Soap bars and lasagne: the Premier Review
Sometimes, championship-winning sides have been know to order special medals for players who werenÃ¢ÂÂt able to play in the minimum games required but made a telling contribution to the campaign.
By that token, if either Manchester United or Chelsea win the league this year, they should order a medal for Manuel Almunia, after another gaffe from the Arsenal keeper cost his team two vital points. It's not just the SpaniardÃ¢ÂÂs chances of making Fabio CapelloÃ¢ÂÂs England squad that are slipping away.
Chelsea were the first team to take advantage of ArsenalÃ¢ÂÂs woe with a quite astounding 7-1 thumping of Aston Villa, all with SvenÃ¢ÂÂs Didier Drogba relaxing on the bench.
Frank Lampard was man of the match, and... are you sitting down? He bagged four goals himself! Are you really sitting down? They all went in without deflections!
BERBATOV VS THE OPPONENTS
Meanwhile, Manchester United stayed at the top, after a 4-0 victory over neighbours Bolton. With Wayne Rooney maturing back at home, it was up to Dimitar Berbatov to take up the slack, and the Bulgarian didnÃ¢ÂÂt let his team-mates down.
BoltonÃ¢ÂÂs JLloyd Samuel scored the first, an own-goal; his beautifully taken effort meant that UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs opponents had now provided them with 11 own goals this season Ã¢ÂÂ topping BerbatovÃ¢ÂÂs tally. However, the ÃÂ£30.75m striker wasnÃ¢ÂÂt to be outdone and finished off the Trotters with two goals himself.
This oneÃ¢ÂÂs going to go right to the wire.
THE ALTERNATIVE PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE
So on to another Draw Specialist competition, the Alternative Premier League, modelled on boxing where champions lose their title to the team that beats them.
Those of you who have been following will remember (or maybe not) that Birmingham City held the title. Well it's changed hands a few times since then; Blues went on a six-game unbeaten streak that was halted by a 3-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
For a while it looked like Chelsea could go all the way but then they were beaten 2-1, at home by Everton. Still awake? Well then the Toffees went on an impressive run themselves but that stopped at White Hart Lane in a 2-1 defeat to Spurs.
And thatÃ¢ÂÂs where the crown is being held at this moment after TottenhamÃ¢ÂÂs 2-0 win against Championship side Portsmouth; next week theyÃ¢ÂÂre defending their lead at Sunderland. As there are only a few games remaining youÃ¢ÂÂll be updated every week until the final game of the season. Anyone for lasagne?
Not only are Spurs competing for the Alternate League, they're also in prime position for the fourth Champions League spot. With Villa getting thrashed and Man City playing on Monday, Liverpool had the chance to move into fifth place against Sunderland.
And for once, the shackles were off; within three minutes Fernando Torres had scored one of goals of the season, and free-flowing football followed. Rafa Benitez had decided to give his defensive formation a rest: just the one holding midfielder, with the sideÃ¢ÂÂs most outstanding performer over the last six years in central midfield receiving the ball all of the time. What a concept!
So no beach balls were harmed this time around, although they did feature in the chant of the week, which went down surprisingly well with Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: Ã¢ÂÂHead like a beach ball, heÃ¢ÂÂs got a head like a beach ball...Ã¢ÂÂ