After a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Manchester City won their second Premier League title in the last three seasons.
Liverpool entered the day with a chance to catch the Citizens. They sat just two points back and beat Newcastle 2-1, but Manuel Pellegrini's men would not falter. B/R UK caught the joyful moment of victory at the Etihad:
At the other end of the table, things were fairly well locked in entering in Matchday 38, and the bottom three remain unchanged. Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City fill out the bottom three and are headed toward relegation.
Have a look at the final standings:
|2014 English Premier League Final Table|
|13||West Ham United||38||11||7||20||-11||40|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||38||7||15||16||-16||36|
With the title on the line, all eyes were on Manchester City, and the Citizens were sharp from the start. It took 39 minutes for Samir Nasri to give this match a score, but there was little mystery City was going to break the scoreless draw. They dominated the action all match.
Vincent Kompany needed just 10 minutes to add the second goal. At that point, Manchester City, as the following tweet from the club highlights, was getting giddy:
Although City's immense talent means their title is far from a surprise, the Citizens faced adversity in the form of injuries and slumps that left them needing a dramatic late charge to the title.
One of the players who slumped at times this season was goalkeeper Joe Hart. He was in goal for the clean sheet on Sunday, although he didn't face a single shot on goal. After the match, he had nothing but praise for his manager in a quote tweeted by the Premier League:
Meanwhile, at Anfield, Liverpool almost didn't give themselves a chance to win the title. Of course, after blowing the table lead with a home loss to Chelsea and a baffling collapse to Crystal Palace, that wouldn't have been surprising.
Liverpool trailed Newcastle United 1-0 into the 63rd minute. The Reds responded, however, and goals in the 63rd and 65th minute gave them a 2-1 edge they would carry to the final whistle, but still had them come up just short of their ultimate goal.
Behind the Reds, Chelsea beat Cardiff 2-1 and Arsenal beat Norwich 2-0 to finish in third and fourth, respectively, to round out the Champions League qualifiers.
Everton blanked Hull 2-0 to finish off their strong season in fifth and earn a spot in Europa League. Their placement was guaranteed heading into the final match. Behind them, however, Tottenham and Manchester United were battling for the second Europa spot.
The Red Devils entered the day having to make up three points on Tottenham. It didn't happen. Tottenham beat Aston Villa 3-0, while United drew Southampton 1-1.
That completes an astoundingly disappointing year for the defending league champions, and next year, the Red Devils will not be in any European competitions. Although, as Rob Harris of The Associated Press points out, there are worse things than missing out on the Europa League:
As for the teams facing relegation, they had little hope of improving their fate. Only Norwich entered the day with a chance to move out of the bottom three. Of course, to do that they needed to make up 17 goals on West Bromwich Albion.
This closes the book on an exciting Premier League season and sets the table for a heated campaign come August. Manchester City will be loaded and ready to defend their title, while Liverpool will be looking to take things one step further.
Of course, Manchester United is going to be supremely active this offseason, and the wealthy soccer power will look vastly different next year.