Each season, the final day of the Premier League season (or any soccer season) is met with drama and intrigue. With everybody playing in the league at the same time, nobody has the advantage of knowing what their closest competition has been doing. So when there is a fight for the Premier League that goes into the final day or a relegation battle, it could bring for a very dramatic conclusion. Just look at the dramatic end of the 2011-12 where Manchester City won the title in stoppage time over Manchester United.

This season, Manchester City already clinched the Premier League while Manchester United and Tottenham clinched Champions League spots. Arsenal and Burnley clinched Europa League spots while West Brom and Stoke clinched relegation.

The only two spots left for grabs was the final Champions League place between Liverpool and Chelsea and the final relegation place that Southampton and Swansea are trying to avoid. But even that was unlikely to change. For Chelsea to pass Liverpool, they needed to defeat Newcastle and Liverpool needed to lose to Brighton. And for Swansea to survive relegation, they needed to beat Stoke while Southampton lost to Manchester City and a 10 goal difference was made up.

Needless to say, unless something crazy happened, Liverpool would remain in the top four and Swansea would relegate. And that’s exactly what happened.

After being denied multiple penalties by the referee, Liverpool eventually got out in front of Brighton with a record-breaking goal by Mohamed Salah. Salah’s goal was his 32nd and broke a record for most goals in a 38 game Premier League season (Alan Shearer has 34 in a 42 game season).

Liverpool would pull away and win 4-0, sealing their top four spot and clinching a Champions League berth. The second half became more about seeing if Leicester could get a result and Liverpool would sneak past Tottenham for third but Spurs held on in a 5-4 thriller against Leicester that resulted in multiple lead changes. In the battle of the Golden Boot, Harry Kane scored twice to get to 30 but it wasn’t enough as Salah’s 32 was enough to get him the Golden Boot.

Chelsea needed to win for any hope of a top four spot and that definitely didn’t happen. Newcastle, who was pretty much playing for pride, destroyed Chelsea 3-0 and got themselves a top 10 place in the table after promoting this season. Chelsea didn’t look that good, which is rather alarming since they were going for a Champions League place today and has to go against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final next Saturday.

On the other end, Swansea needed to hit the ground running and they did in the beginning. Then Stoke scored twice in their final Premier League game and that settled the relegation battle. Still needing a double digit change in goal differential, it was going to be tough. Stoke scoring made it impossible and Swansea lost 2-1. Southampton, on the other hand, took champs Manchester City scoreless until the final kick of the game as Gabriel Jesus got Manchester City the late win, and Manchester City became the first Premier League team to get to 100 points.

In a game that seemed overshadowed, Arsenal bid farewell to Arsene Wenger as manager. Arsenal already knew they were finishing sixth while Huddersfield Town was already safe from relegation but it was important to send Le Prof out a winner and they did just that.

So that is the Premier League season. Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool is heading to the Champions League. Chelsea, Arsenal and Burnley will go to the Europa League. Everton, Leicester City, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, West Ham, Watford, Brighton, Huddersfield Town and Southampton get the satisfaction of staying in the Premier League. Swansea, Stoke and West Brom drop to the Championship while Wolves and Cardiff will be back in the Premier League.

The only thing we need to wait and see on is Chelsea/Man United in the FA Cup Final, the promotion playoff between Fulham/Derby County and Aston Villa/Middlesbrough and then the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. And then before we know it, a new Premier League season will be upon us once again.

 

 

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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