With the Premier League inching ever closer towards its conclusion, the pressure has begun to ratchet up for clubs at both the top and bottom of the table.
For the first time in many seasons of the Premier League, we have genuinely unpredictable races for the title, top four and to avoid relegation.
Gameweek 30 saw both Manchester City and Liverpool continue to go back and forth in their hunt for the title, whilst Arsenal's victory over top four rivals Manchester United saw them leapfrog the Red Devils in the table. Meanwhile, things near the bottom also saw its fair shares of drama, as the likes of Cardiff, Southampton and Brighton picked up a precious three points.
So in a weekend with twists and turns both in the race for the top four and to escape relegation, below is a look at six of the things we learned from it.
Arsenal Show Further Evidence of Big-Game Credentials
It was the stick used to beat Arsene Wenger's sides with, that the Gunners never truly seemed to have a game plan against their fellow 'big six' rivals, and invariably got mauled time and time again. But not this Arsenal. Not with Unai Emery at the helm.
Emery went bold with his selection against Manchester United on Sunday, setting up with a front three of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite the Red Devils' juggernaut-like form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Gunners boss took the game to United and was rewarded with a 2-0 win.
The result means Arsenal have beaten United, Chelsea and Tottenham at home, whilst also drawing with Liverpool. They were unlucky not to pick up a victory against Spurs at Wembley last week, but all the signs point to the Gunners becoming a more resilient and tactically astute side in the big games.
'Arrogant' Tottenham in Danger of Slipping Out of Top Four
Mauricio Pochettino usually comes across as a very reserved and thoughtful manager, but after seeing his Spurs side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton, the Argentine delivered a stinging assessment of his players' mentality.
He said: "It's about complacency, it's about arrogance in a bad way. We need to blame all of us, the club. I am so, so, so disappointed. I am a little bit worried about this change from the first half to the second half - it's only one thing, it's mental."
The loss now sees Spurs just a point above their north London rivals Arsenal, and just three ahead of Manchester United in fifth. It was all going so swimmingly well for Pochettino's side last month amid a potential run at the title, but now find themselves anxiously looking over their shoulders to even finish in the top four.
VAR Can't Come Soon Enough in the Premier League
After the mid-week controversy in Paris over the interference of VAR, the Etihad Stadium bore witness to one of the strangest refereeing decisions this season. With the game goalless at the start of the second half, Raheem Sterling was clearly offside when the ball cannoned off him and into the back of the net. Despite the linesman correctly putting up his flag, referee Paul Tierney overruled the decision and awarded Manchester City the opening goal.
With Pep Guardiola's side locked in an intense battle with Liverpool for the Premier League title, such decisions can have huge ramifications. VAR undoubtedly has its faults, but it (generally) gets things right, and was sorely missed in Manchester.
Rafa Benitez Continuing Miracle Work at St James' Park
Working essentially with his hands tied behind back for the majority of his time at Newcastle, Rafa Benitez continues to defy all expectations. With the club record signing of Miguel Almiron proving to be an inspired move with each passing week, the Magpies faithful are witnessing what their Spanish boss can do if given the basic tools.
Trailing 2-0 at the break to Everton, Benitez's half-time team-talk inspired a second-half turnaround, with goals from Salomon Rondon and a late, great Ayoze Perez brace sealing a dramatic 3-2 win. Newcastle now find themselves just five points off ninth-placed West Ham, and under Benitez's guidance could secure an improbably top-half finish.
Wolves Prove Once Again Why They're the 'Best of the Rest'
Has any newly promoted side looked as consistently good against the big boys as Wolves have done this season?
Nuno Espirito Santo's side were defensively resolute against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, and were on course for an impressive victory at Stamford Bridge until Eden Hazard stepped up to produce a moment of magic deep into injury-time.
In their nine games against the 'big six', Wolves have picked up ten points, with two wins and four draws to their name. With another summer of investment, the Midlands club could make a real push at European football next season.
Relegation Dogfight Will Go Right Down to the Wire
With Fulham and Huddersfield almost certainly heading back to the Championship next season, the race to avoid joining them is seemingly heading towards the very end. Four of the bottom eight all picked up victories over the weekend, meaning just six points separate 18th-placed Cardiff with Newcastle in 13th.
The Bluebirds picked up a huge win to close the gap to Burnley in 17th to just two points, whilst Brighton beat relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to haul the Eagles back into a relegation fight. Perhaps the biggest shock of the weekend down at the bottom was Southampton's win over a Spurs side lying in third. The Saints' win could be the game to swing the momentum back in their favour and extend their Premier League stay.
Source : 90min