The EPL's Final Matchday - Arsenal miss Champions League

Published Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:51 AM by Shane Barrow

Despite the title having been decided a couple weeks back, there was still drama on the final matchday of the 2016-2017 English Premier League season. Chelsea had locked down the title while Tottenham were safely tucked away in 2nd place.  The drama was the fight for 3rd and 4th positions and the final two Champions League berths. Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal were alive and one would miss out.

Manchester City started the day in 3rd and faced a trip to Watford where they found a side clearly indifferent and ready for the summer vacation waiting at Vicerage Road.  It was all one way traffic as City ran out to a 4-0 halftime lead en route to a 5-0 massacre of poor Watford. The easy victory secures Manchester City in 3rd place for the season.

That left the fight for 4th and the final Champions League ticket between Arsenal and Liverpool.  Arsenal had to win at home against 7th placed Everton, but an early red card left the match in doubt.  Fears were eased though as The Gunners ran out to a 2-0 halftime lead despite playing a man down.  The lead put pressure on Liverpool who responded in kind taking charge against relegated Middlesborogh.  

All the drama was basically over as the games hit the hour mark. Both Manchester City and Liverpool were comfortably ahead and cruising to victory.  Arsenal needed one of them to slip and that simply was not in the cards today.  The Gunners were able to see out playing most of the match with ten men beating Everton 3-1 on the sunny London afternoon.

So Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool grab the four Champions League berths. Manchester United can claim a 5th Champions League place for England if they win the Europa League Final against Ajax coming up. Arsenal miss out finishing 5th and face a summer of uncertainty.  Longtime coach Arsene Wenger is most likely on his way out. Star attacker Alexis Sanchez is clearly unsettled and most likely on the move too. An amazing run of twenty consecutive top four finishes are broken as Arsenal head for the Europa League next year.

Another great English Premier League season comes to a close. It's always bittersweet for me.  At least we still have the Champions League Final, Europa Final, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup and World Cup qualifiers to keep us busy until the new season begins in August!