By James Agberebi: Chelsea’s hopes of securing a top four finish and qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League was ended on the final of the 2017/2018 Premier League season on Sunday as they were thrashed 3-0 by Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
Super Eagles forward Victor Moses returned to Chelsea’s starting eleven for his 28th appearance this season.
Going into the the last fixture of the season, Chelsea needed to beat Newcastle and hope Liverpool lose at Anfield to Brighton and Hove Albion.
But it was Newcastle who emerged deserved winners thanks to goals from Dwight Gayle (23rd minute) and Ayoze Perez (59th, 63rd minutes).
The result means Chelsea finished fifth on 70 points and pick up a Europa League ticket.
At Anfield, Liverpool confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League with a convincing 4-0 win against Brighton.
Liverpool’s goals were scored by recently crowned Premier League Player of the Season Mohamed Salah, Dejan Lovren, Dominic Solanke (his first Liverpool goal) and Andrew Robertson in the 26th, 40th, 53rd and 85th minutes respectively.
Salah’s goal against Brighton means he has now broken the record for the most goals scored ever in a 38-match season as he netted his 32nd of the season.
The trio of Alan Shearer (1995-1996), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-2008) and Luis Suarez (2013-2014) were joint-record holders on 31 goals each.
Liverpool finished the season in fourth on 70 points and earned a Champions League berth.
At the Liberty Stadium, Swansea’s very slim hopes of avoiding relegation were eventually quashed following their 2-1 home loss to already relegated Stoke.
Swansea needed a wide goal margin against Stoke and needed Manchester City to also inflict a heavy defeat on Southampton at St. Mary’s which eventually ended 1-0 in favour of the league champions.
Swansea now join Stoke and West Bromwich Albion as the three relegated teams from the Premier League.
It was a thriller at Wembley Stadium as Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho scored but it was not enough as Tottenham Hotspur edged Leicester City 5-4.
Iheanacho scored a superb long range strike on 48 minutes to put Leicester 3-1 ahead.
Jamie Vardy (4th, 73rd minutes) and Riyad Mahrez (16th minute) were the other scorers for Leicester.
A brace from Harry Kane (seventh, 76th minutes), Erik Lamela (49th, 61st minutes) and an own goal from Christian Fuchs (53rd minute), secured the nine-goal thriller win for Spurs.
Kane’s brace means he finish the Premier League season on 30 goals, two behind Salah.
Spurs ended the season in The third position on 77 points and automatic qualification to the Champions League next season.
Champions Manchester City left it very late as they pipped Southampton 1-0 at St. Mary’s.
Gabriel Jesus’ 90th minute goal ensures City becomes the first side to reach 100 points in the Premier League and also the first side to win 32 games in a single English top-flight campaign.
Arsenal eventually picked their first away points in 2018 following a hard-fought 1-0 win aat Huddersfield Town in Arsene Wenger’s final game in charge.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal for Arsenal in the 38th minute off an assist from Aaron Ramsey.
Alex Iwobi made his 26th appearance for Arsenal in the game against Huddersfield.
Arsenal ended the season in sixth on 63 points and join Chelsea as qualifiers for next season’s Europa League.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United beat Watford 1-0 in what was Michael Carrick’s final game before retiring from professional football.
Marcus Rashford’s 34th minute goal made sure United sealed a last day win.
In other results on the final day of the season, West Ham beat visiting Everton 3-1, Crystal Palace signed out with a 2-0 win against already relegated West Bromwich Albion while Bournemouth beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor.
EPL final day results:
Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea
Liverpool 4-0 Brighton
Huddersfield 0-1 Arsenal
Southampton 0-1 Man City
Man United 1-0 Watford
Spurs 5-4 Leicester City
C/Palace 2-0 West Brom
Swansea 1-2 Stoke
West Ham 3-1 Everton
Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth