Steven Gerrard. What have you done? Last year it was letting the title slip, and this year could you have stood on your Liverpool’s chances of Champions League qualification?
Manchester United seem to have finally awoken from their slumber with two scintillating first half performances in a row. Two goals from Juan Mata (LvG’s new favourite player didn’t you know?) gave United a massive three points in their hunt for a return to Champions League football and now sit on 59 points. The gap between fourth and top spot is now just eight points and more importantly for United fans, the gap between fourth and fifth is five points. But in true Man United fashion, they are now looking up and Van Gaal wants second spot, at least.
Arsenal continue to lead the way thanks to a 2-1 win away to Newcastle following a late scare. But thanks to those three points, Wenger’s men are still sitting pretty in third on 60points, one point ahead of United and one point behind Man City on 61 points, who could very easily be dragged into this Rat Race for the top four.
[Handy hint: Click or tap on the image if you find yourself squinting]
Arsenal are still in the driving seat currently on 60 points, and they’ve now won the last six league games on the spin thanks to that win against the Toon. But the race is about to get more exciting than seeing Thor at a two for one hammer sale.
Get your calculators out and get ready to start working out all the possible combinations and permutations. After the international break, Liverpool take a trip to North London to face Arsenal. A Liverpool win throws the race wide open again, whereas a win for Arsenal could all but end Liverpool’s hopes, with Spurs and Southampton a mere one point behind them.
Based on the season so far, it is crazy to think that by the time Man City take to the field to play Crystal Palace, Arsenal or even Man United could be in second place.
Falling a tad short however are Tottenham and Southampton who are both on 53 points. Both managed to collect three points to stay in contention and thanks to Liverpool’s loss to United, both are now just a single point behind Liverpool on 54.
After the international break, the next round of vital fixtures for the five sides fighting it out are as follows:
Arsenal v Liverpool (Saturday 4th April, 12.45pm)
Everton v Southampton (Saturday, 3.00pm)
Manchester United v Aston Villa (Saturday, 3.00pm)
Burnley v Tottenham (Sunday, 1.30pm)
Crystal Palace v Man City (Monday, 8.00pm)
Keep your eye on this infographic as we’ll update it weekly. None of the teams are likely to match Arsenal’s 2013/14 total of 79 points in fourth, but you’d have to think anyone that can get above 70 has a superb chance of Champions League football next season.