Review

Talking points from the Premier League final day

That’s it — the curtain closes on another Premier League season. After nine months of drama; intrigue, suspense, emotion and entertainment, the 30th year of Premier League football culminated with an action-packed final day;a fitting end to one of the most memorable campaigns in modern times. Manchester City ultimately clinched the title, making it four wins in the last five years for Pep Guardiola’s side, but there were also narratives to be concluded in the battle for top four as well as the relegation dogfight.

As grounds started to fill up around the country — a fantastic juxtaposition to the restricted numbers we saw on last year’s covid-inflicted final day — anticipation was building, as the betting exchange uk swiftly piled up with ambitious accumulators, and players prepared for the last 90 minutes of the season. There was plenty to dissect from an intense weekend of football, so let’s look at some of the main talking points from the Premier League’s last matchday of the 21-22 season.

City leave it late

When Phillipe Coutinho, a player once adored at Liverpool but suffered a swift fall from grace after leaving Anfield, poignantly put Aston Villa 2-0 up against City at the Etihad, you really felt Jürgen Klopp’s men had one hand on the title. The Brazilian’s name was affectionally bellowed from the Kop for the first time in four and a half years, and while the Reds still had business to attend to in Merseyside, fans were ready to believe their dreams of a quadruple could come to fruition.

Having initially trailed to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Pedro Neto giving the visitors a lead three minutes in, Liverpool managed to turn things around to win 3-1, but while Mohamed Salah winning the Golden Boot and preserving a whole season unbeaten at home was great, the Reds ultimately came up short in the title race due to City’s comeback. As quickly as the acrylic smell of red flares faded in the stands,İlkayGündoğanhad scored either side of Rodri’s speculative effort to send the Etihad into delirium. Fernandinho lifted the title in his last appearance for the club he’s spent nine years at following a pitch invasion.

Conte gets the job done

The North London Derby proved to be a crucial turning point in Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit for Champions League football. As spectacular of a capitulation as Arsenal had, dropping vital points to Newcastle, Spurs still had a job to do, and duly obliged with a comfortable 5-0 win away to already relegated Norwich City. The Canaries were a perfect opponent for Antonio Conte’s side, with their blend of defensive incompetence and listless mental fatigue allowing Son Heung-min to win the Golden Boot alongside Salah and earn Spurs a fourth-place finish.

Mikel Arteta’s side had to rely on other results as they thrashed an Everton side that were virtually on holiday and checked out after securing their safety midweek. Althoughthe 5-1 win was a sign of the longevity the Gunners can show as top four contenders, and while Europe’s senior competition may have eluded them this season, you’d expect them to be frontrunners in the race four fourth again come August.

Clarets crash down to the Championship

The relegation battle was one that had potential to go down in history, redolent of 2005’s great escape, but instead Burnley slumped down with a damp whimper as they were beaten at home by Newcastle United. The Clarets looked a pale imitation of the side rejuvenated by Mike Jackson and Ben Mee since Sean Dyche’s dismissal early April, with Callum Wilson’s brace putting the Magpies two goals up.

It’s staggering to think they were once considered relegation candidates, but with Everton and Leeds United narrowly avoiding the drop, Burnley were left to face the final bullet, with their style of football and implantation of the dark arts finally reaching its expiry date. You always felt the results at Turf Moor wouldn’t be sustainable, and a return to the top flight will certainly be a tough one to navigate for whoever ends up in the technical area next season.

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