Looking back on the final day of the 2015-16 Premier League season

The final day of the English Premier League season was something we haven’t seen before. In a day full of celebration for the end of one of the most entertaining seasons of English soccer, a serious situation arose that reminds us of the sad realities of modern times.


Battle for the European places

Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – postponed

The most serious EPL game of the day was a game that was never played. A “suspicious package” was found near the Sir Alex Ferguson stand on the Stretford End. The game was initially delayed 45 minutes and then postponed indefinitely. A controlled explosion was carried out and according to the Premier League, they will try to get the game resumed “as soon as practically possible.”

It’s certainly unfortunate and I’m sure in a soccer sense, it would be great to play the game but some things are more important. Manchester United has reacted perfectly and took the advice to postpone the game for the greater good. The fact that Manchester United clinched a Europa League spot was secondary compared to making sure everyone was safe at Old Trafford.

Swansea City 1-1 Manchester City

After putting their fans in a scare, Manchester City got the single point they needed to clinch 4th place and go back to the UEFA Champions League as Manuel Pellegrini bid farewell to the team. Well, technically if Manchester United win by 19 goals over Bournemouth, they would get 4th but that would open a match fixing can of worms that is probably best doesn’t happen.

Southampton 4-1 Crystal Palace

At home against a team putting all their resources in the FA Cup next week, Southampton saw an opportunity to move up to a Europa League spot depending on results. Southampton had the game in control the entire time as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 and are guaranteed a Europa League spot. The team they passed in the table didn’t have it that easy.

Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United

West Ham had a chance to seal their European hopes in their first season at the Olympic Stadium and seemed to be on their way thanks to this Michail Antonio goal.

But it was not to be as Stoke scored twice in the second half to beat West Ham and move them down to 7th and now must hope Manchester United beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final to get in the Europa League. West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Liverpool Focusing on Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League Final, Liverpool mostly played reserves in their finale against West Brom. Liverpool still had a chance to make the Europa League next year but also knew that a win in the Europa League Final means a spot in the Champions League and that takes importance. Liverpool dominated the stats but like many other games, it wasn’t enough as West Brom got the draw.  

The Tottenham/Arsenal 2nd place fight

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa Not the most shocking result, Arsenal took control against Aston Villa and thanks to an Olivier Giroud hat trick, Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win. And almost as if it was scripted, Aston Villa ends their Premier League run with an own goal just before the end of the game. Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur This was the most shocking result. All Tottenham needed to do was draw relegation bound Newcastle to seal 2nd and beat Arsenal in the table for the first time in 21 years. Newcastle was in control, leading 2-0 and then after Tottenham scored, Aleksandar Mitrovic picked up a straight red card. As it seemed Tottenham would come back, Newcastle won a penalty and went up 3-1.

As you can see, it was a rather unfair penalty call because there was no contact. But Tottenham’s response to that was near embarrassing. Newcastle scored two more goals to win 5-1 over Tottenham and cause them to finish behind Arsenal once again after being ahead for so long.


The other games

Everton 3-0 Norwich City

It was an end of an era as Tim Howard played in his final Premier League game. In a 3-0 win against Norwich, Howard closed this chapter of his career the best way he could, with a clean sheet.

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City

The two most recent Premier League champions faced off at Stamford Bridge. In the end, it was a rather uneventful 1-1 draw as Chelsea fans saluted John Terry for possibly the final time as a Chelsea player

Watford 2-2 Sunderland

While there wasn’t much at stake in this game, this was arguably the most entertaining game of the day. Sunderland took the lead twice and Watford came back to equalize twice to end the game 2-2.


The current English Premier League table

Champions League
1) Leicester City 81 pts.
2) Arsenal 71
3) Tottenham Hotspur 70
4) Manchester City 66

Europa League
5) Southampton 63
6) Manchester United 63 (game in hand)

Awaiting Europa League or Champions League fate
7) West Ham United 62
8) Liverpool 60

9) Stoke City 51
10) Chelsea 50
11) Everton 47
12) Swansea City 47
13) Watford 45
14) West Bromwich Albion 43
15) Crystal Palace 42
16) AFC Bournemouth 42 (game in hand)
17) Sunderland 39

18) Newcastle United 37
19) Norwich City 34
20) Aston Villa 17

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp