A chaotic weekend of Premier League action has thrown the title race into high gear, but it also likely sealed the fate of one of the teams fighting against relegation. Thanks to Danny Welbeck, Arsenal beat Leicester City to pull to within two points of the league leaders -- and thanks to Christian Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur kept pace with the Gunners, throwing us into a three-team title race that will be incredible fun to watch play out.
Elsewhere, Liverpool beat the daylights out of Aston Villa to almost certainly doom the Villans to relegation, Manchester United lost again, and Chelsea did their best to make fans forget that they're in the bottom half of the table by destroying Newcastle.
The weekend's scores
Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United
Swansea City 0-1 Southampton
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke City
Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford FC
Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United
Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle
Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City
Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool
Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Welcome back, Danny Welbeck
After a year away from football thanks to injuries, Danny Welbeck came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute of Arsenal's clash with Leicester City. It was a vitally important match with heavy title race implications, and Arsene Wenger needed Welbeck to perform, especially with the game at 1-1 and with Arsenal a man up thanks to a 54th minute red card to Danny Simpson.
And perform he did.
What a way to make your comeback. A match this big and this important, scoring a lovely goal like that at literally the last minute. Welcome back, Danny Welbeck. We missed you.
Aston Villa have hit rock bottom
We once could have held out some degree of hope that Aston Villa could get hot and find some way to save themselves from relegation. After getting absolutely annihilated by Liverpool at home to the tune of a 6-0 loss, though, that hope is gone, and in dramatic fashion. With just 16 points earned and only 12 matches to go, there's just not enough time to mount a comeback.
It's a shame, really. The Villans have wonderfully passionate fans, but that's not enough to overcome years of mismanagement by the team's ownership that have left Villa a broken shell of the once-proud team they were not even all that long ago.
Boos rang out at Villa Park at halftime as the team left down 2-0, and then throughout the second half as Aston Villa shipped four goals, including what seemed like an unlikely tally from Kolo Touré. Cries for the club's owner to sell and get out of town sprang up throughout the game, and by the time the final whistle blew, the crowd had quieted down to a sort of resignation of what's going to happen at the end of the season.
Good luck in the Championship, Aston Villa.
Tottenham Hotspur are for real
Tottenham shocked Manchester City with a dramatic win of their own, leaving it until the 84th minute to find a winner through Christian Eriksen.
That goal didn't just seal Spurs' fifth straight win, it also pulled them to within two points of league-leading Leicester City -- and dead even with rival Arsenal -- and confirmed for all to see that yes, Tottenham are legitimate title contenders right now.
Beating Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium is no easy feat, but Tottenham were convincingly the better side on the day. Pulling that off with the pressure on like it was is impressive, and now Spurs can turn their attention to the home stretch of the season with first place in their sights.
The next North London Derby against Arsenal, at White Hart Lane on March 5, is going to be one heck of a match.
It might be time for Louis Van Gaal to go
Sunderland beat Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday. Sunderland. They of the 19th place standing, five other wins all season long, and largely hopeless recent form.
But that's just business as usual for Manchester this season.
United are now 12 points out of first, though thanks to their rivals Manchester City losing the gap to fourth is still only six points. It's hard to see Manchester actually challenging for the top four at this point, though, especially with a much more impressive team in Southampton just one point behind them, along with a West Ham side that's been in rough form, but has been good for some impressive matches all season long.
The situation at Old Trafford is becoming untenable, and while Louis van Gaal certainly seems to think he's going to stay for the rest of the season, Manchester's board might have other ideas. The players don't seem to have a lot of desire left to support Van Gaal, and his tactical decisions keep appearing to hamstring the side game after game. If they want to salvage anything from this campaign, it might be time to make a change.