Saturday, 27 May 2017

Chelsea Crowned Champions As Reds Secure Fourth With Boro Win

The Premier League season finale saw the battle for fourth become the main focus with matters at the top and bottom already decided and a rarity as all 20 sides played at the same time.

Arsenal needed to better the result of Liverpool to secure a top four place and they did their utmost as they secured a 3-1 win over Everton.  The Gunners went ahead inside eight minutes with Hector Bellerin's strike but a blow saw Laurent Koscielny dismissed six minutes later. 

Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead before the half hour mark with Romelu Lukaku pulling one back with a 58th minute penalty. Aaron Ramsey wrapped up the win late on but the Gunners fate will be confirmed later in the review.

West Ham United ended the season on a high with a 2-1 win over Burnley. The hosts went ahead on 23 minutes through Sam Vokes but their fellow Clarets were level through Sofiane Feghouli within four minutes. André Ayew secured the points with a 72nd minute effort.

Chelsea's celebrated their title crowning in style with a 5-1 routing of Sunderland. However, the visitors threatened to derail the party as Javier Manquillo struck an opener three minutes in.  

Willian levelled for the Blues before an orchestrated guard of honour for Blues captain John Terry came in the 26th minute. Goals from Eden Hazard and Pedro put the Blues in control before a late brace from Michy Batshuayi rounded off the rout.

Hull City ended the season miserably they suffered a 7-1 thrashing from title runners-up Tottenham Hotspur. An early brace from Harry Kane put Spurs 2-0 up inside 15 minutes with Dele Alli making it 3-0 into half-time.

Sam Clucas ended Spurs' spree on 66 minutes for 3-1 but Victor Wanyama resumed the spree just three minutes later ahead of a hat-trick strike from Kane. The thrashing was completed by two goals in the final six minutes as Ben Davies and Toby Alderweireld slotted in.

Leicester City ended their season as champions with a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth who secured a ninth placed finish. Junior Stanislas put the Cherries inside the opening minute but the win was denied by Jamie Vardy's 51st minute leveller.

As mentioned above, Arsenal did what they needed to in the battle for fourth but they missed out due to Liverpool securing fourth spot with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

The Reds cemented their place in the top four and a spot in next season's Champions League with an 11 minute spree which began with Georginio Wijnaldum's strike just before half-time.  Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead within five minutes of the restart with Adam Lallana wrapping up the win six minutes later.

Manchester United signed off ahead of the midweek Europa League final against Ajax with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. United went ahead with a debut goal from young striker Josh Harrop on 15 minutes  before Paul Pogba struck just four minutes later.

Stoke City missed out on a top half finish despite ending with a 1-0 win away to Southampton. Peter Crouch secured the points with an historic headed effort on the hour mark as he became the first player to score 50 headers in the top flight.

After avoiding relegation, Swansea City ended the season on a high with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies went ahead through Jonny Evans before Jordan Ayew levelled in the 72nd minute (the same time as his brother struck over at Burnley). Fernando Llorente sealed the win four minutes from the end.

The final league game of my 2016-17 reviews was also to be the last for Watford manager Walter Mazzari as he departed the Hornets after their 5-0 humbling from Manchester City who cemented third spot. A rapid start for the visitors saw Vincent Kompany strike inside six minutes before a brace from Sergio Aguero and an effort from Fernandinho gave City a 4-0 lead into half-time. The rout was completed before the hour mark as Gabriel Jesus made it 5-0 on 57 minutes.