Manchester City Defend Title as Leeds, Leicester, Southampton Relegated

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Brentford 1-0 Manchester City

A late goal from Ethan Pinnock earned Brentford a 1-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City in their final game of the season on Sunday but they were unable to secure a Europa Conference League berth after finishing ninth.

Pinnock lashed home from close range with five minutes remaining after being set up by Bryan Mbeumo as Brentford finally found a deserved breakthrough against a much-changed City side, who lacked their usual intensity.

City striker Erling Haaland remained on the bench while Kevin De Bruyne was left out and Pep Guardiola’s side could not muster clear chances for most of the game, but could have snatched a draw in stoppage time.

Cole Palmer had two efforts blocked by Pinnock in the closing stages before another was cleared off the line by Ben Mee as Brentford became the only team to beat the champions home and away this season.

Manchester United 2-1 Fulham

Erik ten Hag secured a third-place finish in his first season at Manchester United after a 2-1 win against Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Dutch coach has already led United to triumph in the League Cup and could add to that when his side faces Manchester City in the FA Cup final next week.

His team made sure the league campaign ended on a high note with Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes securing victory after Kenny Tete fired Fulham ahead at Old Trafford.

Champions League qualification had already been assured after Thursday’s 4-1 win against Chelsea, but United needed another victory to be certain of finishing above Newcastle.

Tete opened the scoring in the 19th minute and Fulham could have extended its lead in the 26th, but David de Gea denied Aleksandar Mitrovic from the penalty spot.

Sancho evened the score in the 39th after prodding home after Tete challenged Fred in the box.

United took the lead in the 55th through Fernandes, who ran beyond the Fulham defense and clipped a shot over Bernd Leno.

The win was a club record-equaling 27th for United at Old Trafford in all competitions this season and keeps the momentum up heading into the FA Cup final when Ten Hag will hope to add more shine to his debut season.

Southampton 4-4 Liverpool

Roberto Firmino marked his final Liverpool game with a goal in a barnstorming 4-4 Premier League thriller at relegated Southampton on Sunday.

The Brazilian struck to put Liverpool 2-0 ahead in the 14th minute after Diogo Jota fired in the visitors’ opener.

But Southampton produced an extraordinary comeback with James Ward-Prowse and Kamaldeen Sulemana levelling up for the hosts before the interval.

Sulemana scored again early in the second half after a storming run and finish and Adam Armstrong capitalised on a mistake to make it 4-2.

Liverpool, who will have to settle for Europa League football next season after finishing fifth, roused themselves though and scored twice in a minute with Cody Gakpo touching in from close range and Jota slamming home his second goal of the match.

Aston Villa 2-1 Brighton

Aston Villa ended its 13-year European exile after a nervy 2-1 win over Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

First-half strikes from Douglas Luiz and Ollie Watkins ensured Villa finished the season in seventh place.

Villa secured its highest Premier League finish for 13 years, and with it a route into the Europa Conference League. Seventh represents a triumph for Villa manager Unai Emery, having taken over a relegation-threatened side in October following Steven Gerrard’s dismissal.

Deniz Undav pulled one goal back — having also had a goal disallowed for offside — but the Seagulls were unable to find a leveller.

Brighton, in the third tier 12 years ago, are heading to Europe for the first time following its impressive season. Brighton had already sealed sixth and a Europa League place so all eyes were on the hosts.

Leicester 2-1 West Ham

Leicester City was relegated from the Premier League on Sunday despite ending the season with a 2-1 win against West Ham.

Everton’s 1-0 victory against Bournemouth at Goodison Park meant there was nothing the 2016 league champion could do to avoid the drop.

Dean Smith’s side had sparked hope it could mount a dramatic survival bid after Harvey Barnes struck in the 34th minute.

With Everton drawing 0-0 at the time, Leicester temporarily climbed out of the bottom three on goal difference, prompting wild celebrations inside the King Power.

But when news began to filter through that Abdoulaye Doucoure had put Everton ahead in the second half, the energy was sucked out of the stadium.

Wout Faes headed in a second for the home team in the 62nd, but Leicester’s fortunes were dependent on what was happening on Merseyside.

By the time Pablo Fornals pulled one back for West Ham in the 79th, it mattered little on the day or for the season overall.

On a day of high drama, Leicester fans were tormented by rumours that Bournemouth had scored, sparking ripples of celebrations before reality hit.

Starting the day in the relegation zone, Leicester knew it had to win to stand any chance of survival – and even then, needed Everton to drop points.

A superior goal difference to the Merseyside club meant a victory would see it stay up even if Everton drew.

After some nervous moments early on, Leicester grew in confidence and began to find space behind West Ham’s defence. Kelechi Iheanacho came close to opening the scoring with a spinning shot that clipped the top of the crossbar.

It was a moment that prompted the stadium to erupt as the fans tried to urge their team on.

It had the desired effect when Barnes found the back of the net after a slick passing move inside the box. Collecting Iheanacho’s pass on the left of the area, Barnes slid his shot past Lukasz Fabianski from a tight angle.

Leicester went in search of a quick-fire second with Iheanacho and James Maddison both coming close.

There was another roar from inside the ground, which appeared to be the result of erroneous information that Everton had conceded.

In the 57th there was more information from Goodison and on this occasion it was accurate.

Doucoure had scored, prompting visiting West Ham fans to chant “You’re going down.”

It could have been worse for Leicester but Said Benrahma struck the post for West Ham.

Everton 1-0 Bournemouth

Everton staged another last-day escape in the Premier League to extend its 69-year stay in England’s top division as Leicester and Leeds were relegated on Sunday.

Abdoulaye Doucouré smashed home a 57th-minute goal to earn Everton a 1-0 win over Bournemouth that was enough to keep the team two points above Leicester, whose 2-1 victory against West Ham was in vain.

Leicester is relegated seven years after winning the Premier League at preseason odds of 5,000-1 in one of the sport’s great underdog stories.

Leeds lost 4-1 to Tottenham and also went down after three years in the league.

Everton, which has been in the top division since 1954, survived on the final day of the season in both 1994 and 1998.

Relegation was the main focus on Sunday with the title having already been clinched by Manchester City and the four qualifiers for next season’s Champions League already decided.

ARSENAL 5-0 Wolves

If this was Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal farewell, he made it one to remember.

In his 297th and probably last game for the club, Xhaka scored two goals for the first time as the Premier League runners-up finished the season with a 5-0 win over Wolverhampton on Sunday.

Xhaka headed in a cross from Gabriel Jesus in the 11th minute and doubled the lead three minutes later after the ball fell to him in the center of the box following a failed clearance.

The Switzerland midfielder, who has been linked with a move to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, was taken off to a standing ovation in the 75th minute and hugged his teammates as he left the pitch.

Arsenal had lost its previous two games to hand the league title to Manchester City but faced little resistance from a Wolves side with nothing to play for.

Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 in the 27th with a neat curled finish inside the far post and Jesus headed in the fourth in the 58th after a cross from Leandro Trossard.

Defender Jakub Kiwior then rounded off the win by scoring his first Arsenal goal with a shot that Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa spilled into the net.

Leeds 1-4 Tottenham

Leeds United were relegated from the Premier League after being thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road in the season finale on Sunday as Harry Kane scored twice for the visitors.

Leeds had to win and hope other results went their way but they caved in against a sprightly Spurs side and head back to the Championship after three seasons in the top flight.

Pedro Porro and Lucas Moura also scored for Tottenham, who finished eighth, narrowly missing out on a place in the UEFA Conference League. Jack Harrison got a consolation for Leeds.

Kane silenced the home fans in the second minute when Spurs worked the ball down the right and into the area with Son Heung-Min finding the England striker unmarked just outside the six-yard box and he made no mistake.

The second half had barely kicked off before Kane cleverly chipped the ball to himself over a defender to tee up Porro who was lurking unmarked at the corner of the box to lash home from a tight angle.

Harrison pulled one back to inject some life into the crowd in the 67th minute, but Kane restored Tottenham’s two-goal cushion two minutes later.

Moura, playing his last game for Spurs, added the fourth deep into added time after carrying the ball nearly half the length of the pitch around several defenders.

Leeds’ defeat ends a roller-coaster season under four different managers with just two victories on the road.

Allardyce was brought into the club in early May to right the ship but picked up just one point in four games.

Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle

Anthony Gordon’s first goal for Champions League-bound Newcastle United earned them a final Premier League point in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday to ensure the home side’s chaotic season ended with a whimper.

It took only nine minutes for Gordon to strike, poking home a cross from Allan Saint-Maximin with the Chelsea defence in disarray.

Chelsea, whose 12-place finish is their worst since 1994, levelled in the 27th minute when Kieran Trippier became entangled in Raheem Sterling’s awkward low shot and the ball bounced off his arm into his own net.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle finished the season in fourth place while Chelsea say farewell to interim coach Frank Lampard, their third manager of the season, who earned only one win in his 11 games in charge.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Crystal Palace came back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest in both sides’ final games of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Will Hughes equalised midway through the second half at Selhurst Park after Taiwo Awoniyi had maintained his rich vein of scoring form by putting the visitors ahead in the 31st minute.

Palace finished the season in 11th place, sparking speculation that 75-year-old caretaker manager Roy Hodgson might be asked to stay for the next campaign.

Forest, who spent more of the season in the relegation places than out of them, finished 16th in the standings with 38 points, but with only eight of them garnered away from home.

Awoniyi ran onto Morgan Gibbs-White’s searching pass to finish with a powerful left-foot shot, after it initially looked as though the chance had gone as the defence caught up with him.

It was his sixth goal in his last four games, which contributed heavily to his club avoiding a last-day battle against relegation.

Palace had several half chances before the goal, the best falling to Eberechi Eze whose 30th-minute effort was goal bound but hit his team mate Jordan Ayew centimetres from the goal line in a fortuitous let off for the visitors.

Relentless second-half pressure ensured an equaliser as Hughes scored his first league goal for Palace with a glancing header from Michael Olise’s cross. It was helped past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey off the back of defender Willy Boly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)

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