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Championship Sunday: Chelsea, Spurs, Man City, Liverpool

Premier League Table: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool finish in top four spots

After thirty-eight EPL clashes, league champions FC Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and Jurgen Klopp’s FC Liverpool have claimed the top four spots on the 2016-17 England Premier League Table and eligibility to compete in the 2017-18 Champions League tournament. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester barely missed out on a place in next season’s prestigious Champions League. On Championship Sunday, Man City, Liverpool, and Arsenal competed for England’s final two Champions League places in the final games of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign.

After winning their game at Watford, City clinched third place and Liverpool secured fourth place by defeating Middlesbrough. Although Arsenal beat Everton at home at the Emirates, they did not secure a spot. All 20 Premier League clubs saw action on Sunday with every game kicking off at 15:00 to make everything fair and to not give any team an advantage. Manchester City needed only a point at Watford to guarantee a top-four finish, their win on Sunday and finishing third takes them straight into next season's Champions League group stages. City manager Pep Guardiola is grateful that his side finished in the top four. "We were under a lot of pressure. Congratulations to Chelsea and to Tottenham, we are so glad to be third,” said Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after their 0-5 defeat of Watford away at Vicarage Road. "It is not a club with a history of playing in Europe like Manchester United or Arsenal. But now we are there five or six years and now we can try to close the gap on the elite. The best teams in Europe will be at the Etihad Stadium next season. I don't know what we need to add. This is one of the best groups I have ever trained - they never gave up. It was a pleasure to be with them."

Liverpool after finishing in fourth place will go into a two-legged play-off in August. Under the leadership of boss Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool will play in the Champions League for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Klopp previously took Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013. Liverpool appeared to be stressed on Sunday at Anfield before Wijnaldum's opener on the stroke of half-time eased the tension. Philippe Coutinho added a second in the second half with a free-kick, and Adam Lallana slotted in to make it 3-0 against Middlesbrough. "We've had bigger games - this was the game of the season though,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after the crucial win. "We had this pressure but we are Liverpool and have to deliver. Everyone knows where we missed out on points, but we will improve. A club like Liverpool needs to be in the Champions League. I'm proud of the boys. We work a lot. We are closer together. We have to build together."

And Arsenal by finishing fifth in the Premier League receives a place in the Europa League next season. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is out of contract this summer after a 21-year reign. Wenger said his future would be decided at a board meeting to follow the FA Cup final against Chelsea on 27 May. Arsenal ended their campaign outside the top four and failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite a 3-1 win over Everton on the final day of the Premier League. Arsenal began the match a point behind fourth-place Liverpool and were hoping to overtake the Reds when they took an eighth-minute lead. But Liverpool, needing a win to ensure fourth, scored against Middlesbrough just before their break, and won 3-0. Arsenal's stunning long-term run of qualifying for the Champions League for 19 consecutive seasons came to its end on Sunday. Hope grew among the home support when Hector Bellerin scored early for the Gunners. In first-half stoppage time Georginio Wijnaldum put Liverpool ahead with a remarkable strike, and Jurgen Klopp's side eventually won their clash. "It is annoying but we had a spell during the season that was difficult and it was difficult for me in my personal situation,” said Wenger. "We were playing in a hostile environment. The players came back stronger in the last two months and I'm very proud of them for doing that." Buy FA Cup Final 2017 Arsenal v Chelsea Tickets now from 1st4FootballTickets.com!

Champions Sunday May 21, 2017 Results

Arsenal 3-1 Everton
Burnley 1-2 West Ham
Chelsea 5-1 Sunderland
Hull 1-7 Tottenham Hotspur
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 Bromwich Albion
Watford 0-5 Manchester City

 

Race for the 2016-17 Premier League Golden Boot

The biggest annual award given out in the England Premier League is considered the Golden Boot trophy, which is handed to the EPL football player who scored most league goals over the course of the season. Harry Kane won the 2017 Premier League Golden Boot, awarded to the competition's leading scorer, for a second time in a row thanks to his four-goal haul in Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-1 victory at Leicester City on Thursday, and his hat-trick against relegated Hull City in the Spurs 7-1 win on Sunday. With his seven goals in the last two games of the season, Kane finished four goals clear of Everton's Romelu Lukaku. Belgium striker Lukaku finished with 25 goals, and Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez with 24 goals ended the season third in the standings.

Kane became the sixth EPL footballer to win the Premier League's Golden Boot twice or more joining Thierry Henry (4), Alan Shearer (3), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (2), Didier Drogba (2), and Robin van Persie (2) in claiming a second award. Kane’s achievement in the 2016-17 season is made even more impressive since it was achieved in only 29 matches due to a spell on the sidelines with injury. Twenty-three-year-old Kane has scored 32 goals in all competitions for the Spurs this season and netted twice for his country England as well. In the 2015-16 season, Kane won the Golden Boot award with his 25-goal tally which saw the England star win his first Golden Boot award for the White Hart Lane outfit. This is the third season in a row that Harry Kane has bagged 20 or more goals having scored 21 in the 2014-15 campaign - the first year he fully broke into Tottenham Hotspurs first team. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino immediately challenged Kane to break the 30-goal barrier next season. Tottenham will kick off next season as title favorites in August, due to their recent form.

Premier League Top 10 Goal Scorers 2016-17

Harry Kane: Tottenham Hotspur, England - 29 Premier League goals
Romelu Lukaku: Everton, Belgium – 25 Premier League goals
Alexis Sanchez: Arsenal, Chili – 24 Premier League goals
Diego Costa: Chelsea, Spain – 20 Premier League goals
Sergio “Kun” Aguero: Chelsea, Argentina – 20 Premier League goals
Dele Alli: Tottenham Hotspur, England – 18 Premier League goals
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Manchester United, Sweden – 17 Premier League goals
Josh King: Bournemouth, Norway - 16 Premier League goals
Eden Hazard: Chelsea, Belgium - 16 Premier League goals
Fernando Llorente: Swansea City, Spain - 15 Premier League goals
Christian Benteke: Crystal Palace, England - 15 Premier League goals
Jermain Defoe: Sunderland, England -15 Premier League goals

Chelsea receive EPL trophy

First place Chelsea received their prized Premier League trophy and team medals after Sunday’s game. Chelsea is the first club in history to win 30 league matches in a 38-game top-flight season after defeating bottom club Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Antonio Conte's Chelsea side had already secured the Premier League title, their fifth in 13 seasons, with a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich on May 12. Chelsea managed 29 league wins twice before - in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons under then boss Jose Mourinho. Only two teams in the history of the English top division have achieved more, namely Tottenham Hotspur who won 31 games in 1960-61 and Liverpool who won 30 in 1978-79 in 42-match seasons.

Retiring Chelsea captain John Terry made his Chelsea debut in October 1998. Terry ended his 22-year stay at Stamford Bridge after playing his 717th and final game for the club on Sunday. Buy all authentic, legal, guaranteed Premier League football tickets for the 2017-18 season from 1st4FootballTickets.com! And you can still buy last-minute tickets to watch Man United, Arsenal, and Chelsea compete for silverware for the Europa League Final 2017 between Ajax v Manchester United on May 24 at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden; and the FA Cup Final 2017 between Chelsea v Arsenal on May 27 at Wembley Stadium in London.

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