Everton produced a stunning comeback at Old Trafford to reignite this season’s title race and ensure next Sunday’s Manchester derby assumes even bigger proportions than it already had.
The 4-4 scoreline was stunning in itself, and the game showed what a bargain Everton have found in Nikica Jelavic. The Croat striker has been a revelation since his January move, and there will no doubt be a few clubs wishing they’d taken the gamble on him, too. His second was a snapshot that in a split-second changed the complexion of the season.
Manchester City capitalised on the shock result, relegating Wolves with a 2-0 win at Molineux which will have raised a wry smile from Mick McCarthy. Sergio Aguero’s opener was a splendid goal, made by a great run and perfectly-weighted pass from Gael Clichy.
Roy Hodgson now has as many league wins at Anfield as Kenny Dalglish in 2012 following the Baggies’ smash-and-grab victory on Sunday. He’s a dignified soul, is Roy, but he’ll have enjoyed that win a bit more than usual.
On Saturday, Newcastle’s impressive season got even better, with an assured 3-0 win that took them into the coveted fourth spot. Papiss Cisse – like Jelavic, an example of astute January transfer window activity – grabbed yet another goal as Stoke were brushed aside.
The Bar Codes’ ascent into fourth was helped by yet another poor result for England manager Harry Redknapp. At this rate, Spurs will be happy for the compensation from the FA – it saves them having to sack him. His side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at QPR, with Adel Taraabt showing that not all players go for the mooted celebrations that are the done thing against former clubs. He went mental. And then got harshly sent off later on to complete a busy afternoon.
Wigan came back down to earth with a bump, a 2-1 reverse at Fulham reminding those who got carried away after the fine wins over Manchester United and Arsenal that the side is still embroiled in the battle to avoid joining Wolves in the Championship next season.
Blackburn live to fight another day, thanks to a 2-0 win over Norwich at Ewood Park. Steve
Kean still polarises opinion but he could yet keep them up. Neighbours Bolton have games in hand but not points in the bag; they rallied to secure a point against Swansea, but it was a home game they needed to win.
Ronaldo grabbed the winner and the headlines, but fellow Vapor VIII wearer Mesut Ozil’s pass was one of the best assists of the season
Finally, to El Clasico. Jose Mourinho has effectively won the league by beating a team regarded as one of the greatest ever in its own backyard.
Whatever your take on his style and his ego, the man certainly delivers. Securing league titles in four different countries is no mean feat.