As the 2018/19 Premier League season begins to near its final stretch, each and every result becomes more critical than ever as clubs at the top and bottom of the table jostle for position.

With eight games involving 16 teams taking places between Friday and Sunday, here's a look at five things we learned from the latest round of action...

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Huddersfield & Fulham Are Probably Down


It's been getting closer and closer to reality with each passing week, but Huddersfield and Fulham are both now all but certain to be playing their football in the Championship next season.

Huddersfield stayed 14 points adrift of safety with only 11 games remaining after losing a relegation 'six pointer' to fellow strugglers Newcastle. Fulham, meanwhile, were beaten by West Ham on Friday, despite taking the lead, and stay eight points adrift.

Miracles are needed.

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Oh! Neil, the Baby

Neil Warnock often has a finger to point when his team loses.


Having pulled together to secure admirable back-to-back wins in the wake of the tragic death of Emiliano Sala before the late Argentine striker had even kicked a ball for the club, Cardiff were in for a major reality check on Friday night.

Watford humiliated the Bluebirds in south Wales, winning 5-1. According to Warnock, the game hinged on a first half penalty that wasn't awarded to his team. Cardiff were only trailing 1-0 at the time and had it been given, as it should, it might have changed the game. That is fair enough but wasn't the reason the visitors later ran riot.

Cardiff were fuming, though, and Warnock told BBC Match of the Day afterwards: "I had to try and get it out of their minds at half-time."


Given that Cardiff subsequently fell apart after the break, conceding three goals in the space of 12 minutes at the hour mark, it would appear he didn't do a very good job.

"When everyone from the opponents tell you and deep down I think all the officials knew really. I think the referees guess a lot of the time and you can't do that at this level," Warnock said.

It's funny how a team can be battered 5-1 at home but it is still the referee's fault.

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The Premier League Has Some Really Odd Teams

The Premier League is impossible to predict. Watford beat Cardiff 5-1 on Friday, but the Hornets are a very mixed bag and have been on great runs and poor runs this season. Paul Merson might refer to them as a 'bag of Revels' - and he indeed did so on the day of the game.


By the same token, Leicester were hammered 4-1 at home by Crystal Palace on Saturday. This is the same Foxes team that beat Chelsea and Manchester City in back-to-back games in December and gave Manchester United a real test earlier this month.

Prior to kick-off, Palace had only scored 27 goals in 26 games this season and were among the Premier League's lowest scoring teams.

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Tottenham Have Blown Their Chance

With Manchester City out of action and Liverpool set for a tough game at Old Trafford on Sunday, Tottenham knew they had a great opportunity to close the gap on the top two and really reaffirm their late arrival as a serious contender in the title race.

Spurs would have been hopeful of beating Burnley, especially with Harry Kane back in action following an ankle injury, and not least because a team of their standing and ambition should always expect to win every game against anyone outside the 'big six'.


As it happened, they lost their chance. Burnley prevailed 2-1 courtesy of an 83rd minute winner from Ashley Barnes, having initially taken the lead and Spurs saw the gap between themselves and the top of the table marginally grow to six points. Had they won, it would have been three.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted he 'crossed the line' when he confronted referee Mike Dean.

With only 11 games left to play, you have to believe it is now a two-horse race.

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Salah Doesn't Like Man Utd


Mohamed Salah has now faced Manchester United on four occasions in a Liverpool shirt and is still yet to manage a goal or assist against them. The Egyptian was even substituted 10 minutes before the end of Sunday's contest after being largely ineffectual.

The first half injury to Roberto Firmino, replaced by Daniel Sturridge, and the surprising anonymity of Sadio Mane meant that Liverpool's front three were unable to knit together as fans have come to expect, while Luke Shaw also did an excellent job of marshalling Salah.