Premier League: Matchday 38 Review
It was the final round of fixtures in the Premier League last weekend, and the battle for the title still hadn’t been resolved before kick-off. Would Manchester City claim the crown, or could Liverpool scoop their first Premier League title? Elsewhere, Spurs hoped to secure their Champions League spot, while the rest of the league simply wished to give their fans something to smile about before the summer break.
Manchester City Lift the Trophy
Manchester City knew that a victory away to Brighton would secure them the title. They had a poor start, as Glenn Murray put the home team ahead in the 27th minute, however, Sergio Agüero equalised within a minute. Laporte then put the visitors ahead before half-time, before goals in the second half from Mahrez and Gündoğan confirmed that the title would be heading back to Manchester this season. The result was also the last game for Brighton’s manager Chris Hughton, who was sacked the next day.
There was misery in Liverpool, as their fans heard the result from Brighton coming through. Liverpool did everything they needed to do though, as they secured a 2-0 win over a battling Wolves side. Sadio Mané scored both goals for the home side, to take his tally to 22 goals this season. It was undoubtedly a disappointing day for those in the Kop. However, fans will hope that Liverpool can still win silverware this season, as they take on Tottenham in the final of the Champions League on June 1st.
So, Manchester City finished the season on 98 points, while Liverpool came agonisingly close with 97 points. It was one of the most thrilling ends to a Premier League season in recent times, and both sets of fans will be proud of the effort put forward by their team. For Wolves, a Europa League place will be earned, providing City do them a favour and beat Watford in the FA Cup final.
Spurs Confirm Champions League Place
Going into the final day of the season, Spurs knew that they were almost certain of a Champions League place. They were three points ahead of Arsenal and had a far superior goal difference, so a miracle was needed to push them down into 5th place. In the end, Spurs’ draw with Everton meant that goal difference didn’t play a part though, and Spurs will now enter the Champions League next season at the qualifying stage – unless they manage to win the trophy on 1st June.
Spurs took a very early lead thanks to poor Everton defending, as Eric Dier scored in the 3rd minute. Everton would equalise through Theo Walcott in the second half though before Cenk Tosun put the Merseyside club ahead. Christian Eriksen – on what could be his final home appearance for Spurs – got the equaliser though, courtesy of a lovely free kick from 25 yards. The result means that Spurs take 4th, while Everton finishes the season in a respectable 8th place.
More Misery for Manchester United
Manchester United already knew that they’d be playing in the Europa League next year, and they took on already relegated Cardiff City in their final game of the season. It wasn’t the end to the campaign that United fans wanted though, as they fell to an embarrassing 2-0 defeat – a result that only seemed to confirm the fact that United have some serious rebuilding to do over the summer if they’re going to be competitive next season.
Cardiff’s first goal came from the penalty spot, as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing scored after Diogo Dalot brought him down in the area. He then scored again in the 54th minute, converting Josh Murphy’s cross. It wasn’t even a tough win for Cardiff, who will now hope that they can bounce back next year and secure promotion back into the Premier League.
Eight-Goal Thriller at Crystal Palace
The most exciting game of the day came at Crystal Palace. They took on Bournemouth in a match with little consequence, as both sides had nothing to play for. That didn’t stop the goals from flying in though, in a game that eventually saw Palace run out at 5-3 winners. The result means that Palace finishes in 12th place, while Bournemouth ends the season in 14th.
Palace scored the first three goals of the game, with two coming from Michy Batshuayi and the other courtesy of a Jack Simpson own goal. The second half saw an immediate reply from Bournemouth, thanks to Jefferson Lerma, before Jordan Ibe brought them back to within one goal. Palace then stretched their lead again thanks to Patrick van Aanholt, before Bournemouth again pegged them back, this time with a goal from Joshua King. Palace would score the game’s final goal though, with Andros Townsend scoring in the 80th minute.
Elsewhere in the Premier League…
Elsewhere in the Premier League, there was a 0-0 draw between Leicester and Chelsea – a result good enough to see Chelsea claim third place in the table and entry into next season’s Champions League group stages. In truth, it was a drab game with little to excite either set of fans. Chelsea will be hoping that this isn’t the last time they see Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge though, with rumours flying that he’ll be off to Real Madrid over the summer.
Arsenal signed off their Premier League season with a 3-1 victory away to Burnley, leaving them in 5th place – one point behind 4th placed Spurs. Two of their goals came from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finished the season as the Premier League’s joint top scorer with 22 goals, alongside Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. Eddie Nketiah also got onto the scoresheet for the Gunners, while Ashley Barnes scored Burnley’s only goal of the game.
Newcastle finished their season in style with a superb 4-0 win away to already relegated Fulham. The win ensured that Newcastle finished in 13th place, and fans will hope that this season will be used as a jumping off point for future success. Newcastle’s goals came from Jonjo Shelvey, Ayoze Pérez, Fabian Schär and Salomón Rondón, while Fulham hardly ever came close to getting the ball into the back of the net.