LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool qualified for the Champions League at the expense of Chelsea, Swansea was relegated, and champion Manchester City made it to 100 points as the loose ends were tied up on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.
It was also the end of an era in England’s top flight, with Arsene Wenger taking charge of his final game as Arsenal manager after 22 seasons. He went out with a 1-0 win at Huddersfield.
Liverpool only needed to draw with Brighton to secure another season in the Champions League, but manager Juergen Klopp fielded an attacking team and was rewarded with a 4-0 victory at Anfield. Mohamed Salah scored one of the goals, taking the Egyptian to a league-high 32 goals for the campaign — the most in a 38-game Premier League season.
That meant Chelsea will not be playing in Europe’s elite competition for the second season in three years. The London club finished fifth after a 3-0 loss at Newcastle, in what could prove to be Antonio Conte’s last league game as manager.
The final-day “miracle” that Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal required didn’t happen, with the Welsh club losing 2-1 to Stoke to end its seven-year stay in the league and Southampton staying up.
Swansea had needed to win and Southampton to lose to Man City, with a 10-goal swing in goal difference. So it didn’t matter that Southampton conceded late to lose 1-0 to City, meaning Pep Guardiola’s side became the first team to post 100 points in a Premier League season.
It is the latest milestone reached by City, which has also claimed the most wins, goals and victories in a row in this record-breaking season. The 19-point margin to second place Manchester United is also a record.
Tottenham beat Leicester 5-4 in the highest-scoring game of the day to secure third place above Liverpool. United was already assured of second place before its 1-0 win over Watford, in Michael Carrick’s final game for the club.
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80