Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus scored the late winner against Southampton
The Premier League ended yesterday and there were few surprises – other than Arsenal winning their first away game in 2018.
Their 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town provided Arsene Wenger with a fitting farewell on an afternoon when the sun shone in Yorkshire and the home fans were still in party mood following Wednesday’s point at Chelsea that ensured their Premier League survival.
Reds beat Blues to third
That result left Chelsea requiring three points from their trip to Newcastle if they were to finish in the top four while hoping Liverpool slipped up at home to Anfield. Fat chance. Not only did the Reds put four unanswered goals past Brighton to finish third but Chelsea were thrashed 3-0 at St James’ Park.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who still has the Champions League final against Real Madrid to look forward to. “We have matured and we will do that again. In our good moments it is not easy to play better football.
“We will add to the squad, we need more players but I’m a big believer in developing the team. These boys made a big step.”
Such a heavy defeat was an unedifying way for Chelsea to finish their league campaign, and if they lose to Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final it will cap a seriously poor season for Antonio Conte’s side.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2018
Golden Boot for Liverpool’s golden boy
Mohamed Salah scored the opening goal in the 4-0 win against Brighton and the strike means the Egyptian has set a new Premier League record.
The PFA Player of the Year secured the Golden Boot with his 32nd goal in 38 games – beating the previous record of 31 set by Alan Shearer (1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Luis Suarez (2013-14). The goal against Brighton was also Salah’s 44th in 51 matches for Liverpool this season.
Boring boring Man Utd
Following Thursday’s mind-numbing goalless draw at West Ham, Manchester United produced another dreary display, a first-half goal from Marcus Rashford the only highlight against Watford in what was otherwise 90 minutes of forgettable football.
Those fans still awake with five minutes to go gave Michael Carrick a cheery send-off as he was substituted in what was his 464th appearance for the Red Devils. The 36-year-old now joins the coaching staff and judging by recent displays it will be no easy start to his new career.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 13, 2018
Three figures for City
Manchester City also won by a single goal, Gabriel Jesus scoring on 90 minutes at Southampton to lift the champions to a century of points, the first time such a landmark has been reached in the Premier League.
They and United are automatic qualifiers for next season’s Champions League, as are Tottenham, who shared nine goals in a 5-4 thriller with Leicester at Wembley.
Harry Kane scored one of Spurs’ five goals – his 30th of the season – and the England striker was cock-a-hoop when he spoke to reporters. “It was incredible, one of those games at the end of the season where both teams want to attack,” said Kane. “It has been a good season with everything that has gone on with Wembley. The main aim was to qualify for the Champions League for next season.”
At the other end of the table Swansea City followed West Brom and Stoke through the relegation trapdoor to the Championship, the Welsh side losing 2-1 at home to Stoke.
“We did the maximum that we could,” reflected Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal, who was then asked about his future.
“I’m only here for four months… I talked with the owners yesterday. We will talk again on Monday. I will think about Swansea and myself. After that I will make the right decision about my future.”
7,895 days, 1,235 matches and 716 wins on from when he was appointed as our manager, Arsene Wenger has one final message for you all %u2764%uFE0F#MerciArsene #WeAreTheArsenal %uD83D%uDD34 pic.twitter.com/ywtoGxb0L8
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 13, 2018
Four months for Carvalhal, but it’s been 22 years and 1,235 games for Wenger at Arsenal, and he received a warm and respectful send-off at Huddersfield.
Early on in the game a light aircraft flew overheard trailing a banner on which were emblazoned the words: “Merci Arsene: We’ll Miss You.”
Then on 22 minutes the entire stadium rose to applaud his achievements with Arsenal. “I didn’t know that would happen, they were fantastic,” said the Frenchman. “To enjoy it we had to win it, winning football games is what makes me happy and the boys did it. It was a good day for everyone with Huddersfield staying up too.”
Yesterday’s Premier League results
- Burnley 1 AFC Bournemouth 2
- Crystal Palace 2 West Bromwich Albion 0
- Huddersfield Town 0 Arsenal 1
- Liverpool 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
- Manchester United 1 Watford 0
- Newcastle United 3 Chelsea 0
- Southampton 0 Manchester City 1
- Swansea City 1 Stoke City 2
- Tottenham Hotspur 5 Leicester City 4
- West Ham United 3 Everton 1