Well who’d have thought it? The dead horse that was the Premier League three weeks ago has sprung to life and started to charge through the field like a thoroughbred.
At the bottom of the table Fulham and Bolton had seemingly already joined Derby in a division below West Brom for next season. But the Wanderers have risen from the ashes and accidentally dragged a reluctant Fulham with them.
Bolton’s 1-1 draw in front of new Spurs record signing Luka Modric (not from Basingstoke presumably) was among the least remarkable results of the weekend. The home side has long since gone on holiday, or in some cases to Newcastle to prematurely discuss terms.
However, the scrappy goal that earned that point topped an amazing turnaround in form that has seen Bolton jump to 16th.
While that was an unremarkable game, the opposite was true in Manchester where City blew a two goal lead that at one stage seemed set to formally relegate poor Fulham, who eventually won away from home 3-2.
While Roy Hodgson knows his side are still in trouble, he also now knows that one more win could now keep them up. And with a visit by Birmingham City coming up, that win may yet happen.
That Bolton and Fulham do not yet have an R beside their names on the league table is thanks to the utter inadequacy of Birmingham City and Reading.
Both sides have finished the campaign so badly that it is hard to find a redeeming feature in either. Birmingham let slip a 2-0 lead against Liverpool’s reserves while Reading successfully defended a 0-0 position against Wigan. And frankly those two facts sum those sides up better than anything I could add.
Above those sides remain the sadly unlikely now to be relegated Wigan. Their present haul of 37 points is likely to be their final hall after 38 games. But for them that should suffice.
So to the other end of the table where there came a different order of excitement.
Bad refereeing; fists being thrown; stewards being kicked; and racism directed towards players. Stamford Bridge returned to its 80s heritage for the showdown with Manchester United. But unlike the 80s the home side played quite well and won.
Players fought with each other, with officials, with ground staff, and with a guy in a burger stand who looked at them funny while he wiped down his grill. More important than any of that though was that Chelsea went level on points with the former Champions-elect. With just two games to go the Red Devils will probably still claim the title, but it is no longer certain.
And in games now only being staged because of contractual obligations…
Aston Villa failed to loosen Everton’s grip on their well earned Uefa Cup spot as the teams drew 2-2.
Blackburn beat Pompey at home 1-0, finishing off what little chance the south coast side had left of earning a European spot in the league.
West Ham drew 2-2 against Newcastle as Keegan’s side came back from two down and Ljunberg refused to play on with a cracked rib.
And finally it was Arsenal’s turn to whip Derby, recording a 6-2 victory that begs the question how bad will Arsene Wenger let his defence get before studying some old videos and remembering that Tony Adams and Martin Keown were worshiped too?