STEVEN GERRARD STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER
Despite having returned to fitness, Brendan Rodgers opted to start Steven Gerrard on the bench for the trip to Wales. The decision was perhaps pragmatic considering the looming tussle with Manchester United. It was probably sensible considering the former England captain has missed the last seven matches and could be hurt if rushed back. Maybe it was tactical - Liverpool have been excellent in his absence.
But leaving the skipper out of the starting XI still causes a ripple and Gerrard proved he still has a role to play in the final few games of his Liverpool career. He came on after 64 minutes and just four minutes later Liverpool scored the winning goal.
THE TITLE RACE IS STILL ON
Jose Mourinho's team were handed a massive bonus by Burnley when the Clarets handed Manchester City a shock defeat at Turf Moor.
Plenty of pundits handed the title to Chelsea, but they couldn't take advantage on Sunday, producing another flat performance as they struggled to a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
The Blues still hold all the cards with a six point lead, a game in hand and a superior goal difference. But Jose Mourinho's team still have to host Manchester United and Liverpool and travel to Arsenal - one could say they have a tough run in or their destiny still in their own hands.
In their next three games Chelsea play Hull (a), Stoke (h) and QPR (a). They must pick up nine points.
ARSENAL COULD NOW BE CHELSEA'S MAIN RIVALS
Manchester City might be second in the table, but it is the north London club who have all the momentum heading into the final weeks of the season.
Pellegrini's team had a chance to close the gap on Chelsea in what should have been a routine away trip to struggling Burnley, who had not won in their previous seven Premier League matches. But City, like Chelsea a day later, were flat and lethargic and barely created anything, even if they should've had a late penalty.
Arsenal were excellent against West Ham, playing beautiful football to run out rampant 3-0 winners at the Emirates. Not only were Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil excellent, but Arsene Wenger got excellent contributions from Aaron Ramsey (who scored his first goal since December) and Theo Walcott (who started just his third Premier League game of the season).
Now just a point behind City and Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United to play, the Gunners have a real chance.
MANCHESTER UNITED BOUNCE BACK
Plenty was written last week about the decline of Manchester United and the tactics of their embattled manager Louis van Gaal. But the side responded in the best possible way, dominating Champions League rivals Tottenham in what was their best performance since the turn of the year.
Manchester United 3 Tottenham 0 player ratings
Manchester United 3 Tottenham 0 player ratings
1/23 David de Gea
A quiet afternoon for the Spaniard. 6
2/23 Antonio Valencia
United had less joy down the right than the left, Valencia had a solid game and was rarely troubled in defence. 6
3/23 Ander Herrera
Passed the ball well, if a little conservatively. The chances didn’t fall to him on the day. 6
4/23 Michael Carrick
Provided the assist for Fellaini’s goal with a perfectly weighted pass before blasting a header into the bottom corner for United’s second. 8
5/23 Chris Smalling
Outmuscled Harry Kane on the odd occasion when Tottenham looked to build an attack. His passing was improved. 7
6/23 Phil Jones
Played well as Tottenham tried to advance in the second half. Distributed the ball well enough. 7
7/23 Daley Blind
Made some good progress down the left and works well pushing forward in attack. 7
8/23 Marouane Fellaini
Cool, calm and collected for his goal. His physical presence led to the second goal. A really impressive performance. 7
9/23 Juan Mata
Came into the game with the purpose to stake a claim for first-team football. Pressed the ball hard and was very energetic but is not suited to a role on the wing. 7
10/23 Wayne Rooney
Seized upon a loose pass from Eric Dier and sythed through the Tottenham defence before finishing well. Probably the goal celebration of the season to boot. 8
11/23 Ashley Young
Ran riot down the left and caused a number of good chances. 7
12/23 Hugo Lloris
It’s hard to work out his performance considering the shambolic defending in front of him and some clinical finishing from United. Made no glaring errors. 5
13/23 Kyle Walker
Played some risky passes in front of his own goal and showed some sloppy ball control. A day to forget. 5
14/23 Eric Dier
Didn’t track the run of Fellaini for the first goal and left Hugo Lloris exposed. Appalling back-pass that let Rooney in for United’s third. 5
15/23 Jan Vertonghen
Beaten at all ends by Rooney as the striker slotted home United’s third. Poor, poor performance. 4
16/23 Danny Rose
Probably Tottenham’s best defender on the day as United exploited the opposite flank relentlessly. Looked to get forward well but didn’t have a lot of joy. 6
17/23 Nabil Bentaleb
Failed to pressure the United attack as they had their way in the Tottenham half. 5
18/23 Ryan Mason
Had an abject first half before being subbed in the second. Couldn’t influence the game. 4
19/23 Andros Townsend
Taken off on 32’ and looked furious. He was having a woeful time before he was subbed as United repeatedly flew down the Tottenham left. 4
20/23 Christian Eriksen
Is not suited to a game where his team are under siege for the majority of the match. 5
21/23 Nacer Chadli
So much negative passing. Part of a Tottenham midfield that made a poor United defence look very strong. 4
22/23 Harry Kane
Found himself outnumbered on the rare occasions that Tottenham got the ball in United’s half. Spurs had no use for a striker on a day like this. 5
23/23 Off the Bench: Mousa Dembele
Didn’t provide Tottenham with anything more following his introduction. 5
Wayne Rooney was excellent but it was Van Gaal's team selection that made the real difference. Taking the plodding but neat Daley Blind out of midfield and slotting Michael Carrick back into the middle was huge, as the English man plays at a much higher tempo than the Dutchman; Carrick was great, recording an assist and a goal.
The reintroduction of Juan Mata, who hadn't started in the Premier League since New Year's Day, was another decision that reaped rewards - Spurs had no answer to the superb Spaniard as they were blitzed in the first 30 minutes.
SPURS LACKING EXPERIENCE
Since their win in the north London derby at the beginning of February, Tottenham have quietly run into some dreadful form. They have won just two of their eight games since then and their challenge for the Champions League is starting to really falter.
They have played big matches against Liverpool, West Ham, Fiorentina, Chelsea and now Manchester United and recorded just one draw, against the Hammers where they needed to late goals.
Pochettino's youngsters were brilliant in getting Tottenham into contention but seem to lack the experience to get over the finish line.
LEICESTER AND QPR LOOK DOWN AND OUT
The Foxes are now seven points from safety and in the final nine matches of the season only face three teams who are around them, with two of those (Burnley, Sunderland) coming away from the King Power Stadium. Nigel Pearson's team only managed three shots on target against fellow strugglers Hull, who had to play the final 20 minutes or so without Tom Huddlestone.
Pearson was later involved in a war of words with a journalist, apparently heard muttering under his breath calling someone a 'p****'.
The signs are equally ominous for Queens Park Rangers who continued their dreadful away form with a 3-1 spanking by Crystal Palace in a game that was over at half-time. Rangers still have to play Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, in a difficult run of games at the end of the season.
BURNLEY MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH TO STAY UP
Burnley have bloodied a few noses this season, picking up four points against Manchester City and recording another two draws against Manchester United and Chelsea.
When Sean Dyche's team play the big boys they display a huge amount of desire and discipline that can frustrate teams who set up to attack, and the Clarets are dangerous on the counter-attack. But teams don't usually stay in the Premier League by picking up points from teams in the top half of the table - they have to beat the teams around them.
This season they have already lost to both Sunderland and QPR, drew at home to the Black Cats, West Brom and Aston Villa and generally struggle to create - only Aston Villa, Leicester and Sunderland have scored fewer.
Burnley have a gruelling run of games on the horizon with Southampton, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton to play before they host Leicester. They also have to play Hull and Villa before the end of the season but by then it may be too late.
TIME OUT FOR GUS
Sunderland produced only the second worst performance of the season when they were thrashed by struggling Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light. Unfortunately for Gus Poyet the Black Cats also produced the worst when they rolled over and allowed Southampton to score eight at St Mary's earlier this season.
The biggest crowd of the season came to see Sunderland play a crucial relegation battle with Tim Sherwood's team, but half of them had left before the whistle sounded after 45 minutes. A truly embarrassing performance by the players in red and white, who gave up after the second goal.
It came as little surprise when Gus Poyet was sacked on Monday.
Phil Bardsley has a mean left jab...
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