Longtime Juventus man Martin Caceres is 29 and was expected to sign with AS Roma once rehabilitated from an achilles injury, but has yet to make anything official. We’re only mentioning the slight possibility because, when healthy, he’s quite good.
Not a lot to love there for those looking for help.
Arsenal was shocked on the season’s opening weekend, and will hope to avoid two straight defeats to start the season as they travel to Crystal Palace at 8:30am ET on Sunday, live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
The Gunners have not lost their first two games to start a league season since the inaugural season of the Premier League 23 years ago, but Selhurst Park has become an increasingly difficult place to play.
Palace eviscerated newly promoted Norwich City in the opening week, dominating them on the break away from home, but it will be interesting to see if the club deploys the same tactics in front of their home fans.
Their pace allows them to play this style, with Wilfried Zaha, James Puncheon, and Yannick Bolasie all possessing high-level speed to support Connor Wickham up front in the striker’s first start for his new club. They have a solid base with Yohan Cabaye behind them as well, but captain and fellow holding midfielder Mile Jedinak fails to start for the second straight match. Marouane Chamakh and Julian Speroni are the only injured Eagles, the pair with longer-term problems.
The Gunners have responded in turn by bringing in Alexis Sanchez after sitting him in week one due to fitness concerns. In turn, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who had a fantastic preseason – sits on the bench. Hector Bellerin makes the starting lineup after injury concerns, but Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, and Danny Welbeck are all out.
We saw 29 goals across 10 games on Sunday as Hull City were relegated, Newcastle saved themselves, Tottenham finished fifth, two PL legends finished off on the scoresheet and there were huge wins for Leicester, Stoke and Arsenal.
Here are recaps, videos, reaction and more from all 10 games on the final day of the season…
The Magpies survived on the final day of the season as goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez sealed the win for John Carver’s side. Relief was the overriding emotion for Newcastle, as they can now rebuild over the summer and put this nightmare few months behind them.
Hull were relegated to the Championship after their two-year stay in the PL. The Tigers squandered several chances against 10-man United, with Marouane Fellaini sent off after a terrible lunging tackle. Steve Bruce’s Hull must now regroup and try for an immediate return but after scoring just 33 times this season it was clear that their lack of goals is what sent them down.
The Blues hoisted the Premier League trophy in west London on Sunday, as Steven Fletcher put Sunderland ahead but Diego Costa’s penalty kick leveled things up. Two second half goals from Loic Remy sealed the victory as Chelsea said goodbye to legendary forward Didier Drogba and finished the season on 87 points to win their first title in five years.
What a way to finish a record-breaking season for the Potters. Stoke slammed home five first half goals to stun Liverpool, as Mame Diouf, Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi set them on their way to the clubs biggest-ever PL victory. Steven Gerrard, making his final appearance for the Reds, pulled one back but Peter Crouch headed home late on as Liverpool were embarrassed at the Britannia.
The Gunners blitzed West Brom in the first half after Theo Walcott scored a hat trick and Jack Wilshere smashed in a stunning volley to make it 4-0. Chris Brunt made it 4-1, but the Gunners prepare for the FA Cup final next weekend in style and sealed third-place in the PL.
Goals in either half from Frank Lampard and Sergio Aguero gave City a final day win as Lampard ended his PL career on a high before he moves to MLS. Saints finished in seventh and must now wait on the FA Cup final next weekend to see if they have qualified for Europe. If Arsenal win then Ronald Koeman’s side will be in the Europa League.
Wow. What a way to finish things off as the Foxes battered already relegated QPR and the fans inside the King Power (who were given free beer by the owners!) were treated to Leicester’s biggest win of the season. First half goals from Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton put Leicester 2-0 up and then Leonardo Ulloa and Esteban Cambiasso made it 4-0. Charlie Austin pulled one back, his 18th of the season, but Andrej Kramaric finished things off.
Spurs sealed fifth-place in the PL thanks to Harry Kane’s diving header in the first half. That means Mauricio Pochettino’s men will compete in the Europa League next season, while Roberto Martinez and Everton will want to forget this campaign as the Toffees finished in 11th spot.
Alan Pardew’s incredible job at Palace continued as the Eagles won back-to-back games to finish the season and secured their first top 10 finish in the PL. Marouane Chamakh’s goal was the difference, as a friendly atmosphere played out at Selhurst Park with Swansea also having a record-setting season under Garry Monk.
Villa didn’t prepare well for their FA Cup final against Arsenal next week, as Tim Sherwood’s lost 1-0 at home to already relegated Burnley. Danny Ings popped up with the winner early on, as the Clarets finished the season on 33 points and will head back down to the Championship with their heads held high. As for Villa, they finished just three points and one spot above the relegation zone.
Crystal Palace finished their outstanding second-half of the season with three points at home as Marouane Chamakh netted in the second half to earn the win before going off injured.
Palace looked the more dangerous side early, with Wilfried Zaha giving the Swansea defenders problems. He impressively skipped past a pair of visiting challengers in the 13th minute before Leon Britton was required to make a stout tackle.
The Swans mounted few attacks through the first half-hour, while Palace continued to test the goal of Lukaz Fabianski. Jason Puncheon and James McArthur
It would take until after halftime, but the home side had the opener as Marouane Chamakh scored his second goal of the season. A corner went past the far post to Scott Dann, who headed it back centrally. Chamakh beat Bafetimbi Gomis to the ball, and he powered a header of his own on target and in.
Unfortunately, Chamakh clearly injured his hamstring just minutes later as he went down clutching his left leg, and he was replaced instantly by Jordan Mutch.
There was little in the match after the goal, as both teams saw it out with little incident. Selhurst Park didn’t even see a yellow card until the 89th minute when Glenn Murray brought down Kyle Naughton with a naughty tackle.
Alan Pardew steered Palace to a stunning top-half finish with a total of 48 points, good for 10th position, one point above Everton and two back of Stoke City. Swansea ended with 56 points to place them in eighth place.
On Saturday the pace and trickery of Yannick Bolasie, Marouane Chamakh and Jason Puncheon caused Liverpool countless problems as the Merseyside club fluffed their lines with the aim to send captain Steven Gerrard off with a win in his Anfield finale.
Brendan Rodgers spoke glowingly about Gerrard’s sendoff as the skipper was given a marvelous send off from the home fans.
“He got a wonderful send off. He gave everything right to the very end. He was the one that was driving forward in the game that was trying to get us goals in the game,” Rodgers said. “The support he got was absolutely brilliant and probably what you would expect having been a wonderful player here and given his all for the club. It terms of that it was fantastic for him and his family and a special day for him.”
Rodgers then touched on Liverpool’s disappointing display as they let their early momentum go after Adam Lallana’s superb finish put them 1-0 up. Silly defensive mistakes costs the Reds dear and Rodgers wasn’t particularly pleased with Liverpool’s second half performance.
“In terms of the result and the performance. It was disappointing,” Rodgers said. “I thought we started reasonably well. We scored a fantastic goal through Adam [Lallana] but we made poor defensive errors today across the field and that punished us at the end of the first half and in the second half. We didn’t defend well enough and their attacking players caused us problems and we didn’t cope with that. Overall, the second half was a disappointing performance.”
As for Pardew, his side continue their stunning form as the Eagles can still make the top 10 if they win their final game of the season against Swansea City. Palace played the role of party poopers magnificently as they hit Liverpool on the counter and were deserved 3-1 winners. Pardew was pleased with the victory and also honored to be involved in Gerrard’s finale game at Anfield.
“It was an honor to be here today,” Pardew revealed. “The start of the game was special and the end of the game was even more special I thought. I don’t think many stadiums getting beat 3-1 would have carried that end for Steven Gerrard. It was a lovely moment.”
Pardew then paused and instead of summing up what Gerrard means for Liverpool, Palace’s manager focused on Gerrard’s influence for the English national team.
“It is very difficult to put into words what he has done for Liverpool because I can’t talk about it. I can only speak really as a fan of football and a lover of football for what he has done for England,” Pardew explained. “Everybody knows what he has done here. For me he has carried the nation at times. The way he carries himself in the media and as a person. Speaking to Brendan [Rodgers] privately, that isn’t a facade. That is what he carries through his life. We should all be honored as Englishmen to have someone who has conducted himself in that manner in this game.”