1. The top seven teams all play mediocre football
2. And find a way to win anyway
The 28th matchday did not boast the quality of games that the Premier League is accustomed to. With none of the top seven teams matched up against each other, many of the fixtures looked like formalities. Those top teams thought so too. Not one of the top seven teams came fully ready to play. On a day that looked underwhelming, every
Only Liverpool and Manchester City won by more than a single goal, with the pair securing less than convincing 2-0 wins over Burnley and Leicester, respectively, places 19 and 20 in the table.
After falling behind the Red Devils on the weekend, Southampton rebounded by squeaking past an improving Crystal Palace team. Much like United, the Saints needed a late winner to avoid a 0-0 draw. It came in the 82nd minute when Sadio Mane pounced on a rebound and lifted the ball over Julian Speroni to boost Southampton to three points. Finally, in seventh, Spurs sit just seven points out of third with a game in hand, and like all of the aforementioned teams, Spurs made the fixture much more difficult than it ever needed to be. After taking a 3-1 lead with just half an hour to play, in similar fashion to their North London rivals, Spurs conceded with 89 minutes showing on the clock to set up the grandstand finish. Swansea would have procured a tie, too, if not for a world class save by Hugo Lloris seconds before the final whistle blew that secured three vital points for Spurs.
With all of these teams winning, the top of the table goes unchanged through matchday 28. But every top seven team looked shaky for parts — or the majority — of their matches, and each has problems to correct to stay on the pace moving forward.
3. Everton’s misery worsens as Stoke continues to turn heads
Everton had high hopes after Roberto Martinez led his new squad to a fifth-place finish and Europa League qualification last year. This season, however, has been a nightmare for the Liverpool side, who have been bystanders during a precipitous drop to 14th in the Premier League, sitting just six points above the bottom three. They matched up midweek against an in-form Stoke side perennially pegged