Football News

Man City four-peat, Mateta’s masterclass plus other things you might have missed from the Premier League’s final day

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:25, 19 May 2024

Today marks the final day of another thrilling Premier League season.

Heading into matchday 38, certain things were unanswered, most notably the identity of the champions.

Not only were the champions crowned, but we also found out who received the remaining statistical awards. Additionally, we bid farewell to a legendary manager and learned which teams will join Sheffield United and Burnley in the Championship.

With all ten fixtures being played, it’s only natural if you miss an important or memorable event. But don’t worry – Squawka is here with things you might have missed from this last round of games.

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Long to reign over us

The last three times Manchester City needed to win on the final day, they had to come from behind. However, today was different as Phil Foden, voted the Premier League’s best player earlier this week, only needed 79 seconds to put Pep Guardiola’s men in front. Not long after, he breached Alphonse Areola’s again.

Foden has now scored 14 goals in his last 14 Premier League appearances. Furthermore, six of his strikes have come from outside the box this season, three more than any other player and the most a Man City player has ever netted in a single PL season.

The six-time Premier League winner ends with 19 goals this season, eight more than he’s ever netted in a campaign previously. Among Englishmen, only Raheem Sterling in 2019-29 (20) has ever scored more goals in a Premier League season.

Mohammed Kudus pulled one back, angering Guardiola before ‘Mr Dependable’ Rodri restored City’s two-goal cushion. He’s scored eight Premier League goals this season, his most ever in a single campaign.

City saw it out and became the first team in the history of the English top-flight to win four titles in a row. It was Pep Guardiola’s sixth title overall, and only Sir Alex Ferguson has ever won more titles in England’s top division (13).

Haaland II

The 2023-24 Golden Glove, awarded to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets, has already been claimed by David Raya. His nearest rival, Jordan Pickford, finished three behind his tally of 16. Both missed out on another clean sheet as they conceded in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Everton today.

The equally coveted Golden Boot, though, was technically up for grabs. Erling Haaland entered this weekend five goals clear of nearest rival Cole Palmer. Both had favourable last-day fixtures, but neither troubled the scorers.

So, the Norwegian machine becomes the first player to win the award outright in back-to-back seasons since England captain Harry Kane achieved the feat in 2015-16 and 2016-17 while at Tottenham.

Race for Europe

Aston Villa, finishing fourth, will join Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool in next season’s Champions League, which will have a new expanded format. Meanwhile, Tottenham, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Manchester United came into today’s final round competing for spots in the Europa League and Europa Conference League. The team which finishes fifth will play in the former.

Playing at relegated Sheffield United, Spurs started the day in fifth place with 63 points. However, they have struggled recently, losing five of their last six games, which has cost them a spot in the Champions League. Chelsea, who were in sixth place with 60 points, played at home against mid-table Bournemouth.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team started the day in a position to enter the play-off round of the Conference League but still has a chance to secure a place in the Europa League. They not only have a better goal difference than Tottenham Hotspur but also enter the final day after four consecutive wins.

Chelsea made five wins on the bounce, but it wasn’t enough to usurp Ange Postecoglou’s, who claimed a 3-0 success at Bramall Lane. The Blues claimed a sixth-place finish, which is an incredible achievement given where they were earlier this season.

If Manchester City defeats Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 25 May, finishing sixth will also be enough to qualify for the Europa League. Newcastle, who claimed fourth last term, ended seventh, while Manchester United finished one below, their worst placement in over three decades.

Goodbye Hatters

The math couldn’t be more simple. Luton would be relegated if there were a 12-goal swing between themselves and Nottingham Forest. It’s been a valiant debut campaign in the big time. The Hatters have scored 52 Premier League goals this season after today’s 2-4 loss against Fulham. In a 20-team campaign, only Blackpool (55 in 2010-11) have scored more in a season they were demoted.

“We love you, Luton, we do,” chanted the home fans as the final whistle blew on Luton’s first season in the Premier League. It’s been a solid effort, but Luton will play in England’s second tier next season. They wanted to end the season with a win, but it wouldn’t be. The fans don’t mind. They appreciate what this team has done.

An emotional farewell

“People call it the last dance, so let’s dance!”

Jurgen Klopp was visibly emotional in his final match as Liverpool’s manager, experiencing mixed feelings. The atmosphere at Anfield was charged with emotion, creating a sense of occasion. Despite this, Liverpool performed impressively, securing a comfortable victory against Wolves.

Notable goals were scored by Alexis Mac Allister, one of Klopp’s last signings, who opened the scoring, and academy graduate Jarell Quansah, who doubled their lead. The match swung further in Liverpool’s favour when Nélson Semedo was shown a red card before the half-hour mark.

Klopp became the first permanent Liverpool manager to win his final game in charge of the club in all competitions since Matt McQueen in February 1928 (3-2 v Derby County).

Overshadowing the new assist king

In a remarkable achievement, Ollie Watkins, who delivered an outstanding performance in front of goal for Aston Villa, has clinched the prestigious Premier League Playmaker of the Season award. This accolade sees him dethrone the three-time winner, Kevin De Bruyne. Watkins’ impressive tally of 13 goals created, however, marks the joint lowest number of goals created by a recipient since the award’s inception in the 2017/18 season.

Watkins, though, couldn’t add to his tally heading into this weekend’s game. A marksman in form overshadowed him. Jean-Philippe Mateta bagged a hat trick. He’s scored in his last seven home Premier League appearances for Crystal Palace, netting eleven goals. Thierry Henry is the only Frenchman to score in seven home Premier League appearances, doing so for Arsenal between May and October 2004.

Mateta’s hat-trick was the 14th to be scored on the final day of a Premier League season and the first since Harry Kane’s treble for Tottenham against Hull in 2016-17. Meanwhile, it was the first hat-trick to be scored by a Palace player at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.

Palace ran out 5-0 winners, meaning they’ve won five of their last seven Premier League games (one draw), more than they had in their previous 27 games (eight draws and 14 losses). They’ve beaten Manchester United 4-0 and Wolves 3-1 in their last two games – until today, they’ve never won three in a row while scoring 3+ goals each time in the top flight.