Sunday 25 February 2018

Arsenal's nightmare, the division's first millennial and all the other nonsense from a baffling final day of Premier League action

A grand total of 37 goals went in on a strange final day.

By Max McLean

Final Premier League fixtures are always a bit odd, especially when there’s very little to play for.

And the 2016/17 final day was no different – with an average of 3.7 goals per game, there’s a lot to catch up on.

Results

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Arsenal 3-1 Everton
Burnley 1-2 West Ham
Chelsea 5-1 Sunderland
Hull City 1-7 Tottenham
Leicester City 1-1 Bournemouth
Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Southampton 0-1 Stoke City
Swansea City 2-1 West Brom
Watford 0-5 Manchester City

Chelsea’s greatest team?

Chelsea’s game against Sunderland seemed obsolete, with the Premier League title already on its way to Stamford Bridge, but there was one last record to attend to.

The Blues’ 5-1 win against the Black Cats ensured Antonio Conte’s side won 30 league games this season, a top-flight record, breaking their own tally of 29 set in 2005 and 2006.

Chelsea reached 93 points, a tally second only to that of the 2004/05 Blues’ vintage of 95.

Arsenal’s nightmare day

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With Champions League football still up for grabs with a game to go and an FA Cup final to look forward to next week, Arsenal’s season was far from over before the final Premier League games kicked off.

But for once things didn’t go Wenger’s way with top four on the line – despite beating Everton 3-1, both Liverpool and Manchester City won comfortably to ensure Arsenal finished fifth, and outside the top four for the first time since 1996.

Further to that, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the FA Cup final after a poor challenge saw him sent off, while defender Gabriel went off injured and is a doubt for Wembley. A day to forget for Wenger.

21st century boy

Jose Mourinho fielded the youngest Manchester United starting XI in Premier League history against Crystal Palace, protecting his side for the Europa League final next week.

The team’s average age was just 22 years and 284 days, but had they started the man they substituted on with two minutes left, that number would be even smaller.

Angel Gomes came on to replace Wayne Rooney late on, and at 16 years and 263 days old, became the club’s youngest ever Premier League player – furthermore, he is the division’s first player born in the year 2000.

Harry Kane strikes again

What can you say about this guy? He’s missed months of Premier League action with injury, but has still managed to win his second consecutive golden boot.

With four goals against Leicester earlier in the week, and a hat-trick in Spurs’ 7-1 win at Hull, Kane reached a final tally of 29 goals.

With that comes a lovely shiny golden boot – that’s 75 PL goals in the last three seasons for the 23-year-old. Stunning.

Stat of the day

And last but by no means least, Peter Crouch gets the final word.

The Premier League colossus netted Stoke’s winner against Southampton, and surprise surprise, he did so with his head. That’s the half-century for the striker.

Press Association

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