Premier League Review: Sheffield United throw spanner in the works for Brighton
Sheffield United may already be relegated, but they still managed to cause plenty of problems for Brighton in Saturday evening’s 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane.
David McGoldrick was on hand to score the winner, and to put a dent in Albion’s own survival hopes.
The Seagulls are now seven points clear of the bottom three with five games left to play.
We’ve taken a closer look at the weekend’s match, and the rest of the Premier League action, below...
Arsenal 0-1 Everton – Leno shocker just about sums it up for woeful Gunners
In a season of unending drudgery, Bernd Leno has, for the most part, been a reliable presence for Arsenal.
The German has proven his credentials time and time again in a side that have, at best, been well below average this term.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that Everton’s winner at the Emirates on Friday night was entirely the 29-year-old’s fault.
Leno reacted to Richarlison’s tame cross with all the coordination, composure, and conviction of a distracted toddler, and to all intents and purposes, he may as well have picked the ball up and booted into the back of his own net himself.
Mistakes happen, of course, and in the grand scheme of things this one will matter for very little, but if ever there was a moment that is emblematic of Arsenal’s torrid season, it was this one.
Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United – Who are you and what have you done with the Toon Army?
Whisper it, but Newcastle United are starting to look like a pretty decent team.
Granted, they had to face a bit of an onslaught at times against Liverpool on Saturday, but when all is said and done, they managed to come away with a well-earned point, and might have snatched all three had Callum Wilson not had a goal harshly ruled out for handball.
Steve Bruce, the world’s most softly-spoken pantomime villain, has now seen his side put together a run of four unbeaten matches, and the threat of relegation is dampening by the day.
It’s also worth mentioning just how influential Allan Saint-Maximin has been since returning to the starting XI, and the Frenchman will surely be attracting attention from elsewhere as the summer transfer window approaches.
West Ham 0-1 Chelsea – Moyes suffers hammer blow
This clash in the capital had all the hallmarks of a proper six-pointer, and it’s one that West Ham could ill-afford to lose after last weekend’s topsy-turvy defeat at the hands of Newcastle United.
Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel are a resolute beast, however, and slowly but surely, the German is starting to reintroduce a certain measure of domineering glean to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are now three points clear in the race for the top four, and the Irons’ dream of Champions League football next season looks to be hanging by a thread.
Sheffield United 1-0 Brighton – Blades still have part to play this season
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know by now that rock-bottom Sheffield United have been dragged under this season.
Mathematically down already, the Blades have been absolutely dire for large parts of the campaign, and while it is a shame to see them drop out of the top flight, few could argue that their fate hasn't been a deserved one.
At times, however, there have been flashes of the Sheffield United of old, and Saturday's win over Brighton – while hardly a comprehensive rout – was a timely reminder of the grit that the Bramall Lane outfit can muster on their day.
With the pressure well and truly off, and with clashes against the likes of Newcastle United and Burnley still to come, perhaps Paul Heckingbottom’s men can still play a deliciously vindictive role in this season’s relegation battle, tethering themselves like a millstone to one of the sides above them.
Wolves 0-4 Burnley – Rampant Clarets send Wolves packing
There’s a strong argument for this being Burnley’s most dominant display since they came up to the Premier League, and what a time to pull it out of the bag.
Without a win here, they would have been six points clear of danger with five games left to go.
Instead, their position is looking decidedly less precarious thanks in large part to the heroics of towering Kiwi Chris Wood.
A first-half hat-trick – a feat not seen in the Premier League since 1998 – set the Clarets off to a flying start, and may just be enough to ensure that they’re still mixing it with the big boys next term.
Leeds United 0-0 Manchester United – Phillips masterclass at centre of battling point
Despite reams of evidence to the contrary, there are still some armchair pundits who argue that Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips isn’t good enough to be a regular starter for England.
After Sunday’s display against Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes, surely those doubts will have been put to bed.
Phillips stuck to the Portuguese playmaker like a velcro shadow, so much so that Fernandes probably woke up to the Yorkshire Pirlo sitting on his bedside table on Monday morning.
The Leeds stalwart effectively hushed one of Europe’s elite attacking talents for a full 90 minutes at Elland Road, and that kind of adhesive display could prove to be a useful asset at a major tournament.
Aston Villa 2-2 West Brom – Baggies miracle looks to be over
Recent wins over Chelsea and Southampton suggested that Sam Allardyce’s West Brom still had some fight left in them, but a late slip-up against Aston Villa may well have put pay to any lingering hopes of a great escape.
A 92nd minute equaliser from their local rivals at Villa Park not only extinguished any positive momentum that Albion might have taken from this one, but it also leaves them nine points adrift with five games left to play.
Things are looking bleak at the Hawthorns.
Leicester City 2-1 Crystal Palace – Iheanacho strikes again
There’s something so satisfying about watching a player in possession of obvious talent finally make good on their potential after years of coming up short.
With 14 goals in 14 starts, Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho looks to have emerged from something of a chrysalis in recent weeks and is now very much a goal-scoring butterfly.
His thunderous winner against Crystal Palace was nothing short of superb, and if he keeps this up, the Foxes may well have found their heir to Jamie Vardy’s throne.