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Premier League final day analysis and reactions; European qualification, relegation and others

The Premier League signed off on a high despite the alterations and altercations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which halted the league for over 3 months. There was drama, vindication, elation, and dejection as teams secure their goals for the season.

Manchester United and Chelsea booked their spots in next season’s Champions League but it was relegation for Bournemouth and Watford, despite valiant efforts on the final day.

United needed just a point at Leicester to secure a top-four finish but Bruno Fernandes’ cool penalty and Jesse Lingard’s late goal helped them to a 2-0 win to grab third place in the Premier League table, level on 66 points with fourth-placed Chelsea, who beat Wolves 2-0 with two quickfire first-half injury-time goals.

Leicester City ended up in 5th place despite being in the top four for 298 days. They couldn’t retain momentum, and will now go into the Europa League group stages along with Tottenham, after their point at Crystal Palace was enough to edge Wolves into seventh on goal difference.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will now have to wait until the FA Cup final on 1 August to see whether or not they will be in Europe as an Arsenal win against Chelsea at Wembley would see the Gunners take the second qualifying-round place.

It was misery at the other end of the table for Bournemouth and Watford. Eddie Howe’s side pulled off a brilliant and brave 3-1 win at Everton but it was not enough to lift them out of the drop zone because of Aston Villa’s nervy point at West Ham.

Watford – who sacked Nigel Pearson two games ago – also fall into the Championship, finishing second-bottom and, like Bournemouth, just a point from safety, after going down 3-2 at Arsenal. Norwich – who lost 5-0 at Manchester City – had already been relegated.

Jamie Vardy wins the Golden boot while Ings and Aubameyang fall short

Jamie Vardy didn’t have to do much as his total of 23 Premier League goals in 2019/20 proved unassailable on the final day to win the Foxes frontman the Golden Boot award for the very first time.

The 33-year-old is the first Leicester City player to claim the award, which is presented by Cadbury and is only the second Englishman after Harry Kane to take the crown in the last 20 years.

Watch Jamie Vardy’s collection here

Vardy could not add to his total in the 2-0 defeat by Manchester United as the Foxes missed out on a top-four finish but his efforts from time past proved vital for him.

Jamie’s been outstanding for us – our Player of the Season,” Leicester manager, Brendan Rodgers, told the club’s official website. “He knows he can’t do it without his team-mates, but he also knows, and the team knows, that they couldn’t have done it without him.

So, 23 goals for everything that he brings, I’m absolutely delighted for him, and obviously we’re all very happy for him.”

Danny Ings and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang finished with 22 goals each after the former started Matchweek 38 two goals behind Vardy while the latter was three goals behind Vardy.

Ings took a bit of time but managed to score his first penalty for Southampton as they beat Sheffield United 3-1, but could not find the net again in his quest for a first Golden Boot.

For a second season running, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice on the final day to take his tally to 22 goals in the hunt for the Golden Boot. Last season it was enough to earn him a share of the award.

This time around, Aubameyang’s first-half brace in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Watford meant he fell one short.

Manchester City’s duo of Ederson and Kevin De Bruyne won the Golden Glove and best playmaker in the Premier League respectively

City’s number one choice goalie, Ederson, claimed the 2019/20 Golden Glove after keeping his 16th clean sheet of the season against Norwich City to beat Burnley’s Nick Pope to the award.

Watch how Ederson saves helped Manchester City in the 2019/20 season

Alisson, De Gea, Dean Henderson, Kasper Schmeichel, and Rui Patricio all finished joint-third with 13 clean sheets in 2019/20.

Ederson Morales wins the accolade, presented by Cadbury, for the first time thanks to his shutout in the 5-0 final-day success at the Etihad Stadium.

Pope was level with Ederson on 15 clean sheets going into the last day, but the Englishman was beaten twice in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Brazilian claims the award after being the runner-up in each of his first two Premier League campaigns, firstly finishing behind David De Gea in 2017/18, then compatriot Alisson last season.

Man City’s boss, Pep Guardiola, told City’s official website. “I think today he deserves it. He made two incredible saves. Without him, it would not be possible.

It was really good the fact he made a good season.

Incredible credit for him as a ‘keeper and we are so happy for this award.”

Kevin De Bruyne was also named Best playmaker for the season after he equalled Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s record tally of 20 assists in a season to claim the prize for the second time.

The Belgian midfielder’s clever through-ball was finished off by Raheem Sterling for Man City’s 100th goal of 2019/20 in a 5-0 win over Norwich City, a match in which he also scored twice.

It meant De Bruyne matched Henry’s total of 20 for Arsenal, which he set in 2002/03.

He is the first player in Premier League history to provide at least 15 assists in three different campaigns, after his tallies of 16 in 2017/18 and 18 in 2016/17.

It’s obviously a nice achievement but I only do half the job,” De Bruyne tells City’s official website.

I’m very grateful to my team-mates for the way they finish off the chances. Without them, I wouldn’t have got that many assists.”

It is also the second time De Bruyne has claimed the accolade, having captured the inaugural award, presented by Cadbury, in 2017/18.

De Bruyne finished seven assists clear of his nearest challenger, Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Watch De Bruyne’s incredible collection here

Premier League table and Stats on the final day

Pos. Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Liverpool 38 32 3 3 52 99
2 Man City 38 26 3 9 67 81
3 Man Utd 38 18 12 8 30 66
4 Chelsea 38 20 6 12 15 66
5 Leicester 38 18 8 12 26 62
6 Tottenham 38 16 11 11 14 59
7 Wolves 38 15 14 9 11 59
8 Arsenal 38 14 14 10 8 56
9 Sheff Utd 38 14 12 12 0 54
10 Burnley 38 15 9 14 -7 54
11 Southampton 38 15 7 16 -9 52
12 Everton 38 13 10 15 -12 49
13 Newcastle 38 11 11 16 -20 44
14 Crystal Palace 38 11 10 17 -19 43
15 Brighton 38 9 14 15 -15 41
16 West Ham 38 10 9 19 -13 39
17 Aston Villa 38 9 8 21 -26 35
18 Bournemouth 38 9 7 22 -25 34
19 Watford 38 8 10 20 -28 34
20 Norwich 38 5 6 27 -49 21

Stats and facts on the final day

  • Despite the victory, Arsenal suffered their lowest Premier League finish (8th) since the 1994-95 campaign when they finished 12th.
  • At the age of 33, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud becomes the oldest player to score in five consecutive Premier League starts, taking over from Jamie Vardy (32 years old).
  • Tottenham have finished the Premier League campaign in the top six for the 11th consecutive season, after managing to do so just twice in their previous 17 seasons in the competition.
  • Bournemouth ended a run of nine consecutive away Premier League defeats, with this their first away win since winning 1-0 against Chelsea in December.
  • Leicester finished fifth in the 2019-20 Premier League, despite ending the day within the top four places on 325 occasions during the season.
  • Harry Maguire became the first outfield player since Gary Pallister in 1994-95 to start every game in a Premier League campaign for Manchester United.
  • Manchester City has scored 100+ league goals in a top-flight season for a fifth time, an English record (also 1936-37, 1957-58, 2013-14 and 2017-18).
  • Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne assisted his 20th Premier League goal of the season, a joint-record in the competition alongside Thierry Henry in 2002-03.
  • Norwich is the third team in Premier League history to lose 10 consecutive matches, after Sunderland (20 as of September 2005) and Aston Villa (11 as of April 2016).
  • This was Liverpool’s 32nd Premier League win of the season, a joint-record by any side in English top-flight history (along with Manchester City in both 2017-18 and 2018-19).
  • Sheffield United end the 2019-20 season having lost three straight Premier League games for the first time since April 2007.
  • Aston Villa’s point means they have survived relegation from the Premier League, despite failing to keep a clean sheet away from home all season – only the tenth time this has happened in a Premier League campaign.
  • In 19 games under David Moyes, West Ham recorded one more Premier League point (20) than they managed in their 19 previous games this season under Manuel Pellegrini (19).
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