The #Premier League title seems to be back in the melting pot after the weekend's results at the top. At one point on Saturday afternoon, with #Chelsea leading by one goal to nil at Stamford Bridge against newly-promoted Burnley, they had seemed destined to extend their advantage over nearest rivals #Manchester City to a massive ten points. City would still have had their home match to come later in the day against Newcastle United, but the pressure would have become far more intense on the reigning champions to take three points to remain in the race.
As it was, Chelsea saw their key midfielder Nemanja Matic sent off with twenty minutes to play and Burnley rallied to snatch a late equaliser. Clearly buoyed by their title rivals 'hiccup', City then went on to demonstrate that they are by no means finished in their pursuit of the top spot, pulverising a woeful Newcastle side 5-0.
Chelsea had roared into their customary early lead at home on 14 minutes, when Branislav Ivanovic scored his fourth goal in six games to get on the end of an Eden Hazard cross. They were then denied two decent penalty claims, as Ivanovic's shot seemed to strike Michael Kightly's arm and Diego Costa received a nudge from Jason Shackell.
Their annoyance at those decisions was amplified when Matic was sent off, following a strong tackle on him by Ashley Barnes, as he reacted angrily to the challenge with studs showing on his shin. The Serbian's shove on Barnes was viewed as a straight red by the referee. Burnley seized on their opportunity against the ten men to net an equaliser with nine minutes remaining from Ben Mee's header. They could even have snatched all three points at the end, as the much-wanted Danny Ings missed a glorious chance for the winner..
Matic's sending off also means that he now misses the League Cup final and two key league games against West Ham and Southampton. With all of that to ponder on, allied to the racist smears after the fan trouble on the Paris Metro earlier in the week, Jose Mourinho was clearly annoyed when interviewed after the match by the BBC. He seemed to almost be predicting the lottery numbers, when he quoted the four key moments that in his opinion were crucial in the game, those being the 30th, 33rd, 43rd and 69th minutes of the match. He refused to elaborate any further, claiming that: "I am punished when I refer to them."
By contrast, City's win at home to the Magpies was never in doubt as they achieved their biggest league win of the season and for once resembled their imperious form of the last few seasons at home. With more or less a first choice XI in place, as Yaya Toure stamped his authority on the midfield, they blew their opponents away after Sergio Aguero had converted a penalty in the first few minutes. By 21 minutes that was extended to 3-0, as Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko put away confident finishes.
It became a procession on 53 minutes, after the wonderfully balanced David Silva had made it 5-0 with two goals in three minutes. The greatest surprise was that City didn't add to their total before the end.