By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 38
- Full results
The Premier League season finished with a bang as Man City and Liverpool secured their Champions League qualification. Here are five lessons learned from the last day of the season.
Man City and Liverpool secure Champions League spots
There was only one thing left to fight for heading into the last fixture of the season, and that was the final two Champions League places. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City were all in with a shout of finishing inside the top four, but one would have to miss out.
City were in pole position at the start of the weekend, and within five minutes they led at Watford thanks to Vincent Kompany. Things got really nervy for Liverpool as Hector Bellerin gave Arsenal the lead just minutes after Kompany’s goal. Laurent Koscielny was sent off after 14 minutes, but that did not stop Alexis Sanchez making it 2-0 to the Gunners 12 minutes later.
The two incidents sandwiched Sergio Aguero’s strike that made it 2-0 to Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side were rolling, and once again the Argentine struck to put the game beyond any doubt. Fernandinho made it 4-0 as it began to get embarrassing for Watford.
In Liverpool, Anfield was nervously silent. They were throwing all they could at Middlesbrough but could not break through as their rivals enjoyed two goal leads. Jurgen Klopp was visibly getting frustrated on the side-lines, but his and the fans fears were eased by Georginio Wijnaldum on the stroke of half time.
The goal lifted Liverpool who made it 2-0 after the break through Philippe Coutinho’s low curling free-kick, the top four was in their sights. Adam Lallana put the game to bed just minutes later as the Reds continued to dominate. In the meantime, Gabriel Jesus added a fifth for Manchester City. Romelu Lukaku scored from the penalty spot to bring one back for Everton, but it was of little consequence as the top four was already out of for Arsene Wenger. The Gunners made sure to finish their season in style though as Aaron Ramsey added a third in stoppage time.
It was the first time in 20 years that Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League, but despite calls for Wenger to leave at the end of the season, it looks like the Frenchman will sign a new two year contract and extend his stay at the club. For Liverpool, Champions League qualification will not only mean more money coming into the club, it will allow them to attract better players as they look to strengthen the squad in the summer.
Harry Kane wins Golden Boot in style
If you were not already convinced, Harry Kane cemented himself as the most prolific striker in the Premier League by netting a hat trick to secure a second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot.
The Englishman’s four goals in mid-week saw him leapfrog Romelu Lukaku into first position in the goal-scoring charts, but Kane was not done yet. Another hat trick, this time in Spurs’ 7-1 thrashing of Hull secured the Golden Boot with 29 goals for the season, average one per game.
It is an incredible goal-scoring record for Kane who has once again proven he is one of the best strikers in the country. The next step is taking the form into Europe where he can cement himself as one of the best on the continent.
It has still been a more than positive season for Lukaku, who despite playing in a team five places below Spurs, still managed to score 24 goals. Until a last gasp of form for Kane, the Belgian looked like he would be the one finishing the season as the top scorer, and now he will be the point of interest for a lot of clubs in Europe.
Chelsea say farewell to a legend in controversial fashion
John Terry has been one of the main figureheads of Chelsea football club during their most successful time period, and fittingly he got an standing ovation as he played his last game for the club against Sunderland on the last day of the season.
The defender started the match at Stamford Bridge before being substituted after 26 minutes, the same number as his famous shirt at Chelsea. It was an emotional farewell for their captain who left the field in tears as the players formed a pre-mediated guard of honour. To Chelsea fans, it was a fitting goodbye to one of their all-time greatest players, but to many it was a bit much.
Twitter was flooded with opinions on the matter. Some labelled it as ‘embarrassing’, ‘cheesy’ and a classless given it was in the middle of a Premier League game. Others thought it was what the England defender deserved after his years of service. No matter which side of the fence you sat on, it definitely got people talking.
It was not the first time Chelsea have done something like this for one of their legends. Didier Drogba was carried off the field by his team-mates in his final game for Chelsea, which was coincidently also against Sunderland (It must be something bout the Black Cats).
It was a memorable send off for Terry no matter if you thought it was embarrassing or great. He got to lift the Premier League trophy for a final time alongside Gary Cahill and say an emotional farewell to Stamford Bridge.
Football will be missed over the Summer
It was a great final day of the Premier League season with 37 goals scored in the ten games that took place, but there was one over-bearing thought that comes to mind when the final whistle sounded- football will be missed during the summer.
Of course, there are still cup finals to be played and the confederations cup too, but there is nothing like league football. The ups, the downs, the thrills and the spills of a whole season playing out is the greatest rollercoaster ride of all, and when that comes to an end you want to go again, but sadly we will have to wait.
With no World Cup or European Championships to keep the enthusiasm of the Football fans in this country, the focus turns away from football and turns to other sports such as Tennis, Cricket, Golf and Formula One. But whilst those Sports entertain the masses in their own way, there will be a lingering excitement for the next season.
It is going to be a long wait, but it will be worth it when the first whistle of the new season is blown, because next season promises to be a great one.
What else happened?
There was not much to fight for in the final day of the Premier League, but there was still plenty of excitement to satisfy all football fans.
Manchester United go into Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax off the back of a win after a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Safe and sound Swansea finished off an exhausting season with a positive 2-1 win at home to West Brom, which moved them to 15th as Burnley lost 2-1 at home to West Ham.
Leicester’s final day as Champions of England ended with a 1-1 home draw against Bournemouth, but the day’s most boring match came at St Mary’s as Stoke edged Southampton 1-0.
Full Premier League results
Arsenal 3-1 Everton
Burnley 1-2 West Ham
Chelsea 5-1 Sunderland
Hull 1-7 Tottenham
Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth
Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough
Man United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Southampton 0-1 Stoke
Swansea 2-1 West Brom
Watford 0-5 Man City
The Premier League returns for a new season in August
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