Sunday, 19 May 2013

EPL Final Day LIVE Coverage:

Today is the final day of what has been a dramatic and interesting EPL season. All twenty teams are all in action, at the same time. The champions and the three relegated sides have all been confirmed, so that part of the traditional last day will not be present this afternoon. However, there are still Champions League places to fight for along with a couple of places that can be moved around and shifted in mid-table with a win today. 

4th placed Arsenal travel to Newcastle knowing they need a win to confirm CL football again next season ahead of 5th placed rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Depending on whether Chelsea win at home against Everton, the two teams may have to play a play-off match next Sunday to decide who has to qualify for the CL and who gets automatic qualification into the group stage. Complicated stuff but it will all be sorted out by 6pm tonight :)

LATEST SCORES:

Chelsea 1 Everton 1
The new Europa League winners Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge knowing that they need a win to secure automatic qualification for next season's Champions League.  
So far they are not doing that, drawing 1-1 despite going ahead thanks to Spainsh playmaker Juan Mata. Scottish striker Steven Naismith equalised just seven minutes later, and it has stayed that way so far.


World-class: Juan Mata celebrates scoring his 11th EPL goal of the season to make it 1-0

Liverpool 1 QPR 0
Superb Liverpool signing and midfielder Phillipe Coutinho has broken the deadlock for The Reds in the 23rd minute against already relegated QPR. 


Bullet: Phillipe Coutinho breaks the deadlock for Liverpool at Anfield after 23 minutes

Superb: Coutinho has impressed massively in the EPL since his move from Inter in January 

Manchester City 1 Norwich City 2
Yes, you read the scoreline correctly. Norwich are leading 2-1 away from home against last season's EPL winners.  

Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1
The Gunners have made a significant step towards Champions League qualification, with a slender 1-0 lead away from home thanks to French defender Laurent Koscielny who scored with an acrobatic effort into the net.


Acrobatic effort: Laurent Koscielny finds himself in space before having a half-volley fly into the net. 

Crucial: Koscielny celebrates his goal with Cazorla and Mertesacker which puts Arsenal in the driving seat.
Southampton 1 Stoke City 1
Peter Crouch and Rickie Lambert have both scored for their respective clubs, as the scoreline is 1-1 at St. Mary's Stadium.


Tale of two strikers: Peter Crouch celebrates breaking the deadlock for Stoke...

Guess who: Before.... Rickie Lambert celebrates equalising for Southampton to make it 1-1.

Swansea 0 Fulham 1
Young striker Alex Kacaniklic has broken the deadlock for Fulham away from home in Wales. 

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Sunderland 0
Spurs know they need to win and hope that Newcastle get a good result at home against Arsenal to secure Champions League football next season. At the moment, this will not happen as Arsenal are in-front, and despite dominating Spurs are not doing the same. 0-0. 

West Brom 2 Manchester United 4
Sir Alex Ferguson's last match in charge of Manchester United, which is also his 1,500th for United. 


Guard of honour: Sir Alex walks out onto the pitch with a guard of honour before the match. 

Landmark: This is Sir Alex Ferguson's last match in charge of United - and his 1,500th

His side are winning away from home at The Hawthorns by 4 goals to 2, thanks to Kagawa, Buttner, van Persie and an own goal but the hosts have put on powerhouse striker Romelu Lukaku who looks impressive today and has already scored a goal soon after coming on. 


Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa celebrates a rare goal for United to break the deadlock.


West Ham 2 Reading 2
Already relegated side Reading are giving West Ham a run for their money on the last day of the season. They have come back from 2 goals down to equalise with 30 minutes to play. They are leaving the EPL, but leaving it with style. 


Star man: Kevin Nolan celebrates his goal with on-loan striker Andy Carroll.
Comeback: Reading celebrate making it 2-2 thanks to goals from Adam Le Fondre and Gareth McCleary.

Wigan Athletic 2 Aston Villa 2
Wigan start life in the Championship next season after their 4-1 loss to Arsenal during midweek sealed their relegation fate cruelly. They host Aston Villa who have had troubles of their own recently but are lucky to still be in this league after this season.

At the moment it is 2-2 in an end-to-end game at the DW Stadium.

18:00:


FULL-TIME SCORES:

Chelsea 2 Everton 1
The Blues sealed a 3rd placed finish with a 2-1 win at home against a tough Everton side who were unlucky to lose.
Fernando Torres scored his 2nd goal in 2 matches to win the game for the hosts in the 76th minute. 

Liverpool 1 QPR 0
Coutinho's goal was the only thing that separated the two teams at Anfield, apart from the hosts' touching tribute to defender Jamie Carragher who retires from professional football today after 737 appearances as a Liverpool player. 

QPR will return to the Championship next season where they will look to re-group, lick their wounds and bounce back up to the Elite league in England. 

Manchester City 2 Norwich City 3
Manchester City failed to end their unpredictable season on a high after a 3-2 defeat to Norwich at home. Young midfielder Jack Rodwell (who has not featured much throughout this season) scored a double for the hosts as they looked to beat Norwich comfortably in-front of their frustrated fans, but they kept going behind thanks to goals from Grant Holt, Anthony Pilkington and Jonny Howson. 

They could not equalise for a third time and ended this season knowing they must do better in 2014 if they are to regain their EPL title from rivals Manchester United. 


Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1
The Gunners took the coveted 4th placed spot and last Champions League place after a dramatic day of football. Tottenham left it late at home, with Gareth Bale scoring an amazing strike from 25 yards out to give them the lead.

In the end, Spurs were unable to stop Arsenal from winning in their match, with French defender Laurent Koscielny scoring the only goal of the game with an acrobatic effort past retiring goalkeeper Steve Harper. 


Southampton 1 Stoke City 1
Both sides took a point away on the final day at St.Mary's Stadium, as Southampton and Stoke City were both unable to score again to win the match late in the second half.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen retires today, and he played in the last 15 minutes of the match but was not able to provide much attacking threat for the visitors.


Last farewell: Michael Owen gives a round of applause to the travelling Stoke fans at full-time. 

Swansea 0 Fulham 3

Striker Dimitar Berbatov and midfielder Urby Emmanuelson added to The Cottagers lead after the break, and capped off a comfortable win for Fulham away from home on the last day of the season. 


Slotting home: Dimitar Berbatov doubles Fulham's lead against Swansea.

2 for now.... Berbatov celebrates making it 2-0 to Fulham.

3 and easy: Emmanuelson celebrates his finish to make it 3-0 to Fulham. 

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Sunderland 0
This match was played at White Hart Lane, as 5th placed Spurs hosted Sunderland at home in a match that would decide their European future next season.

They needed to win and hope that Newcastle got a decent result against Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League, or else they would have to settle for Europa League football once again next season. 

They left it late despite dominating the match, but talisman winger Gareth Bale broke the deadlock in the 89th minute with an amazing curling strike from 20 yards out which flew past Mignolet into the top corner of the net. 


Within minutes: Bale was celebrating his amazing finish in the 89th minute to break the deadlock

And crying his eyes out after realising Spurs had narrowly missed out on CL football again. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal were still leading against Newcastle thanks to a goal from Laurent Koscielny - his 2nd of the season. 

This meant that at full-time, Spurs won 1-0 but were confined to the Europa League for another season. 

West Bromwich Albion 5 Manchester United 5

This match was played at The Hawthorns, as United manager Sir Alex Ferguson managed his last game in charge of Manchester United.

Goals from Kagawa, Hernandez, van Persie, Buttner and an own goal from Jonas Olsson had given United a 5-2 lead after 63 minutes - before West Brom pulled off the impossible. 

They made a dramatic comeback to spoil SAF's farewell party thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku (scoring a hat-trick on the day from the bench) and Youssouf Mulumbu.

West Ham 4 Reading 2

Two second half goals from English midfielder Kevin Nolan gave the hosts a 4-2 win at home despite Reading's 2-goal comeback. 
Wigan 2 Aston Villa 2

The score stayed the same at the DW Stadium, as Wigan played their last home match before they move into the Championship next season and try to improve their squad depth to comeback stronger soon...