United is also said to be looking at a $67 million move for AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, with Football Italia saying the Serie A club needs to cut into its deficit via Financial Fair Play.
Celtic came from behind to top Hearts 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final, completing an unprecedented “treble-treble.” They are the first team in Scottish top flight history to win each of the league title, Scottish Cup, and League Cup in three straight seasons.
After a scoreless first half, Ryan Edwards put Hearts in front in the 52nd minute, pouncing on a messy backheel from Sean Clare and scoring the first goal Celtic had conceded all competition.
That jumpstarted the Glasgow giants, with an Odsonne Edouard double leading the way. His first came from the spot in the 62nd minute, just sneaking his penalty past Zdenek Zlamal for the equalizer before he won it with eight minutes to go. The moment came off a powerful Mikael Lustig header from near the halfway line that sprung Edouard free on goal, and the 21-year-old buried the one-on-one.
The victory gave Celtic its third major domestic trophy of the campaign for the third consecutive season, marking the historic achievement. Earlier in the season they had secured the league title by an eight-point margin and beaten Aberdeen 1-0 in the League Cup final, all despite losing manager Brendan Rodgers midway through the year to Leicester City, with Neil Lennon taking over and leading the finish.
Celtic has now won the Scottish Cup a record 39 times, with 50 league titles and 18 League Cups to go along with it.
Twenty months ago I pegged Burnley to get relegated with an almost record-low amount of points. The Clarets qualified for the Europa League, and I ate my words (even if Sean Dyche‘s men seemingly out-performed every metric on Earth in spite of stats, like some old man claiming Man City wins because of “better chemistry, not talent”).
Cardiff City Predicted finish: 20
Actual finish: 18
How wrong was I? Not. As much credit as the Bluebirds got for grinding every week, and as much of a difference as the late Emiliano Sala could’ve been to their fortunes, they completed passes at an almost absurdly-bad 63.9 percent rate while having just 39.1 percent of the ball. It was bad.
Huddersfield Town Predicted finish: 19
Actual finish: 20
How wrong was I? Not. Huddersfield Town managed a league-worst .4 attempts per game from inside the six-yard box, and were one of only five teams to attempt less than six shots per game from inside the 18.
Predicted finish: 18
Actual finish: 11
How wrong was I? Pretty wrong. Javi Gracia‘s men were strong against bad teams — for the most part — but never sprung another real upset after beating Spurs to go 4-0 early in the season. Record against the Top Six? 1W-0D-11L.
Predicted finish: 17
Actual finish: 14
How wrong was I? Eh. The Cherries were never really in trouble thanks to a 6-2-2 start, but man did they ride their luck.
Predicted finish: 16
Actual finish: 15
How wrong was I? I’ve learned my lesson. Regardless of how much talent appears to be on a Sean Dyche roster, he’s a rich man’s Tony Pulis and should not be doubted.
Predicted finish: 15
Actual finish: 16
How wrong was I? With respect to Mark Hughes, I thought Saints’ season would come down to when he was sacked and who they identified to replace him. Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s in a good place.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Predicted finish: 14
Actual finish: 17
How wrong was I? A bit wrong, and I pretty much blame Pascal Gross, who back slid from 7 goals and 8 assists in his Premier League debut to just three and three in Year No. 2. The Seagulls didn’t score a single goal from outside the 18.
Predicted finish: 13
Actual finish: 7
How wrong was I? It’s not simply about buying players — see: Fulham — but about acquiring hungry players. Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota, and several others had points to prove, and Jimenez especially made it well.
Predicted finish: 12
Actual finish: 13
How wrong was I? To be honest, this went about as I expected given the brutal fixture list to start the season. Had I known Miguel Almiron would’ve transitioned so nicely from MLS to the PL, I might’ve had them 10th.
Predicted finish: 11
Actual finish: 19
How wrong was I? Very, but to my defense so were most people. On paper, the Cottagers improved more than even Wolves.
Predicted finish: 10
Actual finish: 12
How wrong was I? The stats kinda back me up, and it may be worth noting for next season that the Palace’s results didn’t match its performances. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luka Milivojevic, and Wilfried Zaha gave them difference makers in all thirds of the field, and it’s surprising they didn’t push a bit higher on the table.
Predicted finish: 9
Actual finish: 9
How wrong was I? Not. The Foxes were pretty infuriating all year. Maybe Brendan Rodgers‘ ego and power will match the player power that’s run the club since they won the title. That said, the inconsistency and tumult shouldn’t be a surprise in a season the club had to deal with its owner dying on a match day.
West Ham United
Predicted finish: 8
Actual finish: 10
How wrong was I? It took Marco Silva longer than expected to get his men humming, but think of this: If Jordan Pickford doesn’t give Divock Origi a derby winner, Everton is going to Europe. I know, I know… chaos theory. But still.
Predicted finish: 6
Actual finish: 4
How wrong was I? Like many, I was stunned that Spurs didn’t spend this summer and thought injuries would hurt them. They did, but only to the extent that Tottenham wasn’t able to sustain a title challenge. Spurs rarely gave the ball away, and the only teams that averaged fewer “times dispossessed” than Tottenham’s 9.2 per 90 were teams that never had the ball: Brighton, Cardiff, and Burnley.
Predicted finish: 5
Actual finish: 5
How wrong was I? Spot-on. It was going to take time for the Gunners to come together following a first managerial change in ages, but Arsenal had the offense to challenge for the Top Four. Surprisingly for Arsenal, they averaged just eight dribbles per game, 12th in the PL. Unai Emery had them more cautious than usual.
Predicted finish: 4
Actual finish: 3
How wrong was I? Not. Maurizio Sarri is not for everyone, but he knows how to get results. Granted Gonzalo Higuain was his guy, but he did it without a top striker.
Predicted finish: 3
Actual finish: 2
How wrong was I? Well, considering the Reds had one of the best runners-up finishes of all-time, quite wrong. Mostly, I didn’t expect Mohamed Salah to deliver again and he mostly did (save for a late winter slump).
Predicted finish: 2
Actual finish: 6
How wrong was I? Real wrong. Almost as wrong as United looks for canning Jose Mourinho. The manager needed to leave town, but there was a reason he was playing so packed-in. Ask yourself this: If Ed Woodward gave Mourinho the use of Toby Alderweireld, would Spurs and United be flipped?
Predicted finish: 1
Actual finish: 1
How wrong was I? On point. How good was City? For a club that ranked No. 1 in possession, they were only dispossessed 10.3 times per match. That was the 8th fewest total in the league.
15. Southampton — What will Ralph Hasenhuttl buy this offseason? Last week: 15 Season high: 13 Season low: 20
14. Bournemouth — Has Eddie Howe reached the peak of what he can do at the Vitality Stadium? Terrific seasons for Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson. Last week: 14 Season high: 6 Season low: 14
13. Newcastle United — Will Rafa stay, and will Ashley spend? Both probably matter equally. Last week: 13 Season high: 11 Season low: 19
12. Crystal Palace — What happens post-Zaha? Last week: 10 Season high: 6 Season low: 17
11. Watford — Petered out, but could still get silverware. Last week: 12 Season high: 4 Season low: 14
10. West Ham United — Give Pellegrini another offseason — and the continued services of Felipe Anderson — and the Irons may challenge for at least a cup. Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 20
9. Manchester United — What does it say that the players didn’t vote Paul Pogba as club Player of the Year? Plenty.
Last week: 8
Season high: 3
Season low: 14
8. Leicester City — Full credit to Brendan Rodgers for finishing strong despite a gamut of fixtures. You’d probably want their roster of Manchester United’s right now, to be honest. Last week: 8 Season high: 7 Season low: 13
7. Arsenal — The focus has been on Europa League for weeks. What would losing the final and missing out on the Champions League mean to Unai Emery‘s recruiting efforts? Last week: 6 Season high: 2 Season low: 9
6. Wolves — Tasked with finishing strong to give themselves the best shot at the Europa League, Wolves won three before losing to Liverpool. A consistency they sought all year arrived late. Last week: 5 Season high: 5 Season low: 13
5. Everton — Without European football and with another year together, will be the sexy pick to climb into the Top Six. Last week: 7 Season high: 5 Season low: 15
4. Chelsea — Third on the table, fourth on our charts; What looms once Hazard leaves Stamford Bridge? Last week: 3 Season high: 1 Season low: 7
3. Tottenham Hotspur — Navigating the stadium delays and dealing with plenty of injuries, Spurs impressed again. Last week: 3 Season high: 2 Season low: 8
2. Liverpool — An outstanding season, amazing really, but the latest without a title in the Premier League era. Last week: 2 Season high: 1 Season low: 4
1. Manchester City — You come at the king, you best not miss. Even by 11 millimeters. Now will UEFA hit its target? Last week: 1 Season high: 1 Season low: 3