Some say in a “New York Minute” everything can change; for the EPL title race everything did change and in a matter of mere moments. Soon after Jamie Mackie’s 66th minute powerfully headed goal, Manchester City looked as if they were not going to be able to unlock the defensive wall of QPR. Fans were crying, leaving, and incessantly calling their mates to find out the score of the Manchester United game. But with the game entering five minutes of stoppage time, City produced a simply implausible finish. First, Edin Dzeko nodded the Blues level before Sergio Agüero collected Mario Balotelli’s return pass and drove home the goal that crowned City champions and denied their local rivals another title. Sir Alex and Co. could only be disappointed as they won 1-0 at Sunderland, but they could only helplessly watch City celebrate their comeback.
On the other side of the coin, QPR’s loss could have dropped them into the relegation mire, but Bolton’s draw at Stoke meant that the Hoops were guaranteed successive seasons in the top flight. For Bolton, it meant that their streak of 11 straight seasons in the Premier League had come to an end and that they’d be plying their trade in the Championship next year along with fellow relegated sides Wolves and Blackburn Rovers.
Wolves signed off their Premier League season with a 3-2 loss at Wigan although they showed true grit and class in their ensuing games after relegation. Blackburn, however, have not showed too much fight since their relegation was rumored and then confirmed. Yakubu scored a consolation goal in the 60th minute but that was indeed all it was as Blackburn returns back to the 2nd tier next year as well.
In the battle for European places, Arsenal and Tottenham both won. Arsenal won automatic qualification to the Champions League next year but Tottenham must wait until May 20th to see if Chelsea loses before they can celebrate their draw to the qualifying round of the Champions League. Newcastle United, although they lost, is guaranteed a spot in next year’s Europa League. This season has been a great achievement for the Magpies as mid-table finish surely would’ve sufficed for them, but a battle to the end for a Champs League spot was a treat for the Jordie faithful.
Elsewhere, Swansea and Norwich capped their impressive debut seasons since their promotion with wins over Liverpool and Aston Villa, respectively. This season has been a breath air if you’ve watched Norwich or Swansea because of their fluid, intricate style of passing football and to see them return for next year is great for the EPL.
All in all, this season has been fantastic for fans (depending on who you support) as there was a changing of the guard in the title race. Newcastle, Swansea and Norwich City all blew expectations out of the water, and Liverpool and Stoke both drastically underperformed. This summer will be dramatic as usual in the transfer market because of the many underachieving teams and newfound wealth of others. For now, we wait for the drama of the Premier League season to start again and try to live up to the great season it has been this year.