Final day drama proves Premier League is the best around
Premier League: Final day drama includes a 5-5 draw, Champions League heartache & shock home defeats
If there was ever any doubt that the Premier League is the most entertaining league in the world, the season finale confirmed it's status as the best around.
A quite remarkable day saw Manchester United draw 5-5 against West Brom, Arsenal pipping Tottenham to a Champions League place, as well as a number of legendary players and managers bringing an end to their glittering careers. The likes of Michael Owen, Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher and of course, Sir Alex Ferguson all took part in their final Premier League fixtures.
Much was expected of the final day following last year's thrilling climax and it didn't disappoint. Fergie's final day in management was his 1500th match in charge of United and as always, he wanted a win.
At one point in the game, the Red Devils were 3-0 up at The Hawthorns and a happy ending seemed all but certain for the champions. But West Brom never gave up and thanks to a Romelu Lukaku hat-trick, plus goals from James Morrison and Youssouf Mulumbu, The Baggies clawed their way back.
So, to the race for Champions League qualification. Going into the matches, Tottenham knew that even a win against Sunderland would mean they would miss out on the top-four. Arsenal were up against Newcastle, knowing a win would guarantee at least 4th place.
Arsenal went ahead thanks to a Laurent Koscielny goal and the news spread to White Hart Lane. But Spurs' hero of the season, Gareth Bale, produced yet another moment of magic by scoring a wonderful individual goal - but it was all in vain. Arsenal won and made sure that Spurs would be playing Europa League football again next season.
Chelsea were already confirmed a top-four finish, but Rafa Benitez wanted to finish his reign at Chelsea with a win against Everton, who were also saying farewell to their manager, David Moyes.
The match started lively with an early goal from Juan Mata, but Chelsea's lead didn't last long when Steven Naismith equalised. Fernando Torres' first goal in the Premier League since December ensured that Chelsea finished the season well, confirming 3rd place.
Chelsea's interim boss, who has experienced a very hostile and sometimes unfair relationship with Chelsea fans, saw many fans thank him for his work at Stamford Bridge - albeit begrudgingly.
Meanwhile, manager-less Manchester City suffered a shock defeat at home to Norwich City as they produced a lacklustre display, although the result had little significance to their season.
Jamie Carragher's final match saw Liverpool beat QPR at Anfield. The match finished 1-0 and Carragher was almost on the scoresheet himself with his long-range effort rattling the post.
Michael Owen's career also ended as he came off the bench to feature in Stoke's 1-1 draw with Southampton. FA Cup winners Wigan ended their eight-year stay in the Premier League with a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa.
Kevin Nolan's hat-trick helped West Ham defeat Reading by a 4-2 scoreline, with a fine display from on-loan striker Andy Carroll. Reports suggest the Hammers have agreed a £15 million fee with Liverpool as they bid to tie down the England international on a permanent basis.
And finally, Capital One Cup winners Swansea were comfortably beaten at home to Fulham in what many would consider a surprise result.
The 2012/13 Premier League has certainly been one full of exciting and explosive action, and the last day certainly didn't disappoint. Here's to another action-packed campaign next year.
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