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A Look At The Premier League Title Race

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This past weekend was relatively quiet on the Irish football front, with the only significant headline being that Linfield were eliminated from Irish Cup contention by Ballymena in a 2-1 match (you can read the match report at the Belfast Newsletter). But looking across the water it was a very busy and very significant weekend for the English Premier League. A few unexpected results have potentially shaken up the race at the top, so here’s a quick review of the impact matches from Week 25.

Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle

With roughly one third of the season to go in Premier League play, Chelsea are beginning to look like the favourite, and at this point it’s all about taking care of business when expected. A strong, somewhat methodical 3-0 showing against Newcastle accomplished precisely this goal, and the three points ended up putting Chelsea at 1st place in the standings.

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal

Arsenal was 1st in the standings heading in, but they hit an absolute wall against a Liverpool side that scored early and often to shock the Gunners. This match carried all kinds of significance for the League. To begin with, it kept Liverpool in contention. They’re now only six points behind League leaders Chelsea and will still play both Manchester City and Chelsea before the season comes to an end. Meanwhile, Arsenal gave up its slim League lead to Chelsea, with a tough schedule yet to play. To understand the full weight of this loss for Arsenal, it’s best to look at the betting odds, where BetFair now lists the team with only a 17/2 chance of winning the Premier League. It’s a significant step behind leaders Man City and Chelsea.

Norwich City 0-0 Manchester City

It may not have been quite the disaster Arsenal suffered, but Man City faced a far easier opponent in Norwich City and only came away with one point. This allowed Chelsea to take over sole possession of 1st place. For the first time all season, they overtook Man City in the betting odds. Currently, Chelsea are slated with 5/4 odds to win, with Man City just behind at 8/5.

Manchester United 2-2 Fulham

This was considered a shocking result, but really it’s more of the same for a Man U team that has disappointed with remarkable consistency in 2013-14. Man U were out of contention anyway, but if they’re not careful they’ll wind up in the bottom half of the Premier League.

There are many more matches to be played, and as this past weekend just showed, surprise outcomes are possible. But the title race in the Premier League has significantly shifted. Independent Online is reporting that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho continues to call Man City the league favourites, but it certainly seems as if Chelsea have moved into the driver’s seat for the home stretch.

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  1. Arsenal and Liverpool’s game was the highlight and most talked about game of week 25. Well, I want to see Liverpool and Chelsea battle for the championship! That will be exciting! 🙂

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