This weekend saw Manchester United and Chelsea play each other's opposition of the F.A. Cup semi-finals, but more importantly witnessed Liverpool's 4-1 revenge over an Arsenal struggling for form.
Recently, Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League, the F.A. Cup and lost the final of the Carling Cup. This poor run of form has seen Wenger comment on how he thinks that perhaps Arsenal should've paid more attention to the league, a comment that one can't help but wonder might not have surfaced has Arsenal either won, or continued a run of success in said competitions.
Peter Crouch was magnificent up front, causing Lehman difficulties throughout the match. Aside from a very well taken hat-trick, his play demonstrated intelligence and class, both elements which were clearly lacking in England's performances over the last week. Perhaps the time has come for McClaren to look to Crouch to solve England's recent poor performances.
Elsewhere, Ronaldo once again demonstrated why he is indeed the player at the top the game, with a scintillating performance at Old Trafford against a strong Blackburn Rovers. Although Rovers got the first goal after some clever play from Pedersen, United never really looked like they were in trouble. Had Friedel not put in some exceptional saves, Manchester United would've been in front a lot sooner.
Paul Scholes' equaliser demonstrated exactly why United are in first, by having a squad who can contribute goals from the midfield when the front line are experiencing a goal-scoring drought. Skipping past three challenges with the deftest of touches, Scholes placed the ball at the far post and brought the game back to life. Unfortunately, Blackburn's second half performance lacked the zest of the first, allowing Ronaldo to once again establish his game plan and create open spaces all over the park. He crossed smartly to Carrick on the far side of the box, and the ex-Tottenham player didn't disappoint.
A saved free kick resulted in Park putting in an easy finish, and Solksjaer slotted in the last goal for his 7th of the season. Aside from an early injury to Vidic, United demonstrated why they have the skill and class to obtain the trophy this season.
Chelsea visited Vicarage Road, to play a club with 52 fewer points, a tally which would currently place a club in 5th. The game was not the easy ride expected, Lampard sporting a cast from an injury obtained from a Rooney strike whilst on international duty was the most wasteful of the first half. Together with Uriah Renney's dismissal of a penalty call on John Terry, Chelsea were lucky to still be on level terms. Cech made an excellent save early on from an overhead kick, while at the other end, Foster seemed to be making up for his gaff at White Hart Lane by stopping everything Chelsea threw at him.
Only in the 92nd minute were Chelsea able to break the deadlock with a well taken header from Kalou. Although Mourinho and Boothroyd certainly looked to be enjoying each other's company on the touch line, the tension on Abramovich's face was there for all to see. Watford's survival in this league is hanging on the balance, as is Mourinho's.
At the foot of the table, Charlton and West-Ham both won crucial games, with Charlton gaining 3 points over relegation rivals, Wigan. Pardew seems to have instilled a new sense of belief in his side, and only time will tell if West-Ham made a mistake in forcing him out of Upton Park.