By Ryan Moran
- Leicester defeat Everton on the day they are crowned Premier League champions.
- Arsenal held by City as Spurs remain ahead of their North London rivals.
- Contrasting results paint a clearer picture in relegation dog fight.
Leicester City 3-1 Everton
There was no pizza hangover for Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes on the day they were presented with the Premier League trophy. Jamie Vardy returned after a two match suspension and was back among the goals with the Golden Boot still a possibility.
It’s been a week of celebration in the city since Ranieri’s former side held Tottenham as locals swarmed on the city centre and Vardy literally had a party. The Foxes capped off their final home game with a win for the festivities to really start.
An early Vardy finish from an Andy King chipped pass set the tone for a special day in Leicester. King, the Foxes’ longest serving player, added a second before Vardy converted from the spot.
The striker could have claimed the match ball on a famous day but found the crowd and not the net as Kevin Mirallas pulled back what was only a late consolation for Everton.
In Ranieri’s post-match conference he asked fans “why stop dreaming?” with Champions League football around the corner. Their biggest challenge will be keeping hold of their prized assets in Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante for one more season at the least.
Montpellier achieved a similar feat in French Ligue 1 and didn’t make it past the group stages as key players such as Olivier Giroud flew the nest for the Premier League riches. Leicester’s season finishes with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea, a side once managed by Ranieri.
Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal
City’s Champions League hopes no longer remain in their hands. Rivals Manchester United have a game in hand on the Etihad outfit and sit two points behind Manchester City. As for Arsenal, their North London rivals tasted defeat, therefore meaning this was a missed opportunity for the Gunners.
Sergio Aguero put the home side ahead before Giroud pegged the Citizens back just two minutes later, two goals inside the opening ten minutes. Kevin De Bruyne restored the home side’s lead with an individual effort only for Alexis Sanchez to earn Arsenal a share of the spoils as Giroud turned provider.
Wilfried Bony hit the crossbar late on but both sides took a point. Only a win would have kept United at bay with the Red Devils’ game in hand the telling factor. Swansea await City’s arrival while United face West Ham in midweek before a home tie against Bournemouth, who beat them at the Vitality Stadium earlier this season.
The Gunners need victory over Aston Villa on the final day while Tottenham need to lose at Newcastle for Arsenal to finish ahead of Spurs. Finishing below Tottenham would sway more supporters against Arsene Wenger as more pressure builds on the Frenchman.
Black Cats take upper hand in tense survival bid
Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea
Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle United
Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United
The survival race unfolds as Sunderland recorded a vital win to move a point above Newcastle. The Black Cats also have a game in hand over their Tyneside rivals with a win booking their place in the Premier League for the 2016/17 season and relegating both Newcastle and Norwich.
Rafael Benitez’s side were unable to break down Aston Villa while a Juan Mata goal left Norwich’s survival chances looking bleak.
Chelsea led twice, first through Diego Costa from a tight angle, only for Wahbi Khazri’s sensational volley and Fabio Borini’s deflected shot put Sunderland level. Goals from Costa and Nemanja Matic couldn’t keep the Black Cats quiet as Jermain Defoe chested before swivelling to finish to claim a valuable three points.
John Terry’s Chelsea career in the Premier League appears to have ended as two yellow cards ended the veteran defender’s season. With only two games remaining, and this being his second suspension, Terry will miss the rest of the league campaign. His contract runs out in the summer and it seems likely he will be shown the door.
Newcastle have picked up under Benitez but it is highly unlikely the Spaniard will remain at the helm should the Magpies face the drop. Andros Townsend has been a key player in the run in and, should they be relegated, will be a key component in the fight to regain Premier League status again.
Norwich have given a good account of themselves this season but have not shown the same fight and showed loyalty to Alex Neil. Whether the board will remain will keep that loyalty, should they drop out of the top flight, is another question. All eyes will be on Sunderland’s midweek fixture with Everton at the Stadium of Light.
|Premier League 7 May-8 May|
|AFC Bournemouth 1-1 West Bromwich Albion|
|Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City|
|West Ham United 1-4 Swansea City|
|Tottenham 1-2 Southampton|
|Liverpool 2-0 Watford|
West Ham host Manchester United on Tuesday 10th May at 19:45 with three other fixtures following on Wednesday 11th May. Norwich and Sunderland both play on the Wednesday, both 19:45 starts.
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