The season of the Premier League, which yesterday received as a new member the humble Luton Town, came to an end this Sunday, with the title decided but with a hard battle for the last places for the European cups – Aston Villa, of Dibu Martínez, got into the Conference League – and for the permanence, in which Everton survived a campaign to oblivion and condemned the descent to Leeds – already far from the glory days of Marcelo Bielsa- and Leicester, who return to the Championship just seven years after being consecrated king of England.
Everton managed to maintain their First Division status thanks to a solitary goal from Malian Abdoulaye Doucouré, who with a powerful shot from the crescent before the quarter of an hour of the complement put Goodison Park on its feet. It was 1-0 over Bournemouth, who had Marcos Senesi, former San Lorenzo, on the pitch.
Attentive to what was happening on the blue side of Liverpool was Leicester (18th), who despite winning 2-1 at West Ham (14th) could not avoid relegation. Seven years ago, at this same time, a Claudio Ranieri on the verge of tears enjoyed in the King Power Stadium of the Nessun Dorma" by Andrea Bocelli. Leicester, in those days, had just won the most impossible Premier League in history and music was the reflection of their success. Now, that same Leicester, in spirit, not in players, goes to the Championship, to the well, to the Second Division.
The Foxes join Blackburn Rovers in the dubious honour of being the only relegated Premier League champions and tragically complete a journey that saw them win a league, play in a Champions League quarter-final, be in Europe and win an FA Cup.
Neither could Leeds, who closed a disappointing season losing in their stadium 4-1 against Tottenham (8th), with a double from Harry Kane. Bielsa's latest masterpiece vanished amid poor decisions and worse results for the Yorkshire side team that had been reborn under the wing of a wise Bielsa, long ago sacked.
This victory, however, did not help Spurs qualify for the Conference League, and it will be Unai Emery's Aston Villa (7th) who compete next season in the third European competition, thanks to the 2-1 victory against Brighton (6th). Dibu Martinez started for the Villains, who had 22 minutes from Emiliano Buendía. On the other side, Alexis MacAllister and Facundo Buonanotte were starters.
At the top of the table, in which everything was already decided, the champion Manchester City, with Julián Álvarez on the field, lost in Brentford (9th) by 1-0 and the runners-up Arsenal thrashed Wolverhampton 5-0 (13th) with a double from the Swiss Granit Xhaka in his last game as Gunner.
Manchester United (3rd), which had Alejandro Garnachor as a starter, certified the podium by beating Fulham 2-1 (10th) and Newcastle (4th) closed a great season with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea (12th), which again had the services of Enzo Fernández waiting for the landing of Mauricio Pochettino as coach.
Liverpool (5th) went ahead at home to the already relegated Southampton by 2-0 but the relegated Saints of former Racing Carlos Alcaraz - he played the 90 - turned the scoreboard around and came to lead 4-2 before the reaction of the Reds, who in a minute scored two goals to achieve the final 4-4. With nothing at stake, Crystal Palace (11th) and Nottingham Forest (16th) drew 1-1 in the other matchday 38.