Liverpool qualified for the Champions League after a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on the last day of the Premier League season. Liverpool’s result meant that Arsenal failed to make it to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, despite registering a 3-1 victory over Everton.
Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough
Liverpool went into their final league game of the season knowing that a win over the already-relegated Middlesbrough would be enough to secure them a Champions League qualification. And the home side took the lead just before halftime as Georginio Wijnaldum drilled in his shot.
A beautiful 25-yard free-kick from Philippe Coutinho doubled Reds’ lead in the 50th minute and Adam Lallana added the third goal six minutes later to ensure those magical European nights will be back at Anfield next season.
Arsenal 3-1 Everton
Arsenal, on the other hand, knew that their fate wasn’t in their own hands whilst focusing on beating Everton. Their 3-1win wasn’t enough for them to make the Champions League owing to Liverpool’s win.
The Gunners got off to a perfect start when Hector Bellerin gave them the lead. However, the effect of the early goal fizzled out when Laurent Koscielny was shown a straight red card for a rash tackle on Enner Valencia. The decision will see the French defender miss the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Arsenal doubled their lead in the 27th minute through a close-range effort from Alexis Sanchez. But Everton halved the deficit with a penalty from Romelu Lukaku in the 57 minute following a handball by Nacho Monreal. Finally, it was Aaron Ramsey sealed the three points for Arsene Wenger’s men, who will now play in the Europa League next season, whether or not the Frenchman is at the helm.
Watford 0-5 Manchester City
Elsewhere, Manchester City secured automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League with a 5-0 thrashing of Watford. Sergio Aguero was at the double for Pep Guardiola’s side, for whom Vincent Kompany, Gabriel
Meanwhile, Harry Kane clinched the Golden Boot for the season with his second hat trick in as many games as Tottenham Hotspurs crushed relegated Hull City 7-1. Kane set the ball rolling for Spurs with a strike after 11 minutes and grabbed his second soon after.
Dele Alli made it 3-0 just before half-time, but a deflected effort from Sam Clucas providing a consolation for the hosts after the hour mark. However, Spurs regained their two-goal advantage within three minutes through Victor Wanyama's header before Kane scored his 29th league goal of the season on 72 minutes. Late strikes for Ben Davies and Toby Alderweireld completed the rout.
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Manchester United ended their disappointing Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace riding on goals from Josh Harrop and Paul Pogba.
Just three days before the Europa League final against Ajax, United boss Jose Mourinho made as many as nine changes to the team, with Demetri Mitchell,
But Mourinho, realizing Pogba’s importance in the Europa League final against Ajax, took no chances and substituted him and Jesse Lingard to keep them fresh for the major match. Palace, though, tried to find the net more efficiently in the second half as Christian Benteke hit the post with a header but failed to find a way back into the game.
With the victory, the hosts finish the season sixth in the table with 69 points, while Palace dropped to 14th.
Burnley 1 - 2 West Ham United
Chelsea 5 - 1 Sunderland
Hull City 1 - 7 Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City 1 - 1 AFC Bournemouth
Southampton 0 - 1 Stoke City
Swansea City 2 - 1 West Bromwich Albion
Otamendi or Adam Smith? Who will make more tackles?
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