The final games of the 2017-18 season will go down in memory lane for its record-breaking feats in the history of the Premier League.
With most teams assured of their safety for the next term, there was little at stake at the bottom end of the League. However, all eyes were at the top to confirm who would secure the final Champions League ticket between Liverpool and Chelsea. Pep Guardiola and his lads were chasing an unprecedented record and a final farewell for Monsieur Wenger was on the cards.
LIVERPOOL AND SALAH’S RECORD
The Reds started the game against Brighton knowing that a point will seal a return to Champions League football, with closest rivals Chelsea facing a resurgent Newcastle at St James Park. You can’t help but admire Klopp’s approach to the tie with the German gaffer labeling the game a Cup final and the team responded to that effect.
Liverpool were calm, composed and dominated the proceedings as they kept asking the right questions to the Seagull’s defense. The Reds came close to scoring when Mane shot from close range only to be saved by Matt Ryan. Their resolve paid off in the 26th minute when Solanke teed up Salah to score his record-breaking 32nd goal of the season. A rare goal from Dejan Lovren made it 2-0 before the stroke of half-time.
There was more to come as Salah continued his fine form with the 10th assist of the campaign to set up Dominic Solanke’s first goal in a Red’s shirt. The Anfield crowd were treated to more excitement when Andrew Robertson opened his account with a left-footed strike from close range to make it 4-0. That victory ensured that Liverpool’s unbeaten home record was intact, making them the only unbeaten side at home in England this term.
The Kop will be hoping for more in Kiev when they play Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League. With the PFA, FWA and Golden boot awards in the Bag, Football fans are running out of superlatives to describe the season Mohammed Salah is having; the Egyptian King may secure Legendary status in his debut season if he leads the Anfield side to a historic sixth European crown.
CITY JOINS THE 100 CLUB
Manchester City joined the likes of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to register 100 points in a season. City started the game at St Mary’s on 97points knowing a win will extend it to a triple figure. But the Saints wanted to wrap up the campaign with a win after securing their Premier League stay thereby making it difficult for Guardiola’s men. The game looked like it would end in a stalemate until Gabriel Jesus came to the rescue in the 93rd minute sending the City fans to raptures and evoking the memories of the 2012 title-winning campaign when a last-gasp goal from Sergio Aguero snatched the League title from United’s grasp.
The previous record for the highest number of points was held by Chelsea(95pts) set in 2004-05 by Mourinho’s title-winning team. Chelsea fans will be disgruntled considering the Citizens eclipsed all the records kept by the London side as they ended the campaign with the highest number of goals(106), the highest number of points(100), the highest number of wins(32), and the longest winning streak(18).
Last season, many questioned Guardiola’s tactics and even taunted him for going “trophyless.” However, the Spanish boss responded in style by rewriting the history books and winning the League and League Cup breathtakingly. It’s left to be seen if they can replicate this form next year.
Arsene Wenger will forever be known as one of the managers that revolutionized the English game with his style of play and philosophy. Hence, a befitting win in what was the final game of his 22-year reign at the club was thoroughly deserved.
The Gunners have endured a poor away run since the start of the year and were keen on ending that run away to Huddersfield. However, their course was helped by the fact the Terriers were safe and had little to play for in the game. Arsenal players were keen on rewarding Arsene for his services at the club, and they didn’t disappoint as goal-scoring machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the solitary goal of the game to ensure they sign off with a victory.
Arsenal fans would have wished for a better ending for the French boss but will forever be remembered for the excellent job he did at the Club.