Successes for midtable, and what is going wrong at United? Hot or not: Gameweek 32

Another week has gone past and, despite a limited Premier League fixture list due to FA Cup commitments, there were plenty of talking points.

Newcastle and Brentford pulled clear of the relegation struggle, while Arsenal and Manchester United flattered to deceive in the race for the top 4.

So who excelled, and who struggled, over the weekend?

HOT: Newcastle United

Newcastle United's increasingly impressive form under Eddie Howe since the turn of the year shows no sign of letting up, with a late winner from Bruno Guimaraes handing the Magpies all three points and move them just one win away from the top half of the table.

For a side that were battling relegation at the turn of the year, it has been some recovery.

HOT: Cristiano Ronaldo

Where would Manchester United be without Cristiano Ronaldo this season? His goals were key to lifting them out of the Champions League group stages, and his 15 strikes in the Premier League this season is behind only Mohamed Salah and Heung-Min Son in the goalscoring charts.

Like against Tottenham, it was a hat-trick by the Portuguese icon that rescued a very average side from an embarrassing defeat to Norwich. Now 37, he continues to define expectations.

HOT: Brentford

A fourth win in five games for Brentford has lifted them well and truly out of any relegation danger, with the Bees now 14 points ahead of Burnley in 18th place with five games to play.

Christian Eriksen has been central to that renaissance, and it was his set piece deep in stoppage-time that handed them a hard-fought win over Watford and almost certainly cemented their place in the English top flight for the next campaign, and they now have their sights set firmly on a top-half finish at the end of this season.

NOT: Arsenal

What an awful couple of weeks it has been for the Gunners. A third loss on the bounce, this time to Southampton, has left them needing to pull off big results against their direct competitors in order to stand any chance of finishing in the Champions League places, despite previously being odds on favourites to do so.

Injuries to Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, as well as a concerning drought in front of goal, have seemingly derailed the north London side's season.

NOT: Manchester United

What on earth is going on at Old Trafford? Manchester United were rescued by Ronaldo but in truth looked well below average against Norwich, who themselves are bottom of the table.

Though they have been handed a lifeline to get back into the top 4 come the end of the season with other results around them over the weekend, they will need to be much improved should they want to step up and accept the gift. They cannot rely on Ronaldo every game.

NOT: Burnley

Ah Burnley. What were they thinking sacking Sean Dyche with just a few games left to go?

The Clarets played well against West Ham, but could only come away with a point as they failed to make their chances pay, meaning that they have dropped yet more points in their aim to beat the drop.

Now three points adrift, having played a game more than Everton directly above them, it is looking bleak for the Turf Moor side.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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