Barclays Premier League Review – March 2014

wenger hands up

As the end of the season draws ever closer, March saw the number of teams going for the title drop from four to three (sorry Arsenal fans!) and the relegation dogfight also reduce in numbers, as a few teams edged to almost safety. Read a full review below.

The table on March 1st (Before the day's fixtures)
The table on March 1st (Before the day’s fixtures)
The table on April 1st
The table on April 1st

What we can see from the table

  • Liverpool’s superb run of 15 points from a possible 15 took them to the top of the Premier League
  • Arsenal however suffered a bad run and dropped from second to fourth, with Everton catching them up
  • Stoke City won four out of five games last month, to make the Premier League status all but confirmed for next season
  • Sunderland continued their recent slump with only one point from four games to give themselves a tough job to stay up
  • The gap between the bottom three and their other relegation rivals has gradually begun to increase

Player of the month

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

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I chose to give this award to Eden Hazard following the Belgian’s impressive performances for Chelsea in March, where he netted twice and contributed two assists to keep The Blues in the mix for the Premier League title. Hazard set up two goals for teammate Andre Schurrle in the 3-1 win over West London neighbours Fulham at Craven Cottage and followed that up with Man of the Match performances against both Tottenham in the 4-0 win and against Arsenal in the 6-0 win. The winger helped himself to goals – from the penalty spot – in both of those games, taking him to 14 for the campaign so far. Hazard’s goals helped Chelsea win three of their five games in March and with it, maintain Chelsea’s unbeaten home record this season, with Jose Mourinho’s men having taken 44 points from a possible 48 on home soil.

2nd – Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

3rd – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Manager of the month

Brendan Rodgers – Liverpool

Brendan+Rodgers+Unveiled+As+New+Liverpool+FC+Manager

Liverpool now look ever closer to their first ever Premier League trophy after a flawless March, in which they won five out of five games to lead the table by two points going into April. This is in no small part down to Rodgers, who has got The Reds playing, fast-paced, attractive passing football which has put him firmly in the frame for manager of the season and has led to rumours that Barcelona want his services in the summer. If he can guide his side to wins in their last five games of the season, which include visits from Manchester City and Chelsea, Liverpool will be champions.

2nd – Roberto Martinez (Everton)

3rd – Mark Hughes (Stoke City)

Goal of the month

Wayne Rooney vs West Ham United

2nd – Morgan Amalfitano vs Cardiff City

3rd – Alex Tettey vs Sunderland

Others worth mentioning

  • Ross Barkley vs Newcastle United
  • Yaya Toure vs Fulham
  • Adam Lallana vs Newcastle United
  • David Silva vs Hull City
  • Christian Benteke vs Norwich City
  • Fabian Delph vs Chelsea
  • Thomas Rosicky vs Tottenham Hotspur
  • Jordan Mutch vs West Bromwich Albion

Game of the month

West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Cardiff City

wba 3-3 car

In a game between two struggling teams, Cardiff’s Mats Moller Daehli scored a 95th-minute equaliser in reply to Thievy Bifouma’s injury-time goal as The Bluebirds twice came back to steal a potentially crucial point against West Brom. They had already fought back once as Jordon Mutch and Steven Caulker replied to early goals from Morgan Amalfitano and Graham Dorrans, with Mutch’s and Amalfitano’s goals absolute crackers and both feature in my goal of the month section. But after Bifouma looked to have earned West Brom boss Pepe Mel his first win at The Hawthorns late on, Daehli struck to send the away fans into raptures. Read the full match report here.

2nd – Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal

Read the full match report here.

3rd – Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool

Read the full match report here.

Managerial Sackings

Billy Davies

No managerial changes in the Premier League last month, but after Nottingham Forest sacked Billy Davies in the Championship, it seemed as if no one wanted the job at the City Ground, with both Malky Mackay and Neil Warnock rejecting offers before club legend Stuart Pearce agreed to take charge at the end of the season.

Games to look out for in April

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Last weekend we saw some crucial games at the bottom and Everton host Arsenal in a vital match in the race for fourth, but what else is in store for the rest of April?

  • Fulham vs Norwich (12/04)
  • Liverpool vs Manchester City (13/04)
  • Everton vs Manchester United (20/04)
  • Sunderland vs Cardiff (27/04)
  • Liverpool vs Chelsea (27/04)
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