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EPL PIX: Man City win 4th title in five years

Last updated on: May 23, 2022 00:13 IST
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EPL

IMAGE: Manchester City's Fernandinho lifts the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after winning the Premier League. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Manchester City won the Premier League title by a point from rivals Liverpool on the final day of the campaign after Pep Guardiola's side survived a huge scare on Sunday.

City had to fight back from 2-0 down in the second half, but three goals in the space of five minutes -- including two from German substitute Ilkay Gundogan set off the party, with fans pouring onto the field at the Etihad Stadium at the final whistle.

EPL

IMAGE: Manchester City’s Ilkay Guendogan celebrates after scoring their team's third goal against Aston Villa. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

City have now won four of the last five Premier League titles and their victory ends Liverpool's hopes of a unique quadruple of trophies.

A fine header from fullback Matty Cash had put Villa 1-0 up at the break and the nerves of the City fans worsened after Brazilian former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho doubled the advantage in the 69th minute.

At that stage Liverpool were being held 1-1 by Wolves and still in second spot but a goal for them at Anfield would have put them in pole position.

Pep Guardiola

IMAGE: Pep Guardiola celebrates after City’s third goal. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

But by the time Liverpool did take charge of their game, City had fought back and blown away all the fear of a final-day collapse in five blistering minutes.

Ilkay Gundogan headed in a Raheem Sterling cross before Spanish midfielder Rodri drove into the bottom corner and German Gundogan then completed the turnaround, tapping in a low cross from Kevin De Bruyne at the back post.

 

City fans poured on to the field at the final whistle with no sign that the novelty of being champions of England is wearing off.

Liverpool come back to win but miss out on title by one point

Liverpool

IMAGE: Jurgen Klopp interacts with Mohamed Salah as he looks dejected as Manchester City finished the 2021/2022 season as champions. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool came from a goal down to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 on Sunday, but it was not enough to earn them their second Premier League title, as they finished second, one point behind champions Manchester City who beat Aston Villa 3-2.

After going behind to an early Pedro Neto tap in, goals from Sadio Mane and late strikes from Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson gave the home fans some cheer even if their fate depended on the proceedings in Manchester.

They finish the season on 92 points, one behind City for the second time in three years but with a League Cup and FA Cup trophy in their cabinet.

Juergen Klopp's men also have a Champions League final against Real Madrid to look forward to next weekend.

However, at Anfield on Sunday it was Wolves who took a shock lead three minutes in when defender Ibrahima Konate misjudged a bouncing ball from a goal kick allowing Raul Jimenez to run in behind on the right and pick out Neto to side-foot in his first goal of the season.

Liverpool equalised in the 24th minute when a cute Thiago Alcantara backheel set Mane free to charge at goal and strike an effort that was so fierce, goalkeeper Jose Sa could only get a hand to it before it went in.

Sa had to be replaced at halftime due to an injury by John Ruddy and soon after Liverpool brought on Salah, rested from the beginning, in search of the winner and peppered shots at goal, only to see them continually blocked by Wolves defenders.

The atmosphere became frantic as news filtered through from the stands that City were losing 2-0 to Villa and the title would end up at Anfield if Liverpool could find a goal.

They found that breakthrough seven minutes from fulltime when Salah squeezed in a loose ball in the box. The goal was the Egyptian's 23rd of the season and meant he finished the campaign level as top scorer with Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min.

Full back Andy Robertson then put the gloss on the scoreline late on by sliding in Roberto Firmino's cutback.

However, by that time City had completed their own comeback 3-2 win over Villa, meaning they retained the title and Liverpool finished the season as runners-up. Wolves finished 10th on 51 points.

Arsenal hammer Everton 5-1 but still miss out on top four

Arsenal

IMAGE: Arsenal's Gabriel celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Cedric Soares and Gabriel Martinelli. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Arsenal did all they could as they hammered Everton 5-1 on Sunday but there was little air of celebration for the home fans as Tottenham Hotspur's win at Norwich City ensured that they took the final Champions League berth to leave Arsenal fifth.

A week ago this fixture promised to be dripping with jeopardy, with Arsenal still strongly in the Champions League hunt and Everton fighting for survival, but Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United left them needing Spurs to slip up, while Everton's 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace ensured their safety.

Relieved Everton coach Frank Lampard made six changes and it showed as his team were over-run for most of the game, deservedly trailing at halftime to a Gabriel Martinelli penalty via a VAR handball call and an Eddie Nketiah header within four minutes, before substitute Donny van de Beek pulled one back in stoppage time.

Arsenal repeated the trick within three minutes midway through the second half as Cedric Soares swept in the third and Gabriel Magalhaes banged in the fourth before Martin Odegaard topped it off with an excellent goal, drifting past two defenders then slotting into the corner.

At full time the home fans gave Arsenal a good send-off but it was the Everton supporters, still giddy from their Crystal Palace comeback on Thursday, who were making all the noise as Manchester City completed an incredible comeback of their own to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title.

Arsenal, who last played in the Champions League in 2016-17 after 19 straight years of making it under Arsene Wenger, will have to settle for a place in the Europa League, while Everton will just be relieved to be still in the top flight - where they have spent more years than any other club - come August.

Tottenham seal Champions League spot with 5-0 win at Norwich

Tottenham Hotspur

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Eric Dier and Steven Bergwijn. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur secured Champions League qualification on the final day of the season by thrashing relegated Norwich City 5-0 at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Sunday and pipped London rivals Arsenal to fourth place.

Following the Gunners' midweek defeat at Newcastle United, Spurs' destiny was back in their own hands and two goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Heung-Min Son plus a Harry Kane header were more than enough to guarantee Antonio Conte's side fourth spot.

Tottenham finish the campaign on 71 points, two ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal, and will be back in Europe's elite club competition for the first time since the 2019-20 season. The Gunners will play in next season's Europa League.

South Korean Son's double left him level with Liverpool's Mo Salah in the Golden Boot race to be Premier League top scorer.

Spurs opened the scoring in the 16th minute through Kulusevski after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg set up Rodrigo Bentancur with a lofted ball to the edge of the box which the Uruguay international squared to the Swede who netted from close range.

Kane doubled the lead in the 32nd after a mistake by Norwich keeper Tim Krul, who played the ball straight to Bentancur near the corner of the area and his cross was met by the England striker who scored with a diving header into an empty net.

It was Kane 17th league goal this term, leaving him fourth in the standings and one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Norwich, who rarely approached Tottenham's area in the first half, returned with significantly more life after the break and striker Teemu Pukki had a powerful shot blocked in the 47th.

But Spurs continued to enjoy their afternoon and January signing Kulusevski made it 3-0 in the 64th minute with a fine individual effort, firing into the top left corner from the edge of the box for his fifth goal in 18 league games.

Son added two more in the 70th and 75th minutes, after being denied by Krul three times in 10 minutes, to end the campaign with 23 - level with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot as the season's top Premier League scorer.

The victory at Norwich equalled Tottenham's best result this season in March when they won 5-0 at home to Everton.

Norwich, who won only one of their last 16 league games, finished bottom on 22 points and have now been relegated from the Premier League seven times since 1995, sparking protests from some fans outside the stadium after the game.

Man United book Europa League spot despite 1-0 defeat at Palace

Manchester United

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha scores their first goal. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Manchester United secured a ticket to next season's Europa League after they ended their Premier League campaign in sixth place - despite losing 1-0 away at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Forward Wilfried Zaha scored against his former team in the first half as Palace celebrated their first-ever Premier League victory over United at home.

Ralf Rangnick's tenure as interim manager came to an end with United collecting 58 points, their lowest tally in Premier League history.

United were nevertheless able to hold on to sixth place after West Ham United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion and had to settle for seventh.

Watched by new manager Erik ten Hag from the stands, United produced a lacklustre display and went behind in the 37th minute as Zaha finished smartly from the edge of the box after picking up a loose pass and cutting across the United defence.

The visitors tried to improve their game in the second half but they looked poor in attack and barely created chances as Patrick Vieira's Palace ended the season on a winning note and took the 12th spot.

Chelsea beat Watford 2-1 to end turbulent season in third place

Chelsea

IMAGE: Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger hugs Reece James as he walks of the pitch after being substituted. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

A last-minute goal from substitute Ross Barkley earned Chelsea a 2-1 win over already-relegated Watford on Sunday in a low-key end to a turbulent season for the London side.

Barkley, playing his 100th game for Chelsea, headed in a Reece James cross three minutes after Watford's Dan Gosling had equalised for the Hornets.

It was a busy finish to an otherwise unremarkable end-of-term game. Germany's Kai Havertz had put Chelsea ahead in the 11th minute when he ran in unmarked to meet a low cross from Brazilian winger Kenedy.

There were many empty seats at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea operating under special licence because of government sanctions imposed on departing Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

The result made no change to the Premier League table. Chelsea, whose 4.25-billion-pound ($5.2-billion) ownership deal with a U.S.-led consortium is still awaiting full approval, finished the season in third place.

Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, who is fronting the consortium backed by Clearlake Capital, watched from the stands as Havertz also hit the crossbar at the end of the first half and Ziyech forced a fine second-half save from Daniel Bachmann.

Watford's Kiko Femenia and Joao Pedro also had shots saved in a game where the biggest home cheers were reserved for the news that Manchester City had won the Premier League title, pipping Chelsea’s nemesis Liverpool.

Chelsea lost both the League Cup and FA Cup finals to Liverpool in the tightest finishes this season with both games going to penalties.

The London side did not finish without a trophy, however, having picked up the European Super Cup last August and the Club World Cup in February.

Before the players ran a lap of honour, captain Cesar Azplilicueta named Mason Mount, who missed a Wembley penalty in the FA Cup final last weekend, Chelsea's player of the season.

Burnley relegated after 2-1 defeat by Newcastle

Burnley

IMAGE: Burnley's Nathan Collins talks with Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

Burnley were relegated from the Premier League after a 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle United on the final day of the season on Sunday that sent them down to the second tier for the first time since 2015.

Leeds United, who were in the drop zone on goal difference heading into the last round of fixtures, remain in the top flight after a 2-1 win at Brentford ensured they finished above Burnley in 17th place.

Burnley, who last month replaced long-serving manager Sean Dyche with Mike Jackson on an interim basis with eight games left, finished 18th on 35 points, three behind Leeds, and will join Watford and Norwich City in the Championship next season.

"We're devastated but over the season we've not been good enough," Burnley defender James Tarkowski said. "We have had too many sloppy moments... We've had an incredible run in this league.

"It's been a great achievement but that doesn't mean we wanted it to end in the way we have done. There is never a lack of effort or desire from our team but we have just lacked individual quality in front of goal.

"We've given it our all. There is a great set of lads in there who've never given up but unfortunately we have come up short. It summed up our season... I can only apologise (to the fans) that we've not done enough."

Maxwel Cornet's second-half goal sparked a spirited fightback from Burnley but the hosts could not convert their late period of dominance into goals as Newcastle hung on for victory after Callum Wilson's brace put them 2-0 ahead.

Newcastle, who lost forward Joelinton to injury early in the game, were awarded a penalty for a handball by Nathan Collins following a VAR review and Wilson slotted in from the spot to put the visitors ahead after 20 minutes.

Burnley mustered only one shot on target, when Dwight McNeil tested goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from long range just before the break, in a poor first half where they created little of note in attack.

Wilson doubled Newcastle's advantage on the hour mark after finishing off Allan Saint-Maximin's low ball across the box before Cornet halved the deficit around 10 minutes later to set up a frantic finish.

Cornet's initial close-range volley was parried away by Dubravka and the Ivorian smashed in the rebound into an empty net, but Burnley's valiant efforts were thwarted by Dubravka's saves and a goal-line clearance from Matt Targett.

"Today was a very difficult day for me because I have emotional ties to Burnley," said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, who was in charge at Turf Moor between January 2011 and October 2012.

"It is a very proud football club and it hurts to see them being relegated. I have been in that position and I know how difficult that is. I hope they bounce back quickly and I am sure they can."

Brighton come from behind to beat West Ham 3-1

Brighton and Hove Albion

IMAGE: Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their third goal. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Brighton & Hove Albion came from behind to beat West Ham United 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, in a result that puts the seventh-placed Hammers in the Europa Conference League next season.

The visitors took the lead in the 40th minute through Michail Antonio, who chested down a long throw-in on the edge of the area, spun round past Brighton defender Lewis Dunk and blasted his shot into the top far corner.

With Manchester United losing at Crystal Palace at that point, the Hammers were on course to leapfrog United into the Europa League qualification places.

But Brighton's Joel Veltman equalised in the 50th minute with his first goal of the season, drilling in a low shot under Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Pascal Gross then put the Seagulls in front in the 80th minute with a left-footed shot into the top left corner to put the Hammers back below United in the table.

Danny Welbeck added a third goal for Brighton in the closing minutes to guarantee the home side a ninth-placed finish - their highest-ever in the Premier League.

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