As the 2014-15 Premier League season came to a close, all eyes were on the fight to stay up and the race for European football, as an enthralling day of football capped off an excellent season.
All 10 Premier League games kicked off at 3:00pm GMT, with much at stake for several sides going into the final games.
Hull are relegated despite a 0-0 draw with Manchester United at the KC Stadium. Hull started like a train infront of a raucous home crowd, and they saw Wayne Rooney hit the bar, and Hull have two goals disallowed in the opening 20 minutes, with Paul McShane and Dame N’Doye ruled offside despite the ball bulging the net twice in the space of two minutes. Abel Hernandez was lucky to get away with a punch on Phil Jones without being spotted, and then Marouane Fellaini was dismissed for a nasty studs-up challenge on McShane. Hull’s season-long curse of not scoring came back to hurt them here – they had 13 shots today – but in the end it didn’t matter as Newcastle’s victory sent them back down to the Championship.
Newcastle on the other hand are safe after a hard-fought 2-0 win over West Ham at St James Park. With a lot on the line for the Toon and for Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, Emmanuel Riviere missed two chances in the first half, and went in to the break 0-0. But, after 54 minutes, Moussa Sissoko leaped brilliantly to meet a corner after barging through two West Ham defenders. That sent the Toon Army into delirium, and they almost doubled their lead when Vernon Anita almost hit the away side on the counter attack. But, the miss didn’t matter as Newcastle sent Hull down in a remarkable way. Jonas Gutierrez, who has recently returned from months out with testicular cancer and had only just come on as a substitute, scored the winning goal through a heavily-deflected shot which wrong-footed Adrian in the West Ham goal.
Liverpool have missed out on the Europa League after losing 5-1 against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, on what was Steven Gerrard’s last game for Liverpool. Raheem Sterling was named on the bench after a controversial week, but he will be the least of the club’s worries after this scoreline. Stoke took the lead through Mame Biram Diouf after 20 minutes after Simon Mignolet could only weakly parry Charlie Adam’s shot. Diouf then made things worse for Gerrard and Liverpool as he lashed home Marko Arnautovic’s cross. Jonathan Walters then shot in a third after half an hour, with Emre Can again seeming the weak link in the Reds defence. Incredibly, the Potters went 4-0 up when Martin Skrtel backed off, allowing Adam to smash home from 15 yards. But, they weren’t finished – they went 5-0 up through Steven Nzonzi – Gerrard had never previously lost a Premier League game by more than four goals, but Nzonzi hit a curling effort to complete an incredible first half. Gerrard however was given applause from all sections of the ground when he flicked on Rickie Lambert’s cross. Peter Crouch then reinstated the five goal lead after he headed past Mignolet – it’s Liverpool’s heaviest defeat since 1954.
Tottenham have taken Liverpool’s place in the Europa League as they overcame Everton 0-1 at Goodison Park. Harry Kane put Spurs ahead, moving smartly to meet Eric Dier’s excellent cross with a stooping header. It’s his 31st goal of the season, a club record. This loss, though, combined with Crystal Palace’s win, leaves Everton out of the top ten for the first time since in 2006.
Southampton didn’t achieve the slim dream of qualifying for Europe as they lost 2-0 against Manchester City at the Etihad. Frank Lampard, who had been the subject of banners of praise from Southampton fans, scored in his last Premier League game after he buried James Milner’s cutback. Shane Long struck straight at Joe Hart, and Golden Boot winner Sergio Aguero was denied brilliantly on four occasions by Saints keeper Kelvin Davis. But, Aguero soon got on the scoresheet, after he scrambled in Jesus Navas’ parried shot.
Aston Villa lost their final game of the season 0-1 against already relegated Burnley at Villa Park, with all eyes now turning to the FA Cup Final on May 30th. Danny Ings, whose future is still uncertain, opened the scoring after just six minutes, powering a header past debutant keeper Jed Steer. Villa fans were disgruntled throughout in what was a poor performance, but the chant of ‘Ce sera sera’ was what will be on the words of the Villains fans, whilst Burnley end their season on a high as they prepare for the Championship.
Crystal Palace ended their season a good note as they won 1-0 against Swansea at Selhurst Park. After a somewhat drab first half, Marouane Chamakh grabbed his fourth of the season as he controlled a Scott Dann knock down, and scored from eight yards out, following Jason Puncheon’s delivery. In what was a much quieter game compared to others around the country, the Swans offered little in response as Palace finish the season with a record points tally.
Leicester completed their remarkable end-of-season turnaround after beating already-relegated QPR 5-1. With every Leicester fan allowed a free beer before the game at the King Power Stadium, the electric atmosphere was improved when Jamie Vardy tapped in after 16 minutes, celebrating his England call up with his fifth goal of the season. Marc Albrighton then doubled the home side’s lead just after half an hour, smashing home from 20 yards. Leonardo Ulloa then deflected in Wes Morgan’s header five minutes after half time from close range. Seconds later, Esteban Cambiasso then scored to truly put gloss on the scoreline, but Charlie Austin then joined Vardy in celebrating an England call up. The former Burnley man scored his 18th goal of the season when he rose very well to meet Joey Barton’s cross. However, Andre Krameric soon added a fifth goal to cap off an incredible season.
Arsenal, who had already secured second-place, overcame West Brom at the Emirates Stadium. With most in North London focusing on the FA Cup Final next weekend, Theo Walcott was named a surprise starter in place of Olivier Giroud. And, Walcott repaid the faith shown in him after over a year out through injury by scoring after just four minutes, following some excellent passing from the home side. Walcott then scored again just 10 minutes later, poking in from 12 yards after more good passing from Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere. The latter then scored a cracker with 17 minutes gone, half-volleying the ball in from 22 yards out. Walcott completed his hattrick after36 minutes after he bundled in Santi Carzola’s far-post ball. Gareth McAuley pulled one back for the Baggies as he beat David Ospina to a corner, but it mattered little. Aaron Ramsey smacked the post late on as his effort was excellently pushed onto the woodwork by Boaz Myhill, but it meant nothing as Arsenal closed out a strong performance.