ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 38 ROUND UP
The final day of the Premier League season, was an exciting one, with Champions League, Europa League and relegations to be finalised.
Liverpool’s win at Newcastle was just for pride, as they have been champions for a few weeks now, however they are joined in the Champions League next season, by second paced Manchester City, third placed Manchester United, after their play off game at Leicester for the place in the Champions League saw them earn a 2-0 win, the final placed Champions League went to Chelsea, a fine first season for manager Frank Lampard.
At the bottom a draw for Aston Villa at West Ham was enough for survival, as Watford could not get the victory they needed at Arsenal to avoid the drop into the Champiopnship.
A wonderful season that will never
ARSENAL 3 V 2 WATFORD
Managerless Watford were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal to victory, the decision to sack manager Nigel Pearson with two games to go was in my opinion, was an unwise decision and any chance of survival was lost when that happend.
Watford, who dropped into the bottom three for the first time since 28 February in midweek, started the day level on points with 17th spot knowing a positive result could keep them up.
But they were 3-0 down after 33 minutes at Emirates Stadium and, despite pulling back two goals, finish a terrible campaign 19th in the table following a 20th league defeat.
Arsenal scored with their first three attempts on target, Aubameyang getting the first with a penalty after Craig Dawson’s clumsy foul on Alexandre Lacazette inside the opening minute.
Scotland defender Kieran Tierney doubled the lead after Aubameyang’s assist before the Gabon forward’s classy overhead kick – his 22nd league goal of the season.
Watford pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Troy Deeney after David Luiz’s foul on former Gunners forward Danny Welbeck, who then made it 3-2 from close range.
Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez made a great save to deny Welbeck an equaliser that could have set up a dramatic finish.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIphU7I6nXI
BURNLEY 1 V 2 BRIGHTON
Brighton recorded their highest Premier League points total as they completed their campaign with an impressive win at Burnley.
The victory, courtesy of goals from Yves Bissouma and Aaron Connolly, means the Seagulls finish 15th with 41 points – one better than the total achieved in 2017-18.
The Seagulls rattled the Clarets during the opening 30 minutes and took the lead through Malian Bissouma, who marked his first Premier League goal with wonderful side-foot strike from 25 yards.Burnley levelled just before the break when Chris Wood fired in with a low shot.
However, it was again advantage Brighton five minutes after the restart when Connolly shrugged off an attempted challenge by Kevin Long on the left before threading his angled shot past Nick Pope.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNa3gSufgvM
CHELSEA 2 V 0 WOLVES
Chelsea sealed fourth place in the Premier League to wrap up qualification for next season’s Champions League with a comfortable victory over Wolves.
Frank Lampard’s side needed a point in order to clinch a top-four place, but they claimed all three in style. Mason Mount’s delightful 25-yard curling free-kick and Olivier Giroud’s effort from close range were just 144 seconds apart shortly before half-time and they settled the contest.
The defeat means Wolves finish seventh behind Tottenham on goal difference after Jose Mourinho’s side drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace.
However Wolves’ league position could still be enough to claim a Europa League place for next season, should Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final next week.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6zaHxAp-Sw
CRYSTAL PALACE 1 V 1 SPURS
Spurs qualified for the Europa League with a hard-fought draw at Crystal Palace.
Jose Mourinho was buoyant at the end declaring that he intends to return Spurs to where they belong.
The result saw Spurs leapfrog into sixth place above Wolves, who lost at Chelsea
Harry Kane opened the scoring for Spurs, dispatching a low finish into the bottom left corner after collecting Giovani lo Celso’s pass. However, Jeffrey Schlupp levelled for Palace with a close-range finish after some poor Tottenham marking at a corner. It was no more than Roy Hodgson’s side deserved, as they ended a run of seven straight defeats, they matched Spurs for endeavour and could have snatched all three points, with Scott Dann heading a late effort wide.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqBJVZY7mQU
EVERTON 1 V 3 BOURNEMOUTH
Bournemouth’s five-year stay in the Premier League came to an end despite beating Everton at Goodison Park as Aston Villa’s draw at West Ham meant they were relegated to the Championship.
Bournemouth needed a win, and for Watford and Aston Villa to both lose against Arsenal and the Hammers respectively, if they were to retain their top-flight status.Watford lost 3-2, but a draw for Aston Villa ensured survival for Villa and rekegation for Bournemouth.
It was a disappointing outcome for Bournemouth, who had done all they could in their game to give them hope of staying up.
Bournemouth looked determined to fight for their survival right from the outset and deservedly went ahead when Joshua King scored from the penalty spot after Richarlison handled inside the area. Everton equalised as half-time approached when Moise Kean tapped in Theo Walcott’s cross, but Bournemouth restored their lead just before the break as Dominic Solanke headed in from Diego Rico’s delivery. Bournemouth grabbed a third and much-needed breathing space in the final 10 minutes after Jordan Pickford let a tame Junior Stanislas shot slip under his gloves and into the back of the net.
The visitors had done all they could to ensure survival, meaning all eyes were on events at West Ham, but a point was enough to keep Aston Villa in the top flight at Bournemouth’s expense as they finished 18th.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQSrh2_AdI
LEICESTER CITY 0 V 2 MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United secured a place in the Champions League at the expense of Leicester City with victory at King Power Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side needed a point from this decisive final day meeting to confirm a place in the top four, and break the hearts of the Leicester, who were in a Champions League spot for so much of the season.
Leicester needed victory once Chelsea took command at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers but their dreams were dashed as Bruno Fernandes scored a 71st-minute penalty after Anthony Martial tumbled under challenge from Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans.
Both sides had their chances, with Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel saving well from Marcus Rashford in the first half and Jamie Vardy seeing a header glance off the frame of the goal after the break.
Leicester pressed but could not break Manchester United down and their misery was compounded when Evans was sent off against his former club for a wild, late lunge on Scott McTominay.
Manchester United confirmed the formalities seconds from time when substitute Jesse Lingard robbed Schmeichel and rolled the ball into an empty net.
It is a result that fulfils the usual minimum requirement of Champions League qualification for Manchester United.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xBmhCOL450
MANCHESTER CITY 5 V 0 NORWICH
Manchester City legend David Silva made his final Premier League appearance but Kevin de Bruyne stole the show as his side brushed aside already relegated Norwich.
Silva, who has won four league titles during a glittering 10-year spell at City, was desperate to mark the occasion with a goal, but his best effort was kept out by Tim Krul’s flying save.
City still ended up comfortable winners, thanks to Gabriel Jesus’s close-range finish from a deflected Raheem Sterling cross and a superb curling strike from De Bruyne, who as usual took centre stage.
De Bruyne slipped Sterling clear to add a third, meaning the Belgian equalled Thiery Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season.
After Riyad Mahrez blasted home a fourth, Silva was applauded off, although an empty Etihad Stadium was not the send off he deserved.
De Bruyne was not done yet, brilliantly bending home his side’s fifth goal off the inside of the post before the end.
City finished runners-up, 18 points behind Premier League champions Liverpool keeping the record they set for the biggest winning margin, 19 points in 2017-18.
Manager Pep Guardiola will now turn his attention to the Champions League when they host Real Madrid in Manchester in the second leg of their last 16 tie on 7 August, 2-1 up from the first leg.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Gv2HR7S10
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 V 3 LIVERPOOL
Champions Liverpool finished on the second-highest points total in top-flight history as they came from behind to beat Newcastle on the final day of the season.
They finished 18 points above Pep Guardiola’s runners up one short of City’s record winning margin two seasons ago.
Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead after 25 seconds from Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick, the fastest goal ever scored on a Premier League final day.
But Liverpool, who left their vaunted front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on the bench, levelled through Virgil van Dijk’s header.
Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead from 20 yards from Andrew Robertson’s pass before Senegal forward Mane curled home a late third for the visitors.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnX6sy9gU3k
SOUTHAMPTON 3 V 1 SHEFFIELD UNITED
Che Adams scored twice and Danny Ings netted from the penalty spot as Saints claimed only their sixth home win of the season at St Mary’s.
Ings began the game in the hunt for the Premier League golden boot as top scorer, and with five minutes remaining, he moved to within one goal (22) of Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (23).
The Southampton striker had his opportunities to draw level with compatriot Vardy in the second half, but his selfless approach created better chances for his team-mates.
John Lundstram had opened the scoring from close range as the visiting Blades controlled the first half.
Victory for Saints sees them end the season in 11th place, while Sheffield United drop to ninth in the table their highest finish in the Premier League era.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkIejtkZ8Wo
WEST HAM UNITED 1 V 1 ASTON VILLA
Aston Villa will play Premier League football next season after a draw at West Ham was enough to ensure they escaped relegation on the final day of the campaign.
Hometown hero and captain Jack Grealish looked to have sealed a win for Villa with a powerful strike in the 84th minute, but Andriy Yarmolenko’s deflected leveller soon after made it a nervy finale for the visitors.
They hung on though and the point, coupled with a defeat for Watford at Arsenal ensured Villa’s survival and consigned the Hornets to the Championship next season along with Bournemouth, whose win at Everton was not enough to survive.
It caps an impressive end to the season for Villa, who were seven points from safety two weeks ago but then put together their first four-game unbeaten run of 2019-20 to survive.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNIO5mV6ihw
In my final day predictions, I got five correct results, my seasons predictions would have probably got me the same finish as Spurs, about sixth place in a predictions league 🙂
The FA Cup final is next week, so please see following my prediction.
Arsenal 1 v 2 Chelsea
Have a good week
Dr Gary Mabbutt MBE, Hon Doctor Health, Hon Doctor Law, Hon MSc