5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
West Brom caretaker boss Darren Moore is making a difference despite his side’s relegation fight.
With the title already decided and the FA Cup semi-finals taking centre stage, the focus was largely on the bottom end of the Premier League this weekend.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what we learned from the latest round of fixtures.
1. West Brom are fighting for Darren Moore
When Darren Moore took up the reins at the Hawthorns on April 2 in the wake of Alan Pardew’s departure, he did so with the club hurtling out of the top flight and entrenched in a run of nine successive defeats in all competitions. In the three games they have played since, they are unbeaten, have collected three points from Manchester United at Old Trafford and on Saturday, fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool to keep their feint survival hopes alive.
2. Stoke might be down already without Jack Butland
A return of six victories from 35 league games and 11 without a win tells its own story for seemingly Sky Bet Championship-bound Stoke, but they may have slipped through the trapdoor already had it not been for the efforts of England keeper Jack Butland. On Sunday, he produced a string of fine saves in an ultimately vain attempt to keep high-flying Burnley at bay before eventually being beaten by Ashley Barnes as the Potters had to make do with a 1-1 draw.
3. It all happens around Wilfried Zaha
WATCH: Wilfried Zaha on yesterday's incident at Watford, where he was booked for simulation.— Sky Sports GOS (@GoalsOnSunday) April 22, 2018
Should he have got the penalty?
Watch Goals on Sunday live on Sky Sports Premier League now! pic.twitter.com/jsswCdlR1m
Wilfried Zaha’s early-season absence through injury was a major blow for Crystal Palace and it is no surprise that their fortunes have improved markedly since his return. He was at the centre of everything as the Eagles drew 0-0 at Watford, and might have earned two penalties and a red card in addition to the yellow he did collect on another day.
4. Arsene Wenger’s successor will have something to work with
Arsene Wenger’s long goodbye began in style as Arsenal romped to a 4-1 victory over West Ham with goals from Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and a double from Alexandre Lacazette after they eventually threw off the shackles. However, for all their potency going forward, the Gunners remain decidedly porous at the back and were repeatedly undone by the long ball, something the new man will have to address as a matter of urgency.
5. Manchester City are not yet on the beach
Pep Guardiola’s players could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas with the title already secured as they celebrated in front of their own fans. But Swansea found to their cost that City’s hunger remains as acute as ever as David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling turned on the style to inspire them to a 5-0 victory which left the Swans sitting uncomfortably just above the drop zone.