1. United 3-1 Spurs – As newly crowned PFA player of the year Wayne Rooney watched on from his special sealed plastic rehabilitation oxygen box high in the stands at Old Trafford, Manchester United laid down the first marker of the weekend against their perennial whipping boys Spurs. The last time Tottenham won at Old Trafford most of the Berlin wall was still there, the Simpsons had yet to air and Rafael Da Silva was still snuggly in an embryonic sac. Despite Spurs’ history making recent form, they always lose this fixture – even when they win it, as Pedro Medes and Roy Carroll would no doubt testify. United spent most of the game trying to get their wingers to cross to a striker that wasn’t there, leaving Dimitar Berbatov in the frustrating position of actually having to make runs into the box. This rare and perplexing sight was obviously too much for Patrice Evra, who suddenly become violently sick all over the turf. This is obviously a minor inconvenience to French players, as the great Zinedine Zidane once chucked up all over the penalty spot before sinking a sickening late winner against England in 2004. Like his countryman, Evra shrugged off his trifling nausea with just the aid of a Lucozade – which would’ve almost certainly compounded the problem for me – to burst onto Berbatov’s sexy back heel and win United a penalty. Ryan Giggs duly converted his first ever Premier League penalty, and one which Jonathon Pearce on MoTD decided was “the most important spot kick he’d ever taken” conveniently forgetting he’d taken the decisive winning penalty in the Champions League final only two years previous. Nani continued his fine late season form to delightfully dink in the winner after Ledley King had stood on Michael Carrick’s shoulders to equalise, before collapsing himself for a quick bout of wretching. Rumors are circulating that instead of the customary bottle of plonk, ‘Arry Redknapp sent Fergie some of North London’s finest Lasagna as a thanks for beating City last week. The evidence is, as yet, inconclusive.
2. Chelsea 7-0 Stoke – Chelsea regained the initiative on the Sunday after galloping to their third seven-goal haul of the season. Didier Drogba got proceedings underway by delightfully bringing down a long ball with the back of his ankle and promptly whipping it into what pundits like to call “the corridor of uncertainty” for Salomon Kalou to nod in. At this point I partially lost interest in the game itself, as I tried to think of good uses for “The corridor of uncertainty” in a game show format. It sounds like the kind of thing where participants should have to walk down a narrow door filled hallway and attempt to pick the correct escape route, unaware that most of the doors contain fearsome and dangerous “uncertainties”, like a starved tiger, or a black hole, or Dennis Wise. As I pondered this, Kalou notched a second by tobogganing into Thomas Sorensen, rendering the game completely uninteresting from a neutral point of view for the remaining 60 minutes. Kalou dragged a clasping puppy like Robert Huth into the box for a dodgy pen before completing his hat trick early in the second half. Malouda missed an open goal, Lampard scored his 20th of the season and Danny Sturridge celebrated his first league goal for the blues by imitating a Russian bear being forced to dance on a hot floor for Roman Abramovich’s entertainment, before Malouda finally scored an open goal to make it seven. Call me presumptuous, but I think Chelsea’s goal difference is now unassailable.
3. Arsenal 0-0 City – As the race for the title heated up in other parts of London and Manchester, the race for fourth slowly thawed and went off like a small piece of cheese left at the back of the fridge as City and Arsenal bored each other into a stale mate at the Emirates. Emmanuel Adebayor made his long awaited return to North London looking like a cross between Worzel Gummidge, Pippy Long Stockings and a Cabbage Patch Doll and was promptly booed like the second coming of Ashely Cole. There is absolutely nothing else to notice about this match, apart from maybe the fact they all stayed awake and that Robin van Persie has been out for so long he’s now gone grey.
4. Sunderland 1-0 Hull – Down in the doldrums Hull all but sealed their relegation as Darren Bent continued scoring and everyone’s favorite tousle haired cockney joker Jimmy Bullard missed a first half penalty. Both Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton were sent off after a schoolyard melee saw the Sunderland man head butted for throwing the ball at his opponent like he was 12. Steve Bruce was sent of later as well for looking a bit too much like Claire Balding. Aware of their predicament, Hull went searching for an equalizer in the final minutes with all the potency of a frozen chicken.
5. West Ham 3-2 Wigan – The ‘Ammers secured their safety in dramatic fashion at the Boleyn. Wigan took the lead courtesy of a lovely Owen-esque poachers header from Jonathan Spector at the wrong end, before Carlton Cole stepped on Chris Kirkland’s face whilst rounding him, forcing the Wigan stopper to go off injured, and then come back on again. Ilan once again grabbed the crucial goal to drawn the home side level before home boy Mark Nobel crashed in a brilliant free kick that was nodded in on the rebound by Kovac. Rodallega punched the ball off his stomach to make it a nervy last few minutes for West Ham before Scott Parker hammered in a belter, instigating primal celebrations all round as the team ran in unity to hug loveable cuddly primate Gianfranco Zola.
So West Ham stay up, and Burnley, Hull and Pompey are all down before May. In truth, it’d struggle to think of three teams who’ve ever deserved it more, even if John Terry existed as a team all on his own.