This weekend saw the last round of Premier League matches, and despite there being precious little to play for most teams, there were still some scintillating encounters and downright crazy results. With United having already won the title and Wigan, QPR and Reading already heading for the Championship, the two teams who still had something to play for were the two North London clubs, Tottenham and Arsenal – who were both fighting for 4th spot and a chance to play Champions League football next season – and Chelsea who were looking to secure 3rd and automatic Champions League qualification. Read on for a review of the final weekend in this season’s Premier League calendar:
Chelsea 2 – 1 Everton
David Moyes brought the curtain down on an 11-year reign at Everton with a hard-fought loss at the hands of a Chelsea side who have been in fantastic form in the last couple of months. Mata and Naismith traded blows in the first half, and the game appeared to be heading for a draw, but that man Fernando Torres popped up to score his first league goal in 2013 and win the game for the Londoners. Rafa Benitez has also confirmed that he is departing for pastures new this summer, and he is leaving the club in a very healthy state – this win cementing 3rd place for Chelsea.
Liverpool 1 – 0 QPR
As expected, a relegated QPR side shorn of confidence didn’t have what it takes to see off a Liverpool side who have rapidly improved in the last few games of the season. Philippe Coutinho grabbed the only goal for the Reds, and moving forward, Brendan Rodgers will be excited about the potential in his squad for next season.
Man City 2 – 3 Norwich
Two goals from Jack Rodwell weren’t enough to prevent a rudderless Man City from going down at home to Norwich. Goals from Pilkington, Holt and Howson meant that Norwich took the 3 points, and will be hoping to take the confidence gained from this result into next season. The Citizens really need to get a new manager fast, as they will need to improve rapidly in the summer in order to compete with Man Utd and Chelsea next season.
Newcastle 0 – 1 Arsenal
Following Newcastle’s safety being confirmed last weekend, Alan Pardew remarked that he wouldn’t be concerned if the Magpies lost 4-0 against Arsenal. Given that Spurs were depending on Newcastle to be able to get a result against the Gunners, many were understandably upset about Pardew’s perceived nonchalance regarding victory, and following an apology from Pardew, Newcastle made themselves very difficult to beat. Eventually Arsenal found a way through with Laurent Koscielny and the narrow win ensures that it is Arsenal rather than Spurs who qualify for the Champions League.
Southampton 1 – 1 Stoke
Michael Owen retired from top-flight football in a good game at St Marys. Peter Crouch opened the scoring for the Potters before Rickie Lambert equalized to help his side to share the spoils. Both sides will now look to strengthen in the summer as both sides were very close to the relegation zone.
Swansea 0 – 3 Fulham
The Swans were torn apart by Fulham, with goals from Kacaniklic, Berbatov and Emanuelson condemning Swansea to another defeat. This win is great news for Martin Jol; who doesn’t seem to have fitted in quite as well as he should do at Fulham.
Tottenham 1 – 0 Sunderland
A typical Gareth Bale last minute goal wasn’t enough to secure Champions League football for his side, and consequently Spurs will again be playing in the Europa League next season. Whether they will be able to keep Bale now that they are unable to offer him Champions League football remains to be seen, but everyone at Tottenham adores the Welshman, and there would certainly be a lot of resistance if it were suggested that he could be sold.
West Brom 5 – 5 Man Utd
The Baggies and the Red Devils got 5 apiece as they both participated in a fantastic advert for the game at the Hawthorns. This was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever game, and given Fergie’s penchant for attacking football this was right up his street. Morrison and Mulumbu both got one goal each for West Brom to go with Romelu Lukaku scoring a marvellous hat-trick, while Kagawa, Buttner, Van Persie and Hernandez all got on the score sheet with Olsson scoring an unfortunate own goal for the home side to further add to the West Brom woes. Ferguson now heads upstairs at Old Trafford, and David Moyes comes in. No pressure Moyesy.
West Ham 4 – 2 Reading
Kevin Nolan struck a brilliant hat trick as the Hammers beat the Royals 4-2 at Upton Park. Ricardo Vas Te added another for the claret and blue, while McCleary and Le Fondre got the goals for Reading. Reading face a very difficult challenge to bounce straight back up from the Championship, and on the strength of their showing this afternoon and during most of the season, they will struggle to make a real impact in the 2nd tier.
Wigan 2 – 2 Aston Villa
Wigan were playing for pride after being decimated by Arsenal midweek, and did a good job of restoring some of that pride before they head to the Championship for next season. Darren Bent scored after only 5 minutes to grab the initiative for the Villains before Wigan equalised through Emmerson Boyce and then took the lead through a Nathan Baker own goal. Ron Vlaar levelled things up for Villa and that’s how the game stayed. It’s now crucial that both sides reinvest, Wigan to get them back up and Villa to stop them heading straight down.