Chelsea Confirm Title While Relegation Places Finalised
Chelsea were confirmed as Premier League champions on Friday night as they beat West Bromwich Albion thanks to a single goal from Michy Batshuayi. The Blues were given the opportunity to secure the title with three points against the Baggies because Tottenham Hotspur lost at West Ham United the week before.
Antonio Conte’s side then extended their lead at the summit to ten points with a thrilling 4-3 victory against Watford on Monday night. John Terry was at the centre of the action in the first half in his what could be his penultimate Chelsea appearance, putting his side in front before gifting an equaliser to Etienne Capoue. Cesar Azpilicueta restored their lead shortly before half-time. Batshuayi grabbed his second in as many games shortly after the break before a remarkable turn of events saw the Hornets equalise through strikes from Daryl Janmaat and Stefano Okako. However, as has been the case for much of the season, Chelsea had the final say when Cesc Fabregas netted with just two minutes remaining.
Tottenham will definitely be runners-up this season and now mathematically cannot slip up, like they did last season, after a 2-1 win against Manchester United – the final game at White Hart Lane before the site’s redevelopment into a 61,000 seat arena. Victor Wanyama opened the scoring, heading in Ben Davies’ cross, before Harry Kane’s deft flick doubled the hosts’ lead. Wayne Rooney tapped home via a deflection from Jan Vertonghen to score the stadium’s final goal. Spurs are now five points above third placed Manchester City with a game in hand. A draw for United at home to Southampton ended any slim hopes they had of finishing in the top five so focus will clearly be on the Europa League final.
Manchester City’s two victories in a week lifted them above Liverpool, who need to win their final game against Middlesbrough to be sure of Champions League football next season. Pep Guardiola’s side defeated Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday before beating West Brom 3-1 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Reds demolished West Ham United 4-0 but are now two points behind the Citizens.
A resurgent Arsenal could benefit from any Liverpool slip up and claim an unlikely Champions League spot, but they must beat Everton on the final day. The Gunners were another of the six teams to play twice this match week, first beating Stoke City 4-1 before a 2-0 victory against Sunderland moved them to within a point of Liverpool.
At the other end of the table, Hull City reluctantly claimed the final relegation spot after a 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. The Tigers will join Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Championship next season after goals from Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, Luka Milivojevic and Patrick van Aanholt sealed their fate.
The Palace result kept both the Eagles and Swansea City safe after the Swans had given their survival hopes a boost thanks to a 2-0 victory against Sunderland. In form Fernando Llorente and full back Kyle Naughton scored as Paul Clement’s seemingly impossible mission to keep the Welsh side in the division was accomplished.
Already relegated Middlesbrough were the subject of yet another defeat on Saturday, this time a 2-1 reverse against Southampton. Goals from Jay Rodriguez and Nathan Redmond gave the saints a two goal lead, before Patrick Bamford netted a consolation with a little over fifteen minutes to go. It was Bamford’s first ever goal in the Premier League, a remarkable feat for a player who has already been registered to five different top flight clubs in his career.
The excellent form of Josh King continued as he netted the winner in Bournemouth’s 2-1 win against Burnley. The Norwegian scored five minutes from time, just two minutes after Sam Vokes had cancelled out Junior Stanislas’ first half goal.
In the final game of the week, Spurs thrashed outgoing champions Leicester City 6-1 thanks to four goals from Harry Kane and two from Son Heung-min. Full back Ben Chilwell scored the consolation for the disappointing hosts.