This weekend in the English Premier League proved pivotal for teams in the title race and the top four, but unfortunately saw a couple of key injuries as well.
Maybe the most crucial result of the weekend came at St. Mary’s stadium as defending champion Manchester City came to town to face Southampton in a crucial match for the Sky Blues in their race to catch Manchester United. City came into the weekend nine points behind the league leader, and with just a few months left in the season, would realistically need to earn three points in the majority, if not all of their remaining matches. On the other side, Southampton came into the match trying desperately to stay above the relegation zone and looking for revenge from an early season loss at Etihad Stadium…and they got it.
Playing inspired football, The Saints stunned the visiting champions 3-1 and realistically ended the chances of a repeat for City. With a Manchester United victory on Sunday, the leaders now sit 12 points ahead of City, which looks insurmountable considering the form the Red Devils have shown consistently throughout the season. After the match, City manager Roberto Mancini told ESPN that his team realistically has a 10% chance at the title and that the performance on Saturday was the worst in two or three years.
Part of the problem for City on Saturday and over the past couple of matches is the absence of central defender and captain Vincent Kompany. Kompany injured his calf weeks ago and even Mancini admitted to ESPN, “Clearly we are missing Vinny.”
Over at White Hart Lane, Tottenham welcomed the new and improved Newcastle squad who saw five new French signings at the end of the January transfer window. While the match itself proved to be a cracker as Tottenham prevailed 2-1, Newcastle took a blow as new signing Yoan Gouffran had to be stretchered off with what appeared to be a major injury to his lower leg.
Gouffran had scored his first goal for Newcastle earlier in the match and looked one of the best players on the field until Tottenham defender Kyle Walker struck Gouffran’s shin with his cleat after a strong clearance. The injury looked like a simple impact injury at first, but after the Frenchman stayed down, requested oxygen, and was stretchered off the pitch, Newcastle fans feared the worst.
Fortunately for Newcastle, Daily Mail reported Sunday that x-rays on Gouffran’s leg came back negative for a break. Further examination will be needed for a better diagnosis and recovery time speculation.
On the other side, Tottenham lost Mousa Dembele to an ankle injury, while striker Jermaine Defoe missed another match with his own ankle injury. As Tottenham looks to finish in the top four, injuries will play a key role for the rest of the season, as it does for every team.
Full Injury Report courtesy of Physio Room:
Oriol Romeu/ACL/June 13th
S. Ranieri/ACL/October 13th
Younes Kaboul/Knee/February 25th
Darren Fletcher/Chronic Bowel Syndrome/Unknown
Johnny Evans/Calf/February 13th
Martin Kelly/ACL/March 22nd
Daniel Sturridge/Hip/February 11th
Raheem Sterling/Illness/February 11th
Thomas Vermaelen/Ankle/February 16th
K. Gibbs/Thigh Strain/Unknown
Danny Simpson/Broken Toe/Unknown
Ben Arfa/Hamstring/February 21st
Ryan Taylor/ACL/March 29th
Vincent Kompany/Calf and Shin/February 17th