Pitchside

Facts: 7 truths – Giggs, Gerrard, Fulham’s nerve and Mourinho

Pitchside

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1. United can't let emotion get the better of them

Ryan Giggs made an impressive start to his managerial career, but United's fans and more importantly their board should not get carried away by one performance against a poor Norwich team. Let us not forget that David Moyes started with victory in the Community Shield and a 4-1 cruise at Swansea City. Giggs just does not have the experience to take on the massive task of rebuilding Manchester United. This is not the time for United to gamble.They need a proven winner with experience to take on the job. Louis van Gaal simply must be chosen ahead of Giggs.

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2. Fulham bottled it against Hull City

Fulham look up against it if they are to stay in the Premier League now, but they only have themselves to blame for surrendering a two-goal lead against Hull City at Craven Cottage. The visitors looked limp going forward for most of the clash, but the momentum completely changed once a slice of luck helped Nikica Jelavic close the deficit to 2-1. Fulham completely froze and invited Hull City onto them. They twice hit the woodwork before Shane Long finally made it 2-2. If they had stayed calm they could have seen the game out. Now winning their two remaining games might not be enough to keep them up.

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3. Phil Dowd got key decision right at the Stadium of Light

There have been some real howlers from referees this season, but Phil Dowd got the key decision right in Sunderland's crushing 4-0 win over Cardiff. He was correct to give Connor Wickham the opportunity to score and then call the play back after the advantage was not forthcoming. Likewise, while Juan Cala did initially foul Wickham outside of the box, the rules state that if the contact continues inside the box it is a penalty. Advantage, penalty, red card – all three decisions were correct.

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4. Everton can be proud of their efforts, but Champions League hopes are over

Roberto Martinez might still be talking a good game, but Everton can forget about Champions League football after their 2-0 defeat at Southampton. Arsenal face a Newcastle team whose minds are already on the beach on Monday night before the Gunners face West Brom and Norwich in their two remaining games; there are just not enough points for them to drop that will give Everton a sniff. Nevertheless, Martinez and his men can be proud of a fine season and they don't need to feel like their chance is gone. They had some slumps this campaign, and there is room for improvement. They can challenge for the top four again next campaign providing they get the right men in during the close season.

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5. Gerrard has been inspirational, but he chose the wrong moment to make a mistake

It would be awful if Steven Gerrard's slip that allowed Chelsea's Demba Ba to net the opening goal against Liverpool was the moment that cost Liverpool the chance of ending their 24-year title drought, but that could be the reality of the situation after the 2-0 defeat. Liverpool were not as clinical as they usually are with Chelsea content to sit back and hit on the counter attack. A mistake by captain Gerrard, so inspirational this season, was so costly. Depending on results between now and the end of the season, it could yet prove a pivotal points of the season.

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6. Jose Mourinho is a master of winning big games, but it remains horrible to watch

Chelsea were fantastic only if you enjoy watching teams sitting deep and hitting on the break. It is hardly pleasant to watch, but this is how Jose Mourinho tends to do it in the key games. Chelsea could be found time-wasting in the first period against the home side which shows how unadventurous they were for the majority of these 90 minutes. Once Gerrard slipped to enable Ba to score the opening goal, it was always going to be difficult for Liverpool. This what Chelsea do. And do well. Full credit to Mourinho for his tactics. Football is a results business, but Chelsea are not very pleasing on the eye.

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7. City and Liverpool title hopes could rest on what mood Everton are in

When it was all over at Anfield yesterday afternoon, it must have quickly dawned on the Liverpool players that their best hopes of winning the Premier League title now rest with local rivals Everton. That might be no bad thing. Roberto Martinez's side suffered a crippling 2-0 defeat at Southampton. Their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League might well be over, but they will surely like to go out with a bang. The home match against a City side who strolled to a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday demands such a performance. Unless of course, they are not overly keen about Liverpool claiming the title. We shall see.

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