Championship Sunday

Championship Sunday roundup: Chelsea crowned, Liverpool secures UCL spot

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Antonio Conte‘s successful first season at Stamford Bridge concluded in style on Championship Sunday as Chelsea — the 2016/17 Premier League winners — ended their title-winning campaign with a convincing win in front of their home supporters.

With everything else to play for essentially locked up heading into the final day, the most attention was on Anfield and the Emirates Stadium as both Liverpool and Arsenal fought in their respective matches to capture the fourth and final Champions League spot.

Meanwhile, finishes were aplenty on the day as 37 goals came in on Sunday, including Tottenham’s seven-goal outburst at Hull City.

Here’s a final look back at Championship Sunday and a brief recap of the results that came in from all 10 matches:

[ MORE: All of PST’s Championship Sunday coverage ]

Chelsea 5-1 SunderlandRECAP

It’s only fitting that the Blues went out in style on Sunday after already capturing the league. The win over already-relegated Sunderland brought Chelsea’s victory tally up to 30 on the season, a new Premier League record. Conte’s men fell behind after three minutes, but from there, it was smooth sailing as Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi‘s brace gave the home side a thrilling send off to the PL campaign.

Chelsea’s next step will be to clinch the double next weekend when the champions take on fellow Londoners, Arsenal, in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Hull City 1-7 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

In many other seasons Tottenham’s performance would have won them a title, but Spurs still ended the season in fantastic style away from home. Harry Kane cemented his place as Golden Boot winner for the second straight season after recording a hat-trick at the KCOM Stadium on Sunday.

Meanwhile, goals also came in from Dele Alli, Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld, and Victor Wanyama as Spurs destroyed the hosts, who will fall to the Championship next season following relegation.

Watford 0-5 Manchester CityRECAP

The Citizens needed just a point on Sunday to ensure a top four finish, and Pep Guardiola‘s side took no risks against the Hornets with a dominating performance on the road. Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho found the back of the net at Vicarage Road, as Manchester City finishes third in Guardiola’s first PL season.

Liverpool 3-0 MiddlesbroughRECAP

It was the only major battle of the day but Liverpool needed a victory to keep Arsenal out of the UCL, and the Reds did just that with a strong performance at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp‘s side captured fourth place and a spot in next season’s UCL behind goals from Georginio WijnaldumPhilippe Coutinho, and Adam Lallana, while Middlesbrough’s PL run officially came to an end on Sunday as they go back down to the Championship in 2017/18.

Arsenal 3-1 EvertonRECAP

The Gunners took care of business at the Emirates, despite playing with 10 men most of the day, but Liverpool’s victory guaranteed that Arsenal would miss out on the UCL for the first time in Arsene Wenger‘s tenure. Goals from Hector Bellerin, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey paced the hosts, even after Laurent Koscielny was sent off in the 14th minute. Romelu Lukaku‘s second-half penalty brought the scoreline to 2-1 with over half an hour remaining, but Everton couldn’t crack the Arsenal back line for a second time.

Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Manchester United 2-0 Crystal PalaceRECAP

It was the youngsters that starred for Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, and although there wasn’t much to play for from either side’s perspective, Josh Harrop certainly made an impression on the Red Devils supporters. The 21-year-old recorded his first Manchester United goal on Sunday (becoming United’s 100th different PL goalscorer), while Paul Pogba doubled the lead for the hosts prior to halftime.

A win for United in Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League final would give Mourinho’s men a lift into next season’s UCL, despite finishing outside the PL top four.

Southampton 0-1 Stoke CityRECAP

Peter Crouch tallied his 50th headed goal of his PL career on Sunday to give Stoke a narrow victory at St. Mary’s. Southampton finishes inside the top 10 (8th place) despite the loss, while the Potters end up in 13th with their 11th win of the season.

Leicester City 1-1 BournemouthRECAP

It was a tumultuous campaign for the Foxes, but a draw on Sunday pretty much summed up their overall season. Average. It certainly wasn’t anything like their Cinderella feat from a season ago but Leicester will be back in the PL next year, and that’s all that really matters. Junior Stanislas scored in his third consecutive match for the Cherries, but Jamie Vardy‘s 13th finish of the season registered a point for Leicester, who finish the second in 12th position.

Burnley 1-2 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Sofiane Feghouli and Andre Ayew gave the Hammers something to cheer about on the final day, however, the London side fell just shy of a top-half finish. West Ham ends the 2016/17 season in 11th while Burnley survives to reach another PL season after finishing in 16th position.

Swansea City 2-1 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Paul Clement has to be proud of the way his Swans performed to close out the season, and they’ll have a PL stay as proof of it next season. The hosts went down thanks to a Jonny Evans finish, but goals from Jordan Ayew and Fernando Llorente gave Swansea its 12th victory of the season and a 15th place finish in the PL. Meanwhile, West Brom closes their campaign with a finish in the top 10.

Burnley 1-2 West Ham: Happy ending to Hammers’ tough season

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  • Feghouli, Ayew fire Hammers to victory
  • West Ham finish 11th
  • Burnley finish 16th

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham United’s tumultuous season, in which the Hammers migrated from Upton Park to the London Stadium and endured some serious first-season struggles, ended on a high note, with a 2-1 victory away to Burnley on Sunday.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Clarets went 1-0 ahead through Sam Vokes in the 23rd minute, but Sofiane Feghouli (27th minute) and Andre Ayew (72nd-minute winner) dragged West Ham out from behind and to three points on the final day of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Thanks to Leicester City’s draw with Bournemouth, West Ham managed to leapfrog last season’s PL champions to finish 11th this season. Burnley, who secured their PL status for another season last week, finish their first season back in the top flight in 16th.

Man United 2-0 Crystal Palace: Europa League final on Wednesday

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  • A number of Man United’s key players rested
  • United finish 6th
  • Crystal Palace finish 13th

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

With the Europa League final, against Ajax, on Wednesday — perhaps you’ve heard Jose Mourinho talk about it in recent weeks — a whole host of Manchester United’s key players were rested for Sunday’s Premier League finale — just as Mourinho has done in his side’s handful of final games — against Crystal Palace.

In the end, United’s lineup mattered very little, as a side made up of a half-dozen academy/reserve players and a few first-team regulars/fringe players had very little trouble against a Palace side with nothing left to play for in terms of the PL table.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

21-year-old academy product Josh Harrop opened the scoring right on the quarter-hour mark, firing a right-footed shot just inside the far post to beat Wayne Hennessey.

Four minutes later, Paul Pogba doubled United’s lead (above video) with a calm, collected finish after Jesse Lingard played the perfectly weighted through ball into acres of space. It was Pogba’s fifth PL goal of the season.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Though United failed to finish in the top-four top-five in the PL, Wednesday’s final in Stockholm, Sweden, represents a golden ticket into next season’s UEFA Champions League. Given the way Mourinho threw away the final month of the league season, his reputation needs a win just as badly and the club’s bank accounts.

Watford 0-5 Man City: Guardiola’s men secure 3rd

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  • Man City finish 3rd
  • Watford finish 17th
  • Kompany, Aguero, Fernandinho get the goals

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The final-day formula for Manchester City was very simple, and very achievable: a win or draw away to Watford (or, a single point dropped by either one of Liverpool or Arsenal) would mean Pep Guardiola‘s first season in the Premier League would finish with a top-four finish.

After 45 textbook minutes of Sunday’s finale at Vicarage Road, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho had done more than enough to secure the Citizens’ third-place finish, and the automatic place in the UEFA Champions League group stage that comes with it.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kompany’s opener came after five minutes, as the 31-year-old oft-injured center back headed home a corner kick from Kevin De Bruyne (the Belgian playmaker’s 17th assist of the PL season).

Ageuro followed with a pair of goals well before halftime, in the 23rd and 36th minutes, and Man City had more than enough on the day. De Bruyne tallied assist no. 18 on Aguero’s first goal, a lightning-quick breakaway that made it 2-0. Leroy Sane set up Aguero’s second, City’s third, on the counter.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fernandinho completed the first-half rout, four minutes before halftime, by tapping home an expertly placed cross from his fellow Brazilian, Gabriel Jesus. Right on the hour mark, Jesus put his name on the scoresheet, thanks to a bit of clever footwork and an emphatic finish past another Brazilian, Heurelho Gomes, to complete the scoring.

VIDEO: PL top-four to be decided on Championship Sunday

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After 37 games, there’s still so very little to separate Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, the three teams vying for two top-four spots (and places in the UEFA Champions League) on Championship Sunday, the final day of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

[ WATCH: Kane scores 4 to take charge in Golden Boot race ]

3. Man City — 75 points, +36 GD
4. Liverpool — 73 points, +33 GD
5. Arsenal — 72 points, +31 GD

On the latest edition of PST Extra (above video), Joe Prince-Wright, ProSoccerTalk’s lead writer and editor, previews Championship Sunday in the PL, including the aforementioned battle for the top-four between Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal.

[ RECAP: Kane gets 4, Son gets 2; Spurs increase record points total ]

The scenario which every non-Liverpool and non-Arsenal fan is rooting for: Liverpool lose 2-0 to Middlesbrough, and Arsenal draw 1-1 with Everton — at which point they would be level on points, goal differential, goals scored and goals conceded. The result: the 39th game — a neutral-site, one-game playoff for fourth place.