By Brad Smith
Chelsea and Arsenal had opposing results on Saturday, knowing that they could both put huge dents in rivals European qualification bids.
Arsenal had a chance to pull away from Tottenham, who played on Sunday, but we’re unable to as they were beaten 2-1 by a resurgent QPR team, which included Adel Taarabt scoring his first goal of the season.
The weekend didn’t get any easier for the Gunners, who would’ve sat down today to see former striker Emmanuel Adebayor head home twice in a 3-1 win over Swansea, meaning Spurs crept up on their North London rivals, to within just one goal of overtaking them.
Chelsea were still chasing both of these clubs, as well as trying to shrug Newcastle off their back, so come 5:30pm on Saturday, after they had taken apart Aston Villa by four goals to two, and seen Arsenal drop points, 3rd and 4th were suddenly in the headlights.
However, Newcastle vs Liverpool today must’ve looked a close game on paper, that until you look at the form of the teams. Sure enough, a two-nil victory saw Newcastle peg back Chelsea in the league yet again, whilst Tottenhams win means the gap stays at 5 points.
With all four teams being separated by 5 points, everything is still up for grabs, especially with Arsenal facing Man City in their next game, who surely must win to keep their title hopes up.
Newcastle will play first on Friday night though, at the Liberty Stadium, where Swansea are notoriously hard to beat. That is followed up by a morning kick off on Saturday, where Spurs travel to a Sunderland team, unfortunate not to beat Manchester City this weekend.
Chelsea will no doubt face the easiest task, a home tie versus Wigan, but with their recent return to form, nothing will be easy.
It seems to be a very important set of fixtures, as a win for Chelsea or Newcastle could see them go within 3 points of Champions League spot, providing either of the two London teams fail to win.
With just 7 games left, everything is to play for, but Chelsea, after their revitalisation under Roberto Di Matteo, will be heartbroken if they were to go so close to the top four, and fail to oust one of their London rivals.