With a packed roster of matches being played out over the weekend, we have plenty to talk about regarding this gameweek.
1. Manchester City get a glimpse of an alternate reality
Still 12 points clear of their noisy neighbors, United possibly just can’t throw it away from here. But yesterday’s match did was to serve up a intriguing mix of ‘What ifs’. A hard fought victory at Old Trafford in which all the three goals were scored by players wearing a sky blue shirt won’t possibly alter the destination of the League trophy this season. But what it would definitely do is restored the flagging morale of the Citizens. Possibly buy Mancini some more time at the helm. And sound a clarion call – loud and clear that Manchester City are back. In a season blighted by poor form and fitness of key players, in a season when the FA Cup is the only silverware they could possibly win, this resounding victory will give them the self belief which could ensure that the race to the league will be a more tightly contested affair next season.
2. Arsenal and Tottenham in an all too familiar situation
A Gareth Bale-powered Tottenham found themselves sweeping aside all opposition as they fixed their sights of a Champions League spot. An unfortunate twist of fate (or rather of an ankle) and the Lilywhites find their Welsh superstar on the treatment table. Arsenal and Chelsea choose this precise moment to turn up the heat on their North London rivals as they both recorded narrow wins to close the gap down. Add to that a tough run-in with matches against Manchester City and Chelsea and suddenly Spurs are nervously looking over their shoulders. Tottenham fans will be forgiven for having that all too familiar feeling of being overtaken by their fierce rivals Arsenal, who currently sit two points adrift, albeit with a game in hand.
3. Rafalution and The Legend of Zorres
A gruelling run of three fixtures in the space of a week. And they won them all. The European Champions were finding their squad stretched to the limit as the onerous schedule finally started catching up with them. The insipid first half performance was a testimony to that and it was looking all the more obvious when a panicked César Azpilicueta sliced a clearance into his own net. And it was then a masked superhero came to the fore. Sporting a mask (for a facial injury) which kind of resembled the one worn by Antonio Banderas in the two Zorro movies, El Nino injected conviction into the Blues lineup. He might not have got a goal himself, but his introduction in the second half certainly changed the course of the match. With 19 goals all season and three strikes in his last five, he can no longer be labelled a ‘flop’. And the man who had brought him to England and coached him at Liverpool would be probably responsible for the turnaround in fortunes of this Spaniard.