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Premier League Weekend Recap: Manchester City Slips to Open Race For Fourth

Manchester City failed to take care of business and now fans of teams lurking behind them, including Liverpool, are starting to gain a glimmer of (probably false) hope for the final Champions League spot.

Stephen Pond/Getty Images

It was a honeymoon weekend for Liverpool with no match to falter in and the memories of a resounding Europa League knockout win over Manchester United still on the mind. The results of a postponement-weakened slate of matches -- including a misstep from Manchester City -- made the last few days even sweeter.

At Carrow Road against a Norwich City team desperate to claw to safety from the bottom of the table, Manchester City drew 0-0. It's been discussed that City are in a bit of a rut, but the extent of their recent woes cannot be understated -- in their last six league matches, City have earned just seven points, which ranks 13th in the Premier League. They're still the favorites to finish fourth but an opening for that spot is starting to emerge.

"Everyone is disappointed with the result," midfielder Fernandinho said after the match. "We have to look forward. We have nine games to play. Even if you don't have the chance to be champions, you have to finish in the top four."

The other top-of-the-table game of the weekend was Tottenham vs. Aston Villa, which predictably ended in victory for Spurs. Harry Kane scored twice, though the final margin of victory, 2-0, was not as absurd as some other Aston Villa blowouts in recent months.

Elsewhere, Bournemouth beat Swansea City 3-2 to essentially seal a spot in next year's top flight. For Swansea, the result means more uncertainty -- though the club is eight points clear of safety, its form since a hot start to the season has been poor and a late season collapse is still not impossible.

The same can be said for Crystal Palace, who didn't play over the weekend but are level with Swansea City and have been in worse form than Aston Villa over their last six matches.

Leicester City will play Newcastle to finish the weekend's set of matches after this article is posted, and that result will affect both sides of the table.

Next weekend brings more matches than this one, and with it, more intrigue. Arsenal will try to not fall apart completely in a prickly matchup with Everton, while Chelsea present a challenge to a West Ham side with genuine Champions League ambitions. Manchester City face Manchester United on Sunday, which could benefit Liverpool greatly depending on the result.

1 Leicester City 60 PTS
2 Tottenham 58 PTS
3 Arsenal 52 PTS
4 Manchester City 51 PTS
5 West Ham 49 PTS
6 Manchester United 47 PTS
7 Southampton 44 PTS
8 Liverpool 44 PTS
9 Stoke City 43 PTS
10 Chelsea 40 PTS
11 West Brom 39 PTS
12 Everton 38 PTS
13 Bournemouth 38 PTS
14 Watford 37 PTS
15 Crystal Palace 33 PTS
16 Swansea City 33 PTS
17 Sunderland 25 PTS
18 Norwich City 25 PTS
19 Newcastle 24 PTS
20 Aston Villa 16 PTS

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