Three teams looking to survive relegation, three teams competing for the Champions League – plenty to play for in the final day but who did the best on Matchday 37?
One game left as the Premier League season finally draws to a close but will only be absent for seven weeks as the League is set to resume on the 12th of September. One week left and plenty still to play for with Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Watford battling for survival on the final day, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester competing for the Champions League and both Wolves and Spurs battling to secure a guaranteed Europa League spot and the loser awaiting the result of the FA Cup final to see whether they have a chance at the Europa League if Arsenal lose to Chelsea in a week’s time. Here are the results from the penultimate matchweek of the season:
Matchday 37 Results:
Norwich vs Burnley 0-2
Bournemouth vs Southampton 0-2
Tottenham vs Leicester 3-0
Sheffield United vs Everton 0-1
Brighton vs Newcastle 0-0
Wolves vs Crystal Palace 2-0
Watford vs Manchester City 0-4
Aston Villa vs Arsenal 1-0
Manchester United vs West Ham 1-1
Liverpool vs Chelsea 5-3
Matchday 37 Grades:
Stupid red cards honestly. When a team is relegated as humbly as Norwich were, you have to play well after that for pride and one of their best players, Buendia, certainly didn’t. Perhaps he knows he is leaving in the summer, but I would be disappointed with that performance if I was Daniel Farke. Manchester City next and I think they will batter Norwich effortlessly.
Solid but not as clinical as you would have wanted. They made it difficult as they couldn’t get that second goal, but their defending was good enough to prevent Norwich from truly affecting the game. They are above Arsenal as it stands and could push for eighth place at home to Brighton who have guaranteed safety.
While this isn’t exactly a proper derby, it was a six-pointer for Bournemouth with Watford losing and Villa set to play Arsenal and Bournemouth bottled it. They had two real chances in the game and the Wilson one was brilliantly saved by McCarthy, but Southampton could have been out of sight if not for Ramsdale who did fantastically again. They need to win well on the final day and hope both Watford and Villa lose substantially and a trip to Goodison Park is not where you would expect Bournemouth to perform well enough, but they will fight to the end.
Solid win and really good attacking play. McCarthy called into action once and dealt with it expertly. Ings was brilliant bar the penalty but credit to Ramsdale who did well for that. Obafemi and Adams linked up for the settler, but Southampton had enough chances to be out of sight. Sheffield United on the final day but Southampton can only go as far as one place above should they win, and Everton drop points at home.
Harry Kane masterclass. Two brilliant finishes and great play all game from the England skipper. Looked like he was rusty at the start of the post-lockdown games and was quiet against United but has burst into form but too little too late as Spurs can only reach sixth place but this should be a boost for Jose as they have Palace next and will look to push Wolves all the way and make sure they get European football and not reliant on his former team in the FA Cup.
LEICESTER CITY 4/10
It would be a lower rating if Leicester were not missing Chilwell, Maddison, Pereira and Soyuncu. They have four key players unavailable for the rest of the season and it has clearly affected their form. Vardy broke his duck against Palace and has got a goal against Bournemouth and Sheffield United, but will it be enough as Leicester sit fifth at the moment? They have an out-of-sorts United to come and they need a win if Wolves fail to beat Chelsea. They have the attacking quality and Vardy has a good record against United, but can they get over the line. I am nervous they will turn up.
SHEFFIELD UNITED 5/10
A win would have kept them in the running for Europe, but they are out now but what a season it has been for Sheffield United. Eighth in the league, third best defence in the league and the joint fourth most clean sheets is a fantastic season after promotion. The fact that they have been playing twice a week has been affecting their performances and shows they are not there for Europe yet but you’d expect a sizeable kitty in the transfer window to improve the squad as they will be looking to keep this up.
A good win but their season is over anyway and has been for some time. They have played indifferently but you would expect that with three managers in a season. Everton have to compete for Europe next season. It’s a must. The quality of manager and the money spent on players cannot be wasted on a mid-table side. It just can’t. I’d like to see who Everton go for in the summer and how Ancelotti can change this side.
Guaranteed safety and a clean sheet alongside. A good draw you have to say, and they don’t need to worry now. Lamptey has been a steal and has done well since coming into the side. Away to Burnley next and you would expect them to be laxer now they are safe.
Winless in five and it’s clear they slacked up after they were safe but to be fair you expected more from a side that, with the potential takeover, are expecting to challenge for Europe next season. It doesn’t get easier with Liverpool next and I do expect Liverpool to be sloppy but get over the line.
A big win for Wolves as they can guarantee Europa League qualification with a win over Chelsea on Sunday. Two clinical goals with a lot of quality in their execution and barely let Palace into the game. They have the Europa League match against Olympiakos in 11 days’ time and it is poised in Wolves’ favour, but we saw what happened to Arsenal. Chelsea first though and you would expect (hope) Nuno causes problems as they want the win.
CRYSTAL PALACE 4/10
The downwards spiral continues and yes, they played well at times, Zaha mostly, but mistakes keep costing them games and Townsend gave the ball away for the first and the defending was shocking for the second. Spurs next who are hungry for the win and Palace will probably play for a draw or damage control.
Why would they sack the manager? He came in when there was no hope and drove them out of the relegation zone and got them playing well. The defending has been shocking at times and certainly he could not do much about the individual errors he had to deal with. They had City and Arsenal before he was dismissed and after he had got them great wins against United AND Liverpool, why wouldn’t they keep him in charge. Shocking decision and it showed as City were dominant and could have won 10-0 if not for Foster. I expect they will be relegated as Arsenal will turn it on at home and haven’t lost at the Emirates since late February against Olympiakos.
MANCHESTER CITY 10/10
Brilliant performance. Totally and utterly dominant. When you see how Watford have played against Liverpool and United in praying off individual errors, this could have been a dangerous game for City, but their class overwhelmed the Hornets and Sterling was the best player on the pitch. They have Norwich in their final game and will want to win so they minimise the gap to Liverpool and claim revenge on the side that shocked them earlier this season.
ASTON VILLA 9/10
A crucial win and brilliant defending from Villa. That man Trezeguet again! The team clicked and could they stay up? I said they were done but after some great performances against Palace, Everton, and Arsenal, they are out of the relegation zone! They are away to West Ham on the final day and the Hammers are safe and cannot get higher up the table with a win anyway. This is perfectly poised for Villa and they need Grealish to give his all on what could be his final game for the club and leave with his head held high.
Demonstrates they need more players and better ones. They are not a team who can play three times in seven days and get three wins. They played exceptionally against Liverpool and City but were sluggish and blunt against Villa. They can only finish as high as eighth place but have the FA Cup to challenge for too. I would expect them to win on Sunday and probably in the FA Cup too as they do turn up in this competition, but I do not expect it to be an easy game or a low scoring one!
MANCHESTER UNITED 5/10
I mean…they got to third, so it wasn’t the worst point in the world but certainly could have made the final day an easier game with a win! They need to win or draw away to Leicester to guarantee Champions League and will want to finish strong after some below-par performances of late. The team looks tired as Ole doesn’t trust his side to rotate at the moment and needs players in the summer to compete for more than just fourth place and one or two cups. United need Champions League qualification via the league to show they aren’t the same side who were predicted a 10th place finish by their own fans and demonstrate how much they have developed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have to win and have the players and the ability to do so, but will they turn up tomorrow?
WEST HAM 7.5/10
A great point for West Ham and they are now safe. Rice, Ogbonna and Johnson were brilliant all game and Antonio and Bowen did brilliantly in attack. I will talk about the penalty because it is the correct call in line with the handball rules but is also inconsistent with other decisions given this season for City and Everton but this is something that needs to be amended for next season. West Ham have turned a corner under David Moyes who could rest player against Villa but equally want to secure fifteenth place as Brighton are level on points with them and they could lose out on money if they slip.
What a game and what brilliant goals from Liverpool. Keita’s goal was sublime and while Alexander-Arnold’s freekick was fantastic, it wasn’t a foul and should have been picked up by VAR. Nevertheless, Liverpool looked like the side that Klopp had when he first took over in outscoring their opponents as the defending was tragic at times. Still, they helped out United and Leicester with the win and finally lifted the title after the game. I expect the likes of Williams, Elliott, and Jones to play against Newcastle, but I expect them to be cagey and get over the line at St James’ Park.
The reason this is a five instead of a three is because of Christian Pulisic who was brilliant. Chelsea as a whole were just terrible. Poor defending and gave possession away so many times and it is only because Liverpool were so poor defensively and Pulisic played so well that they got back into the game. And even when they got back into the game, at 4-3 they conceded to a counter-attack and the shot should have been saved by Kepa whose hands were soft and it looks like the players are done with him just like the manager. They have a difficult game against Wolves who know how to defend and counter like Liverpool did effortlessly. I think Lampard will drop Kepa and try to match Wolves in the back five but ultimately, I do back them to drop points at home.