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blog details: No one at the beginning of the season could have predicted the top 4 of the league accurately. And staying true to its nature, the last day of the league pitched in with its own helping of last-minute hits, misses and gaffes as the Premier League drew to a close. A sight to behold was that of a triumphant Claudio Ranieri walking onto the pitch to receive the guard of honour from former club Chelsea that he had left quite unceremoniously. Leicester’s last fixture of the season at Stamford Bridge though, turned out to be the usual display of grit and gumption that have resulted in the Foxes sitting 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal at the end of this season, giving Leicester its first Premier League triumph and a story that is sure to find a place on the silver screen soon enough. The match ended 1-1 with Chelsea unable to hold on to an early advantage when Cesc Fabregas converted a penalty, with Danny Drinkwater scoring spectacularly from 30 yards to equalize.
West Ham United’s hope to see European Competition next season were dashed as the Hammers went down 2-1 to Stoke City even after taking the lead early on through a Michail Antonio header. Hosts Stoke City though, equalized 10 minutes into the second half as midfielder Giannelli Imbula fired home at the Brittannia Stadium. Heartbreak ensued for Slaven Bilic and his men as Biram Diouf came off the bench to score for Stoke with only 2 minutes left on the clock. They will now hope Manchester United win their FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, which would mean they automatically qualify for Europa League and West Ham go through to Europe despite having finished 7th in the League.
A full-strength Southampton side found the net 4 times and conceded a goal against Crystal Palace on the final day to take the Saints to the 6th position in the League and ensure a spot in the Europa League next season. While Alan Pardew rested key players for the summit clash against Manchester United, Coach Ronald Koemans came out all guns blazing for the Saints. Sadio Mane opened the scoring for the Saints to set the tone for the encounter. Coach Koeman then made his intention clear of securing the final European spot when he brought on striker Graziano Pelle, who dutifully doubled the Saints’ lead in the next 16 minutes when winger Cuco Martina swung in a cross from the right wing which Pelle headed in past Palce keeper Speroni. This ensured that fans at St. Mary’s would definitely get to witness European football at the ground next season and an improved finish from the last season.
It’s been the season of a lifetime for football fans and it was sheer delight to see underdogs finish above the classical Big 4 teams. The summer transfer window will now heat up with each team looking to bolster their chances in Europe and at home. Several teams have bid goodbye to their managers and players while others have begun an association that one can only hope turns out to be a long and fruitful one. Fans will not be disappointed.
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keywords: Westham United, Premier League, Football
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