Thursday 30 May 2013
There may have been a floodlight failure at Craven Cottage but it was Manchester United who continued to leave their rivals in the shade as they started the month with an entertaining victory over Fulham.
The lights went out just before half-time at Craven Cottage but it did not affect United, who claimed a 1-0 win thanks to a strike from Wayne Rooney. It was the start of an impressive month for Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who secured nine points from their three matches to extend the gap at the top from seven to 12 points.
Goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie gave them a straightforward victory over Everton while in their final match United beat Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road with right-back Rafael scoring with a ferocious shot.
While United were on the march, their title rivals lost ground. Nearest challengers Manchester City began the month dropping points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool, Sergio Aguero rescuing a point with a sublime strike from an extremely tight angle, while their title challenge suffered a massive setback when they were stunned by Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.
Chelsea lost at Newcastle United thanks to two goals from new signing Moussa Sissoko on his home debut, while they also were beaten by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. It left the door open for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to make ground. The two clubs made sure that the battle for a place in the top four of the League would go right to the wire with three wins from their three matches.
The month ended in thrilling fashion as Spurs moved up to third in the table with a last-gasp 3-2 victory over West Ham United at Upton Park. The hero was Gareth Bale, who unleashed a ferocious 25-yard strike into the top corner with only 10 seconds remaining to spark wild celebrations on the Spurs bench.
One of the memorable matches during February was at Anfield as Liverpool romped to a 5-0 win over Swansea City, who were without a host of key players ahead of their historic Capital One Cup final triumph over Bradford City.
It continued to be a fraught battle at the bottom of the table as Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Southampton all claimed only four points during February, while Reading picked up three. Basement club Queens Park Rangers were cut further adrift as their solitary point during the month arrived with a goalless draw at home against Norwich City.
For Sunderland, meanwhile, it was a miserable month as they slipped from 11th to 15th place after suffering three defeats.
Manager of the month: Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham Hotspur)
Player of the month: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have done so and thankful for all the support I have had."
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reflects after announcing that he will retire at the end of the season
"He is an unbelievable, super talent. You have seen him this season go to another level and make a difference every game. Tremendous talent for sure."
Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas praises Gareth Bale after his winner against West Ham United
"I think [the players] understand that we played really bad. It's the worst game in the last two or three years, maybe. We have [a] 10 per cent [chance of winning the title], maybe."
Manchester city manager Roberto Mancini is not happy with the defeat by Southampton
For February's results at a glance, click here
|1||Man Utd||24||28||59||Man Utd||27||33||68
|2||Man City||24||26||52||Man City||27||26||56