And that’s a wrap! The 2017/18 Premier League
The 2017/18 Premier League season at a glance16 May 2018 | Sally Freedman
Where to start? First, there's the remarkable dominance of Manchester City, the heroics of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and the farewell of the legendary Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger.
Manchester City dominance
The champions ran Manchester United out of town and stole the league title at pace this year, becoming the first team in Premier League history to reach 100 points.They won by a huge 19-points – the biggest in the Premier League era, overtaking a record that has stood for 18 years.
They also finished the campaign with an outstanding +79 goal difference, beating the old record of +71 set by Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea title-winning side in the 2009-10 season.
I don’t think many would disagree in saying Manchester City were sublime; fast, fluid attacking beautiful football week in, week out.
Salah scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool, the most in a debut season for the club. Salah requires a hat-trick in the Champions League final against Real Madrid to match Ian Rush's all-time record of 47 in a Liverpool season, set in 1983-84. He also is the first person to be named the Premier League's player of the month three times in one season, scooping the prize in November, February and March.
Liverpool are in the Champions League Final and will face Real Madrid on 26 May in Kiev.
And let’s not forget Arsene Wenger. The legendary manager of Arsenal departed after an incredible 22 years and 1,235 games at the helm. #MerciArsene
All three promoted teams bucked the yo-yo trend and will all stay in the Premier League season. Congratulations Newcastle United, Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Stoke, Swansea and West Brom failed to maintain Premier League status and will all play Championship football next season.
There were many to choose from, but the one that has stayed firmly in my memory is Wayne Rooney’s 60-yard screamer from inside his own half against West Ham to score a hat-trick. What. A. Goal!
Were my predictions pre-season correct? I predicted the top four would be:
- Manchester City – (Correct)
- Tottenham – (3rd)
- Chelsea – (5th)
- Manchester United (2nd)
Actual top 4
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
Three out of four ain't bad, as they say in the classics, albeit in the wrong order! And it was Liverpool who secured the fourth spot with 75 points, 5 points ahead of Chelsea.
My pre-season predictions for relegation were:
- Burnley – (incorrect – 7th)
- Swansea – (correct - R)
- Stoke – (correct - R)
- West Brom
I was way off the mark with Burnley who finished an impressive seventh. However, I predicted both Swansea and Stoke would be seeing that dreaded R next to their team name at the end of their season.
And what about my beloved Brighton?
One sentence to to sum up the season:
A dream came true after so many years of hurt as the Seagulls soared to unbelievable new heights.
Watching Brighton beat the biggest club in world (Manchester United) at the American Express Community Stadium which secured the club Premier League status for another year.
Stand out players:
Pascal Gross, Lewis Dunk and Mat Ryan. Pascal for his incredible assists and delightful goals. Dunk for his countless body on the line tackles. And Mat for standing tall throughout and making so many crucial saves to keep our Premier League dream alive.
What we need for next year:
A striker with some pace that can match the crazy speed of our wingers - Anthony Knockaert and José Izquierdo.
I don’t think you’ll need reminding - 2018 is a World Cup year with only 30 days to go until Russia 2018, so there’s no need to panic - our football withdrawal symptoms will be relieved very soon!
Later this week, I’ll be taking a close look at the England squad - who’s in? who’s out? How far can they go?