Liverpool stay top, while Pulis’ Palace impress once more
The top three sides, Liverpool (15/8 Premier League title hopes), Chelsea (7/1) and Manchester City (8/11) all won at the weekend, while Arsenal – now 10 points off the pace – hold on to a top four-place.
Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the table, Crystal Palace (1/15 to stay up), West Brom (1/10) and Fulham (5/2) all gained crucial victories to help their chances of survival.
The big story of the weekend was Everton’s magnificent 3-0 home win over fellow top-four hopefuls Arsenal (still odds-on at 8/13). Roberto Martinez’s men have now closed the gap to one point, with a game in hand on the Gunners, and you can back them at 11/8 to finish in the Champions League places for the first time since the 2004/05 season.
There were all crucial victories for the league’s top three, and while Chelsea and Man City both won comfortably, 3-0 against Stoke City and 4-1 over Southampton respectively, Liverpool came through a tough battle at Upton Park.
A Steven Gerrard penalty double was enough for the Reds to see off West ham 2-1 and remain top of the table, two points clear of Chelsea and four of City – who have two games in hand.
Liverpool host Manuel Pellegrini’s men in their next fixture, and then Chelsea a fortnight on, and will hope to carry on their nine-match victory streak into those games to win their first top-flight title since 1990.
Down at the bottom, inevitably their were mixed results and feelings. Hull City, now nine points clear of the drop zone, will be very pleased with their 1-0 defeat of Swansea City, with the latter just five ahead of 18th-placed Fulham with five games to go.
The Cottagers saw off Aston Villa (33-1 relegation chances) in a hard fought 2-1 match-up, thanks to a late Hugo Rodallega winner. A very pleased Felix Magath managed to work his magic to take his side off bottom to now five points away from safety. Fulham are still odds-on at 1/3 to go down, however.
Tony Pulis, meanwhile, has continued to show his survival instinct by resoundingly thrashing relegation rivals Cardiff 3-0 in Wales. After consecutive victories over Chelsea and the Bluebirds, the Eagles are now up in 14th and seven points clear of the bottom three.
Pepe Mel will now have something to smile about after seeing off Norwich City 1-0 away. The victory also unfortunately resulted in the sacking of Canaries boss Chris Hughton, but that will not bother the Baggies, who now find themselves five points ahead of the drop zone with a game in hand (5/4 to go down).
The other battle saw an impressive Manchester United thrash Newcastle United 4-0. They will hope to take that confidence into their upcoming Champions League second leg match with Bayern Munich – who lost their last Bundesliga game. They are priced at 11/2 to qualify to the semis.
If you want to brave, you can back the Red Devils, who are now seven points off the top four, to finish in the Champions League places at 33/1.