdown, which included at 1-0 defeat of Manchester City last weekend.
In the sides previous meeting in August, the games finished 1-1 at St Mary’s and you have to go back to 2016 for the Saints last win at Old Trafford.
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