A mass protest in the wake of rising ticket prices quickly followed by an inexplicable implosion against Sunderland made the weekend difficult for Liverpool fans. However, there were plenty of other interesting storylines around the Premier League that helped distract from the events at Anfield.
Upstart Leicester City met Manchester City at the Ethiad in a six-pointer with massive title implications. From the start, Leicester City looked the better team and terrorized Manchester City on the counter attack. The Foxes went up 3-0 over the hosts through an unexpected Robert Huth set piece brace and a Riyad Mahrez strike before Sergio Aguero pulled back a meaningless consolation goal in the 87th minute.
Manuel Pellegrini, who will be out as Manchester City manager at the end of the season, was not pleased with his team's effort but made no excuses. "We had a chance to recover points at home, now we're six points behind Leicester," he said after the match. "This was a defeat we didn't expect."
With Leicester City making a major statement at the top of the table it was up to Arsenal and Tottenham to keep the pace. Both teams took care of business to remain within five points of the top, dropping Manchester City to fourth in the process.
Meanwhile, the other team in Manchester let a great opportunity to make a push at a Champions League position slip away in stoppage time against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. After Jesse Lingard struck brilliantly to put United ahead, a late defensive breakdown allowed Diego Costa a free run at goal and the striker netted to draw the match 1-1. Neither team will love the result, but for United a top four finish becomes a much more difficult task. They sit six points behind City but don't look all that capable of stringing together the necessary results to make a turnaround.
The bottom of the Premier League table was just as entertaining as the top. In a relegation tilt between Aston Villa and Norwich City, Villa managed to win for just the third time this season to give themselves a glimmer of hope in their fight to stay up, sending Norwich into the relegation zone. Other bottom dwellers picked up huge points -- Newcastle stunned West Brom to wriggle into momentary safety and Swansea City nicked a draw against Crystal Palace. While Sunderland's comeback against Liverpool did not move them from 19th place, the point gained allowed them to remain in striking distance of another late season Houdini act to stay up.
Even though Liverpool disappointed, the Premier League once again managed to entertain. But the weekend's action has nothing on what's to come in the next round of games, as all members of the top four play each other during a wild slate next Sunday. It's Arsenal vs. Leicester City in the early match and Manchester City vs. Tottenham for the late show with some Liverpool action in between. It should be a whole lot of fun.