Arsenal, Wenger fail to make Champions League after 20 years
- Author: Julie Sanders May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 18:47
Captain Vincent Kompany netted after five minutes and City went on to beat Watford 5-0, with Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus also contributing to the rout. With Arsenal scoring early, the pressure was on the Merseyside club.
With Man City and Arsenal cruising in their respective games and the Reds struggling to put anything together for 45-minutes against Boro, the tension was rising in Anfield on the pitch and in the stands.
The Netherlands midfielder pierced Middlesbrough's packed defence and drove a rising shot into the net in first-half injury time, before Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana added further goals in a 3-0 win. Everton manager Ronald Koeman: "It wasn't good enough". Liverpool was creating chances, but nothing looked outright risky.
He had threatened the opposition goal with a couple of efforts in the first half, but as he shaped up to take this free kick in the second, you got the impression he was about to find the net. All that was alleviated when Wijnaldum blasted in the opener before the break.
"It's very sad", Wenger said of Arsenal's failure to reach the top four.
Arsenal will have to play on Thursday nights now, which as Manchester United have shown can cause some problems with player fatigue. The big point is to get in players who will have more productivity.
The impact of handing the Europa League winners a place in the Champions League has clearly done its job - and now it will be up to Jose's regulars to deliver in Stockholm - because of course, you can not win anything with kids....
Whether Wenger is back in charge at the Emirates Stadium next season is yet to be resolved.
Finishing fifth means Arsenal will play in the Europa League for the first time next season and missing out on Europe's premier tournament may not sit well with their star players. I think we have just to win the next one.
England forward Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick in Tottenham's 7-1 win at relegated Hull to secure the Golden Boot. Jordan Ayew previously cancelling out Jonny Evans' opener, while Stoke won 1-0 at Southampton thanks to Peter Crouch's header on the hour.
While Chelsea's run towards the Premier League crown was relentless, Mauricio Pochettino's squad were also gathering a head of steam which in any other season would probably have seen Spurs finish as champions. Chelsea will try to defend their title, and a few faces, new and old, will be joining the league from the Championship.
John Terry collected the Premier League trophy for the fifth time in the final act of his 22-year association with Chelsea.