With an FA Cup-affected fixture list keeping Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea out of Premier League action, only Liverpool’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur impacted on the top of the table this weekend and it may have had a decisive effect on the battle for the Golden Boot.
The match at Anfield was widely billed as Gareth Bale v Luis Suarez and despite the Welshman’s two assists, it was his Uruguayan adversary that was the clear winner in their personal duel.
Having grabbed the opener, Suarez won the decisive penalty in a 3-2 victory that propelled Liverpool back into European contention and the striker ever closer to a first-ever Premier League Golden Boot.
Seven goals in his last four games in all competitions have seen his club captain Steven Gerrard say Suarez is now in the top three players in the world, and few defences across Europe have found the answer to the once controversy-ridden striker in this campaign.
Suarez now has 22 for the season and is 1/2 odds-on favourite to be the first Liverpool player to be the division’s top scorer since Michael Owen some 14 years ago.
With Bale’s eight-game scoring streak now over, the Spurs winger is stuck on 16 league goals and out to 20/1 in the betting to leave Suarez with only one player between him and the prize.
Last year’s Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie is now three adrift but remains a realistic shot at 7/4 to defend his crown.
However, the Manchester United man really needs to snap out of his five-game goalless streak in all competitions when his side welcome Reading next weekend if he’s to stand a genuine chance of catching the insatiable Anfield enigma.
Meanwhile, a goalless weekend for Swansea’s Michu and cup commitments for Chelsea’s Demba Ba saw their remote chances of Golden Boot glory slip further to 33/1 and 25/1 as their seven-goal deficit to Suarez looks insurmountable with just nine weeks of the season remaining.