One of the most thrilling games of the season ended in disappointment for both participants. Plus everything else from the weekend in the Premier League.

The Premier League produced some spectacular action this weekend, with 28 goals across 10 games. But the best game of the weekend — the marquee clash between Liverpool and Manchester City — was most notable for the times the ball didn’t hit the back of the net.

Both teams had a ton of great chances, but only scored once apiece, and both will consider the result to be two points dropped. Between that result and Arsenal’s poor performance at The Hawthorns on Saturday, the big winners of the weekend were Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Spurs look solidified in their top-four position, while United are now just four points away from getting back into a Champions League place — and they have two games in hand on Liverpool.

Saturday’s scores

West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford FC
Everton 4-0 Hull City
Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea
Sunderland 0-0 Burnley
West Ham United 2-3 Leicester City
AFC Bournemouth 2-0 Swansea City

Sunday’s scores

Middlesbrough 1-3 Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool

Adam Lallana and Sergio Aguero won’t sleep too well

You’ll be hard pressed to find a Liverpool fan willing to tear down Adam Lallana. He’s been the team’s underappreciated attacking MVP this season, turning in the best campaign of his career.

But wow, he really should have scored this.

While Aguero didn’t quite match Lallana’s miss-of-the-season candidate, he also had a chance to win the game just five minutes later. And like Lallana, he failed to do so.

The defining characteristic of this game ended up being missed chances. Each team had 13 shots, which isn’t a huge number, but none of them was a hopeful effort. There was only one shot from outside the box, and it was taken centrally from inside 25 yards. This should have been a seven- or eight-goal game, not a two-goal game.

Manchester United and Spurs survive without their stars

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was suspended for United’s trip to Middlesbrough, while Paul Pogba missed out due to a minor injury. It didn’t matter, because United’s backups stepped up in their absence — particularly Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard. Here’s how Lingard solidified the Red Devils’ lead with what was ultimately the winner.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Your browser does not support iframes.

Spurs did well without Harry Kane, too, holding off Southampton in a hard-fought 2-1 win. The Saints generated quite a few chances and had Spurs on the ropes late in the second half, but couldn’t recover from conceding a Christian Eriksen screamer and a penalty converted by Dele Alli.

Now the international break gives Pogba and Kane some extra time to recover, while Ibrahimovic’s suspension only has one game remaining on it. United and Spurs are well on their way to surviving some bad luck and getting into the top four despite it.

Sunderland look relegated, Middlesbrough not far off

While Sunderland’s 0-0 draw against Burnley was far from their worst performance of the season, it just might be the one that relegates them. If they can’t score at home against the Clarets, they probably just can’t score consistently enough to stay up.

Chairman Ellis Short was in the building, and David Moyes sounded far from supportive of him or his own players.

Things are decidedly less bad at Middlesbrough, and there’s no shame to losing to Manchester United, but they’re not in much better shape. Despite their minus-13 goal differential — a respectable mark for a relegation battler — they’re six points from safety and appear to have fewer good players than the teams above them. What once looked like a wide-open relegation race is slowly becoming a dull one.

Arsenal appears to be eating itself

Rival fans flew banners above The Hawthorns on Saturday, which was a bit embarrassing.

It ended up being less embarrassing than the Gunners’ performance, and Arsenal now faces a difficult fight for top four. And to add injury to insult, both Petr Cech and Alexis Sanchez got hurt during their loss.

Now, the talk of the international break is likely to be Arsene Wenger’s future. We wrote about how that fight is about moral philosophy, not football, while Arsenal blog The Short Fuse called Wenger’s behavior selfish.

So, were Leicester City right to fire Claudio Ranieri?

Hey, about that moral philosophy issue. Should Leicester City have showed loyalty and respect towards Ranieri, or did they make the right call? The results sure have improved. They’re still conceding lots of chances, mind you, but Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are finding a way to hit the back of the net again.

Leicester now has three straight wins in the league, plus they’ve advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Maybe Leicester’s owners just did what they had to. Or maybe you think that doesn’t matter, and no positive results justify Ranieri’s firing. That’s fine, too.

Everton: really good!

Hey, check out this goal by Everton youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin, set up by even younger youngster Tom Davies!

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Your browser does not support iframes.

The Toffees have a pretty great stable of young talent that can be the core of a top-half team for a decade to come, even if they can’t hang on to Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley. But with those players, they’re a good team — at least the seventh-best in the league, and with a big gap back to eighth. Ronald Koeman is building something that Toffees should be proud of.

Chelsea refuse to let the title race get fun

Stoke gave Chelsea a challenge on Saturday, but the Blues squeaked out a 2-1 win thanks to a late set piece goal by Gary Cahill. Chelsea’s attack was a bit off and they got some unlucky bounces, but they were always on top of play, and never really looked like losing.

If you don’t know yet, the biggest reason for that is the play of N’Golo Kante. He didn’t win either of the major Premier League player of the year awards last season, and it’ll be a crime if he’s shut out again this time around. He finished this game with 89 percent passing and 63 completed passes, 16 more than next-best Chelsea midfielder or attacker. His seven tackles were three more than the next best player, and he had three interceptions to boot.

With Kante in midfield, Chelsea is not going to slip up enough times for Spurs or City to catch them. He’s too dominant and too consistent. If you want excitement, you’ll have to focus on the top-four race. The title race is over.

Source : SBnation