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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PIX: City, Liverpool in Champions League; Arsenal victory in vain

EPL PIX: City, Liverpool in Champions League; Arsenal victory in vain

Last updated on: May 21, 2017 23:05 IST

Manchester City romp to win at Watford to ensure third place

Manchester City

IMAGE:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Manchester City made sure of third place in the Premier League when they romped to a 5-0 win at Watford on Sunday to ensure a Champions League berth for next season.

City were already 4-0 up at the break at Vicarage Road and finish the season with 78 points, ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal and behind Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Kompany opened the scoring with a fourth-minute header from a corner, followed by Sergio Aguero finishing off a counter attack set up by Kevin de Bruyne in the 23rd minute.

Ten minutes later Aguero netted his 33rd goal of the season at the end of another quick attack with Leroy Sane providing the decisive pass.

It was 4-0 in the 42nd minute as Fernandinho powered through the defence to score from close range with another Brazilian, Gabriel Jesus, adding a fifth goal 13 minutes after the break.

The match was the last for Watford manager Walter Mazzarri with his club finishing two places above the relegation standings after 38 games.

Liverpool in Champions League after beating Middlesbrough

Liverpool

IMAGE:  Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool celebrates scoring . Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool ensured a return to the Champions League by beating relegated Middlesbrough on Sunday, although they will have to play in a qualifying round after finishing fourth in the Premier League, two points behind Manchester City.

Needing a win to make sure of a return to Europe's premier club competition, Juergen Klopp's side looked edgy early on but the tension was lifted just before halftime when Dutchman Georgino Wijnaldum scored from a clever pass by Roberto Firmino.

In the second half Philippe Coutinho curled in a direct free kick and Adam Lallana added a third goal.

Middlesbrough, who thought they should have had a penalty with the score at 0-0, finished as the lowest Premier League scorers this season with 27 goals.

Klopp praised "an outstanding job" by his players in reaching the Champions League for only the second time in eight seasons.

"We had a lot of injuries and played without a lot of key players," he told Sky Sports. "To be ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United is a really hard job.

"We are Liverpool, we have to deliver but we have to improve and we will."

Arsenal victory in vain as top-four hopes end

Arsenal

IMAGE:  Arsenal supporters hold up banners during the Premier League match. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Ten-man Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 on Sunday to complete their Premier League campaign with a fifth successive win but there was no last-day reprieve for their top-four hopes.

First-half goals by Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez and a stoppage-time effort by Aaron Ramsey sealed the win but Liverpool and Manchester City also romped to victories to leave Arsenal fifth, their lowest finish since Arsene Wenger arrived to take charge in 1996.

Arsenal will be missing from the Champions League for the first time in 20 years next season and although this campaign could yet end with a third FA Cup triumph in four seasons there was a sense of unrest around the Emirates.

Bellerin put Arsenal ahead after eight minutes from close range after Danny Welbeck missed his kick.

Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a reckless tackle on Enner Valencia -- a rush of blood that will rule him out of the FA Cup final against Chelsea -- but Everton were not in the mood to try and capitalise.

The marking was non-existent as Sanchez made it 2-0 from Welbeck's pass with his 24th league goal of the season in the 27th minute.

At that stage, with Liverpool being held at home by Middlesbrough, it looked as though Arsenal could yet squeeze into the top four but as news filtered through that Liverpool had gone ahead, those hopes faded.

The second half was notable mainly for chants against the club's largest shareholder Stan Kroenke by fans who have also voiced their frustration at Wenger this season.

Romelu Lukaku halved the deficit with a penalty, his 25th league goal of the season, but Arsenal hung on and Ramsey struck with a superb curler with seconds remaining.

Arsenal finished in fifth place with 75 points, four more than they managed last year as runner-up.

Everton finished in seventh spot.

Classy Pogba inspires Man United win over Crystal Palace

Paul Pogba

IMAGE: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring. Photograph: Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Paul Pogba set up one goal and scored another as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Old Trafford in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday.

Pogba played in Josh Harrop with a curling through ball in the 15th minute and the 21-year-old cut in from the left to give United the lead with a powerful shot and mark his senior debut with a goal.

Pogba doubled United's lead minutes later after Jesse Lingard drove at Palace's defence before playing a square pass that the Frenchman slotted home after a slip by Joel Ward.

Christian Benteke headed against the post after the interval as Palace ended the season in 14th place. United, who face Ajax Amsterdam in the Europa League final on Wednesday, finished sixth.

Leicester held by Bournemouth to end testing season

Leicester City drew 1-1 with Bournemouth on Sunday to bring the curtain down on a testing campaign which they began as champions but ended up just happy to avoid relegation.

Leicester fell behind after a minute when Bournemouth's Junior Stanislas smashed the ball home after Kasper Schmeichel had saved Lys Mousset's shot with his legs.

Jamie Vardy drew the hosts level six minutes after the restart, nudging the ball over the line from an Islam Slimani knockdown.

After sacking manager Claudio Ranieri in February, with the club a point and a place above the relegation zone, Leicester ended the season strongly, finishing 12th, two points behind Bournemouth in ninth.

Crouch header hands Stoke rare success

Peter Crouch’s second-half header gave Stoke City only their second victory in their last 11 games as they won 1-0 away at Southampton on Sunday to end the Premier League season in 13th place.

It was a fifth successive home game without a goal for Southampton, whose season started in promising fashion, and who reached the League Cup final, but finished poorly and with the future of manager Claude Puel in doubt.

Stoke might have been ahead inside the opening minute as Mame Biram Diouf tested home goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Xherdan Shaqiri had a good first-half chance.

Diouf went close with a header from a corner just before the hour mark after which Crouch headed home Geoff Cameron’s hanging cross in the 60th minute.

Jack Butland then made key saves to deny Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini and keep Stoke on course for victory.

Swansea sign off by beating West Brom

Swansea City came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at home on the final day of the season, with goals from Jordan Ayew and Fernando Llorente cancelling out Jonny Evans' opener.

Llorente scored his 10th goal in his last 11 league games at home when he met Luciano Narsingh's cross and slammed past Ben Foster in the 86th minute to ensure 15th-placed Swansea ended the campaign on 41 points, seven clear of the relegation zone.

Evans had headed Darren Fletcher's corner past Kristoffer Nordfeldt at the back past in the 33rd minute to give the visitors the lead, but Ayew nodded the hosts level in the 72nd minute as Swansea extended their undefeated run to five games.

West Bromwich finish in 10th on 45 points, missing the opportunity to equal their best top flight finish since 1981.

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