10 things we learned from Week 25 of the 2023-24 Premier League season

Well, well, well.... Chelsea's got some resolve, and that resolution has shaken up the Premier League title race.

No, Mauricio Pochettino's Blues didn't miraculously find 20 points this weekend, but their gutsy display in keeping wasteful Erling Haaland and Man City to a single point certainly made decisive wins from Liverpool and Arsenal look like title-teasing ones.

[ MORE: Premier League standings ]

The Reds, however, lost several key players in their Mohamed Salah-fueled win over Brentford. Arsenal has no such new injury issues and are pretty much inflicting harm on opponents with free-scoring days.

It wasn't a good weekend for the bottom three, and there’s a chance the relegation picture will feel quite different come Monday evening after Crystal Palace and Everton duke it out in a six-pointer (Watch live at 3pm ET on USA Network and online via

Chelsea gets momentum as Haaland loses his

Man City 1-1 Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea has a three-match unbeaten streak across all competitions to ease pressure on the boss and his young squad, but he can thank Erling Haaland and Man City's misfiring finishers for a decent bit of that. Credit Chelsea for the fight, the aggression, the resolve... and the beauty of Raheem Sterling's goal, but City were frustrated and grew wasteful. The champions only put five of their 31 attempts on target. Nine of those attempts came from Haaland, who was credited with three big chances but put none in the goal. These days don't come often, but this particular off day means Man City's lost its points-per-game lead heading into a midweek match at Brentford. And the surprise point for Chelsea means reason to hope for a European place of some sort by the end of the season. — Nicholas Mendola

Injury-ravaged Liverpool need Salah now more than ever

Brentford 1-4 Liverpool

When red-hot Diogo Jota went down with an injury and had to be carried off in the first half you started to look at Liverpool’s injury list and wonder how that will impact their title race. Goalkeeper Alisson is missing now too, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai are still out. Curtis Jones went down against Brentford and had to come off. Darwin Nunez was taken off at half time. This adds to the pain caused by Joel Matip being out for the season and both Thiago and Bajcetic still missing; That is nine first team players missing. But then Mohamed Salah glides onto the pitch and scores a goal, adds and assist, and causes so many problems for Brentford. Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp will still be worried about their ever-growing injury list but Salah papers over so many of the cracks. Having him back from injury just as injuries pile up is the perfect tonic and Liverpool have their talisman ready to stand tall as they aim to win the first of four possible trophies. Salah can’t do it all on his own but he proved once again on Saturday at Brentford that he can inspire the team and help the players who are fit and available get to the levels needed. Salah is Liverpool’s x-factor in this title race — Joe Prince-Wright

Gunners have found their ruthless streak

Burnley 0-5 Arsenal

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Arsenal have won five in-a-row but it’s the way they’re winning games which is most impressive, especially at this time of the season. They’ve smashed five past Crystal Palace, three past Liverpool, six past West Ham and five past Burnley. The Gunners are a juggernaut and Arsenal are winning games with minimum fuss and have the luxury of resting their key players late in games because they’re so comfortable. The scary thing is Arsenal are missing some big players too (Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jurrien Timber and Oleksandr Zinchenko) and they could have scored even more across this impressive run of wins. For most of this season Arsenal were more solid defensively but a little more sluggish in attack than they were last season. Not anymore. Saka, Odegaard, Trossard and Havertz have clicked and are ripping teams apart and Declan Rice has given them the perfect base to win games. Arsenal are full of confidence and heading into the Champions League last 16 and a pivotal run of games between now and the end of March they look unstoppable. At this stage last season Arsenal’s title charge started to falter. This year this is when their title charge is in full flow. That’s because their ruthless streak has arrived at the perfect time. — Joe Prince-Wright

Forest do the right things while West Ham make mistakes

Nottingham Forest 2-0 West Ham

Forest didn’t manage to score until first-half stoppage time, but it was their third high-quality chance of the game, after Taiwo Awoniyi and Anthony Elanga put clear-cut chances right at goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. This time, it was the deft touch, after a bit of brute force, which was required from Awoniyi to break the deadlock. Nicolas Dominguez smashed a ball into Awoniyi’s feet and he controlled it brilliantly while shielding Nayef Aguerd on his back side. First touch into space and a cool finish inside the far post for 1-0. Things went from bad to worst for West Ham, as Kalvin Phillips was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in the span of three minutes midway through the second half. Phillips caught Morgan Gibbs-White late and high as the two came together in a 50-50 challenge. That was pretty much that. — Andy Edwards

Tottenham can’t overcome Udogie, Porro absences

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Wolves

With Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro unavailable due to minor injuries, Ben Davies and Emerson Royal were deputized at left and right back on Saturday, and though both struggled mightily, it was one of the full backs’ few bright moments — in the 57th minute — which stuck out and highlighted the noticeable drop-off in Spurs’ squad. Royal raced forward, cut out a pass to Rayan Ait-Nouri’s feet and quickly started the counter-counter-attack back the other way. It was the kind of recovery that keeps the opposing team trapped inside their own half; the kind of recovery that forces their forwards to retreat and defend an extra 10 or 15 yards deeper, making the eventual counter-attack that much less threatening and easy to thwart; the kind of recovery that makes one or two think twice the next time they play the ball out of the back. It was the kind of recovery that Porro (and Udogie on the left) make a half-dozen times each game, and it was the only recovery that Royal made in the attacking half of the field all game long. That’s not a dig at Royal, who isn’t particularly suited to do what Porro does, but an example of how important those inverted roles are in Postecoglou’s system. It looks brilliant when it’s working like a well-oiled machine, but one or two missteps and it’s 10 white shirts chasing back toward their own goal again and again, with acres of wide open space down each flank. Few teams in the Premier League are better suited than Wolves to capitalize on that. — Andy Edwards

Hot Hojlund in a groove during Man Utd win streak

Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United

No one’s calling him Rasmus Haaland or anything — at least with purpose — but the big Danish striker has been playing with the ferocity and style we associate with the Premier League’s reigning Golden Boot winner across town. The freshly-minted 21-year-old has now scored in six-straight Premier League matches to give him seven goals since Boxing Day, when he ended his long search for a PL goal. His 13 goals and two assists across all competitions in just under 2,200 minutes is very decent for a young player making a move to a new league, and it might be worth drawing a connection to his slow first few months in Atalanta last season before hitting the form that drew the attention of his new employers. Right now, he can be the difference in a push to make a surprising return to the top four. — Nicholas Mendola

Controversy at the final whistle of Man City vs Chelsea draw

Man City 1-1 Chelsea

From the rain to the speed of ball movement, this match had a bit of everything. That includes controversy, as Man City were denied a last-gasp penalty as VAR determined that Levi Colwill’s double elbow of the ball was not deliberate deep in stoppage time. The ball was bounding around when it connected with Colwill’s elbow, in tight enough to his body, the first time. But subsequent replays appeared to show Colwill subtly but deliberately elbowing the ball free a second time. Ruben Dias also visibly had his shirt pulled, but.... it wasn’t enough for VAR, and City’s 32 shots did not become 33 with a chance at the spot. It would’ve been a tough pill for Chelsea to swallow given their resolute display on the day, but should it have been a penalty? We lean 60-40 yes. — Nicholas Mendola

Ollie Watkins is a special striker

Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

Fulham can hope Rodrigo Muniz or Armand Broja is a star-in-the-making, but Aston Villa’s got a forward in his prime and that’ll be the difference against a lot of teams. Watkins is right up there with Ivan Toney and Harry Kane as the most complete English strikers, and he’s probably closer to Kane than Toney at this point. Watkins sets up teammates and has a great gauge as when it’s his time to shoot. When it is, Watkins is so good at creating a yard of space, turning his man, and firing toward the open parts of the net. We can talk about Moussa Diaby, Leon Bailey, and Jacob Ramsey til we’re blue in the face, but Ollie Watkins is a special, special player and the main reasons Villa continue to flirt with the top four. — Nicholas Mendola

Errors lead to goals, dropped points for Newcastle and Bournemouth

Newcastle 2-2 Bournemouth

Look, this wasn’t a bad watch at all but only one of the four goals was a good finish in open play and even that was aided by a bad defensive decision. Newcastle in hemorrhaging goals of late and Dominic Solanke’s goal came off an unlucky slip from Martin Dubravka and Dan Burn giving Antoine Semenyo plenty of space to rip off a low drive for Bournemouth’s second. Adam Smith conceded a penalty by tugging Fabian Schar on a free kick routine — Schar’s never going to hesitate to hit the deck — and then Lloyd Kelly literally fell down as a part of Ritchie’s surprising winner. The combined xG was above 5 — again, this was a fun watch — but both teams will feel they let two points slip through their fingers. And for Newcastle, that aforementioned total of two total points from 12 available versus Bournemouth and Luton is laughable. — Nicholas Mendola

Sheffield United on track to be worst-ever Premier League team

Sheffield United 0-5 Brighton

The Blades sold their two best players (Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge) from their promotion winning season. They failed to reinvest properly. They changed managers a few months into the season after several damaging defeats and went back to a former manager who left in a sour manner. And the damaging defeats have continued with injuries not calming down either. Two 5-0 home defeats in a row, and the fact they’ve conceded more goals (65) than any Premier League team in history after 25 games of a season, tells you the true story. This Sheffield United team is simply not good enough for the Premier League. Their fans, players and staff all know it. It really is as simple as that. But now the main aim, with a brutal run of fixtures coming up, is to not be dubbed the worst team in Premier League history. Derby County have the record low points tally of 11 for a single PL season, where they had just one win, so Sheffield United have surpassed that total with 13. But they are still on track to set a bunch of unwanted records and will concede more than that Derby side if they carry on at the rate they’re conceding. When you look at their remaining schedule there are only two games, at home against Burnley and Nottingham Forest, which you can make a serious case for them to win. Strange things can happen but the Blades should now start to rebuild for next season in the second tier. — Joe Prince-Wright