The 2012/13 English Premier League season concluded on Sunday night, with the final fixtures following the tradition of all being played at the same time. While there was not a repetition of last year’s final day heroics, there were still some surprising results and sumptuous goals to round out the season.
With Manchester United having already been crowned Champions and Wigan, Reading and QPR already relegated, all eyes were on the final make-up of the top-four. London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham were battling for the final Champions League place. Chelsea also needed to win to guarantee automatic qualification for the lucrative European competition next season.
As it turned out all three teams won their respective games by a decisive goal, meaning the final standings finished unchanged. Chelsea secured their third place and Arsenal claimed the vital fourth place finish, ensuring they would be playing with Europe’s elite for a 16th consecutive season. Despite another spectacular winner from Welsh winger Gareth Bale, Tottenham were forced to settle for fifth and a spot in the Europa competition next season.
Sir Alex Ferguson was taking charge of Manchester United for the 1,500th and final time, as his side travelled to the Hawthorns. The Red Devils and West Brom playing out a remarkable 5-5 draw before the 71-year-old Scotsman headed off into retirement. Ferguson saluted the United fans at the final whistle, describing the events of his final day in charge as “very emotional.”
Elsewhere, Everton finished above their Merseyside rivals Liverpool for the second-consecutive season, as the sides finished sixth and seventh respectively. It was David Moyes’ final game in charge of Everton after an eleven year reign, as he now prepares to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
At the other end of the table Newcastle finished above north-east rivals Sunderland, with both teams just managing to stave off relegation. Fulham ended their losing streak with a surprise win over League Cup Champions Swansea and a hat-trick from Kevin Nolan led West Ham to a 4-2 win over Reading.
The biggest losers of the day were Manchester City, who succumbed to a poor home defeat against Norwich, following the sacking of manager Roberto Mancini. Despite a second place finish in the League, the Italian paid the price for a trophy-less season with a side that now has high expectations. He is set to be replaced by Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini in the English summer.
Overall it’s been another fantastic season of football in the EPL and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed televising as many matches as possible at SSC. The transfer window will now no doubt click into gear and we only have to wait until August before it all starts again!