Plenty was at stake for teams in the final day of the Premier League season. Chelsea needed a point to guarantee a Champion’s League spot, Manchester United and Leicester City duked it out for the other spot simultaneously, while Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth played with the threat of relegation over their heads. The result was a drama-filled final day.
Let’s start with Chelsea since they had the least amount of drama of the teams at the top or bottom of the table. Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea boss has proven a success, despite the transfer ban his side has suffered from throughout the season.
The Blues began with an attacking 3-4-3 formation to match Wolves and looked more dangerous. Lampard’s tactics paid off in stoppage time before halftime. Mason Mount scored from a direct free-kick, then Olivier Giroud veered around Rui Patrício for the simple second in the span of two minutes.
Similarly to Chelsea, Manchester United needed a point to guarantee Champion’s League action next season. The winner didn’t come until the 70th minute. A controversial penalty was beautifully taken by Bruno Fernandes. Jesse Lingard stole the ball from Kasper Schmeichel to double the lead.
United finish third, ahead of Chelsea on goal difference.
At the bottom of the table, Watford needed a result against Arsenal to stay up. After 33 minutes, all looked lost as the Gunners had a 3-0 lead. Watford didn’t drop in intensity. Goals from Troy Deeney—43rd minute—and Danny Welbeck—66th minute—made the final 25 minutes full of drama.
Deeney had the chance to equalize in stoppage time but headed wide to the right side of the goal. Watford’s fate was sealed. They will play in the English League Championship next season.
Bournemouth came into the final day needing favors from multiple sides to survive. The first step was to beat Everton before worrying about other results. They did just that. Joshua King scored in the 13th minute to give the side the lead.
Moise Kean equalized in the 41st minute, but the score didn’t stay level for long. Dominic Solanke scored in the opening minute of added time and Junior Stanislas later scored the third in the 80th minute.
With Watford’s impending defeat, the attention shifted to Aston Villa. It was hard to separate Villa from West Ham. Villa needed a draw to survive the relegation fight and looked likely to earn that point. Jack Grealish sent shockwaves through the league with an 84th-minute goal.
It was needed.
Andriy Yarmolenko equalized in the 85th minute to bring Villa fans closer to a nervous breakdown. That would not be necessary as Villa held on to draw 1-1 and survive in the clubs first season back in the Premier League.
Bournemouth is relegated by one point, and the club had the better goal difference in comparison to Villa.