A super Sunday in the English top tier with not one, not two, not three but ten games all taking place at the same time. That always proves to be fun and it certainly was but not without a few shocks with Manchester United and Tottenham losing while Arsenal and Liverpool did the exact opposite.
Arsenal 2 - 0 Watford
Finishing at the top half is the most that Arsenal could have salvaged in the final matchday of the season and they somehow managed to do that. Riding on the home support factor, the Gunners went ahead in the 11 minutes into the game. In spite of their advantage, the game was played on equal terms throughout the first half although Arsenal did manage to double their lead in the 38th minute to turn the tide in their favour.
The Hornets did put up a spirited fight after the restart and even though they had more shots at the goal, they failed to breach Arsenal's backline leaving their custodian with little to do. The Gunners held on to the 2-goal lead and ended their dismal season on a positive note but in 9th place.
Burnley 1 - 2 Brighton and Hove Albion
If we strictly go by the recent form, Burnley had a more realistic claim going into the game, but the hosts were given a tough fight by an upbeat Brighton side. The unexpected did happen in the 33rd minute, as the Seagulls took the lead, after pressing hard in the final third for quite some time. On the backfoot, the Clarets shifted gears and restored parity in the dying seconds of the first half, leaving everything to play for in the second half.
If everyone expected an improved display from the hosts in the second half, that was the least that happened, as Brighton continued to bamboozle through Burnely’s back-four and somehow managed to earn a penalty in the 84th minute of the game. The Seagulls converted it and took the game away from Burnley also snatching three vital away points from the fixture.
Chelsea 0 - 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Just a win needed to qualify for the Champions League spot, Chelsea’s equation was clear at Stamford Bridge this Saturday evening. And it was all about The Blues in the first half, as they were by far the better side and came close to scoring on quite a few occasions, but the first strike was hard to come by. With both sides failing to capitalize, the half-time break couldn’t have come at a more convenient time for either team and manager.
The break did work in favour of the London club as they dominated the entire second-half, only to see them not score a goal despite taking 17 shots at goal and accounting for 55 dangerous attacks. The stalemate saw Wolves just miss out on a Europa League spot while The Blues retained the 4th place on the final day of the season.
Crystal Palace 3 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham did start the first half with authority, but what happened in the last 10 minutes of the first period was no less than a blockbuster. It was the hosts that drew first blood, much against the run of play, but the lead was short-lived as Spurs levelled the scores just four minutes later, in the 40th minute. The Eagles scored yet again to take a 2-1 lead into the break much to the show and utter horror of the away fans.
Mourinho’s men went all out following the break, in anticipation to finish the game on a high, but it was simply not their day. The Eagles scored their third in the 78th minute of the game to seal the deal and which sealed a respectable 11th place for them, two places behind city-rivals Arsenal. That said, Spurs certainly had the better game statistically with more shots on goal and more dangerous attacks but statistics don't always mean everything.
Everton 0 - 1 AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth did register a memorable win, but it was too late for them to pull out of the relegation zone with them headed for the Championship next season. Everton were without a doubt the better side in the first period of the game, with seven shots at the goal as compared to the Cherries' four. But despite that the first-half failed to witness a goal leaving many hoping for a goal-filled second half.
The second half did see a few changes as Bournemouth played on even terms with the hosts, and yet it was tough to find a goal. Just when the Toffees were convinced to settle for a draw, Bournemouth’s 94th-minute winner shocked them and the rest of the league but it meant little to the league table. The visitors had to end their campaign in 19th with the Merseyside club finishing six places above them.
You had to see it to believe it. You really did with Leicester City utterly dominating Manchester United in that first half despite the Red Devils opening the scoring. They found the net with their first shot on goal, and against the run of play, taking the lead less than five minutes into the game. That lit a fire under the Foxes and they found their rhythm. The Red Devils did do well but three goals in space of half an hour from Leicester meant that Manchester United went into the break behind.
Many expected a change from United in the second half especially after they ended the first half with just three more shots on goal. And they certainly found their groove with a goal six minutes into the restart and once again that lit a fire under Leicester. The hosts found their rhythm and while Manchester United had their fair share of attempts on goal (six in the second half) they failed to add to their tally. Instead, the Foxes scored one more in added time and that was it.
Manchester City 2-1 Norwich City
Despite the win in the reverse fixture, Norwich City walked into the game in the worst possible form with them winning just one of their last four games. Manchester City fared a little better with two wins, a draw and one loss in their last four games but yet both sides struggled to take charge of the first half. Instead, we saw just four shots from both sides in the opening 15 minutes before Manchester City found their footing and scored the opening goal five minutes later.
It also happened to be the best moment in the first half and Norwich City ended the half with no more shots on goal. Things needed to change for the Canaries with them creating just 16 dangerous attacks in the first half and things certainly did change. They took their time however, but 18 minutes into the second half and Norwich had their equalizer. Both sides kept pushing forward for the lead but with the Cityzens dominating the ball, they eventually found the net and saw out the final few minutes.
Newcastle United 1-4 Liverpool
A tough game for the Magpies but the score-line doesn’t do them justice. Sure Liverpool took the lead less than 10 minutes into the first half and doubled their tally seven minutes later, but the hosts hung on for the remainder of the opening half. Somehow Steve Bruce’s men managed to engineer some kind of fightback with them hitting the target twice before the end of the first half.
They failed to find the net and that would hurt them in the second half with the Reds eventually finding a rhythm and then dominating the game. They would add two more goals in the second half but the Magpies fought back once again and eventually breached Liverpool’s backline. It would prove to mean nothing in the end with the Reds dominating everything. They created more dangerous attacks (59-52), had more shots on goal (16-15) and even had more on target (10-6).
Southampton 0-0 Sheffield United
As goalless draws go this was far from boring. Instead, as the first half proved it was action-packed with both sides doing their very best to break the deadlock. Fourteen shots found their way on goal but what stopped them from hitting the net was the sheer fact that only five actually hit the target. Southampton managed two and that’s despite them dominating the first half with 30 dangerous attacks as compared to 25 from the Blades.
Things didn’t change in the second half with both sides once again putting up a decent fight but offensive moves weren’t as prevalent as it was in the first half. Instead, it was a slow start to the second half with things only kicking off after the 75th minute. That saw nine shots fired on goal with just one coming from Sheffield before two reds (1 for either side) meant that no goals would be scored.
West Ham United 2-2 Aston Villa
If statistics are anything to go by, then West Ham should have walked away as winners especially after that impressive first-half performances. The Hammers hammered Aston Villa into the ground and simply refused to let up the pressure with them averaging 22 seconds per attack. Add that to their 32 dangerous attacks and the fact that they spent 72% in the same should have seen them score and they did just that. The goal came minutes after the half-hour mark and Villa needed the break to recuperate.
But things changed in the second half as the away side found something within themselves but were immediately knocked back with the second goal as West Ham found the net ten minutes into the restart. And yet Villa refused to stop fighting with them doing the best with what they had and eventually found the net. The goal came in the final ten minutes of the second half and it seemed too little too late but Villa’s story wasn’t over yet. Somehow, in seven minutes of added time, the Villains found the net in added time and forced West Ham to settle for a draw.