The Gameweek just gone.
With Leicester proving everybody wrong in actually winning the Premier League last weekend, the focus quickly switched to the bottom end of the league, with Norwich, Sunderland and Newcastle all knowing that they have to pick up maximum points before now and the end of the season if they are to avoid the drop.
The Saturday early kick off saw Norwich play Man United at Carrow Road. With Norwich doing well to restrain United for three quarters of the game, Juan Mata coolly slid a shot under the Norwich keeper to give the Red Devils all three points.
Knowing the result, Sunderland and Newcastle headed in to their 3pm kick-offs knowing that a victory would all-but relegate Norwich and take it down to the last weekend of the season. With Newcastle playing league whipping boys Aston Villa, Sunderland knew that they would have to be at their best to take down a Chelsea team who have nothing to play for anymore this season.
However, results did not go as expected, with Newcastle struggling to break down a Villa side who have conceded 72 goals this season and Allardyce’s Sunderland coming from 2-1 down to beat Chelsea 3-2, including Jermain Defoe’s 15th goal of the season to put them in the driving seat going in to the final gameweek. With Newcastle drawing, Defoe’s goal looks even more crucial now – if Sunderland beat hopeless Everton at home on Wednesday evening, Newcastle will be Relegated for the Second time in a decade.
Elsewhere, champions Leicester destroyed Everton, with Vardy missing a penalty to secure his Hattrick, as well as Spurs losing at home to in-form Southampton, with Steve Davis scoring both goals for the visitors.
Fixtures and results from Gameweek 37 (so far)
Norwich 0-1 Man Utd
Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle
Bournemouth 1-1 West Brom
Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke
Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea
West Ham 1-4 Swansea
Leicester 3-1 Everton
Tottenham 1-2 Southampton
Liverpool 2-0 Watford
Man City 2-2 Arsenal
Elsewhere in Europe
It was a huge weekend in Spain, with all of the top 3 consecutively kicking off at the same time on Sunday afternoon. With Real, Barcelona and Atletico all within a couple of points of each other, they all knew that 3 points were essential if they were going to take the title race down to the last weekend of the season.
It was plain sailing for Barcelona who absolutely hammered city rivals Espanyol 5-0 – Suarez, Neymar and Messi all getting on the score sheet there.
Valencia went to the Bernabeu and gave Real a proper game, just coming up short and losing 3-2. Cristiano (x2) and Benzema getting Real over the line in that game.
It is the end of Atletico’s title bid for this year, however, with already relegated Levante stunning Simeone’s team 2-1, thanks to a last minute winner from ex-United striker Giuseppe Rossi.
Full list of results from Spain in Matchday 37;
Barcelona 5 – 0 Espanyol
Celta de Vigo 1 – 0 Málaga
SD Eibar 1 – 1 Real Betis
Getafe 1 – 1 Sporting Gijon
Las Palmas 0 – 0 Athletic Club Bilbao
Levante 2 – 1 Atlético
Real Madrid 3 – 2 Valencia
Real Sociedad 2 – 1 Rayo Vallecano
Sevilla 1 – 4 Granada
Villarreal 0 – 2 Deportivo La Coruña
Over in Germany, somewhat predictably, Bayern Munich won 2-1 away at Ingolstadt to win their 4th consecutive Bundesliga title. In a season in which Borussia Dortmund admirably kept the pace with them up untill the final few weeks of the season, Bayern’s class showed and Pep wins his 6th League title in 7 seasons as a manager.
Dortmund, knowing they had to win to have any sort of chance of winning the league, lost away to relegation threatened Frankfurt.
Full list of results from Germany in Matchday 37;
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 – 0 Bor Dortmd
FC Ingolstadt 04 1 – 2 Bayern Munich
1. FC Köln 0 – 0 SV Werder Bremen
B M’gladbach 2 – 1 Bayer Levkn
Schalke 1 – 1 FC Augsburg
Hamburger SV 0 – 1 VfL Wolfsburg
Hannover 96 1 – 0 Hoffenheim
Hertha BSC 1 – 2 Darmstadt
VfB Stuttgart 1 – 3 1. FSV Mainz 05
In my last blog, I predicted a Bayern v Real final in the Champions League and a Liverpool v Seville final in the Europa League. 3 out of 4 isn’t bad! What a performance from Simeone’s Atletico in the Allianz Arena last week. Here are my score predictions for the 2 finals;
Atletico Madrid 1 – 1 Real Madrid (Atletico to win AET)
Liverpool 2-1 Sevilla
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