For the second time in three years, Manchester City sit atop the Premier League. The Citizens blanked West Ham 2-0 on Sunday at Etihad to secure their spot atop the table by two points over Liverpool.
The Reds had a chance to catch City, and they kept up their end of the bargain with a 2-1 win over Newcastle, but the Reds will be kicking themselves for a long time over a home loss to Chelsea and a draw to Crystal Palace after blowing a 3-0 lead in the two matches leading up to Matchday 38.
Have a look at the table, and then we can close the book on an exciting campaign.
|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|
Although the Reds came up short of their ultimate goal, it was still a great season under manager Brendan Rodgers and the Champions League awaits them next year. The Champions League also awaits Chelsea after the Blues wrapped up third place by beating Cardiff, 2-1.
Arsenal, who spent much of the campaign at the top of the table, slogged through a disappointing end to the campaign, but the Gunners at least secured their spot in the Champions League. A few weeks ago, that standing was in doubt, but not in the final week. Arsenal finished seven points ahead of Everton.
Everton will lament missing out on the Champions League, but they did earn a spot in the Europa League, and it was a wonderful campaign under new manager Roberto Martinez.
Have a look at this tweet from ESPN's Luke O'Farrell:
Tottenham wrapped up the EPL's second Europa League spot with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa. The Red Devils had a chance to catch them had Tottenham slipped up. That didn't happen, and United couldn't keep up their end of the bargain anyway, as the defending league champs couldn't muster anything more than a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Meanwhile, at Etihad, Sunday was a day of celebration. The Citizens were dominant from the start and left little doubt they would seal the title.
It wasn't until the 39th minute when they grabbed the lead on a Samir Nasri goal, but with a dominant showing, that first goal was just a matter of time.
When Vincent Kompany added the match's second goal just 10 minutes later, it was time to start celebrating at Etihad.
West Ham had little hope in this match. They fired off just three shots and none were on goal.
B/R UK caught the moment of triumph at Etihad:
The Associated Press' Rob Harris passed along this quote from proud manager Manuel Pellegrini:
Meanwhile, former footballer Gary Lineker passed along this lofty praise for Pellegrini:
There isn't a lot praise being bandied about for anyone connected with Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City. Those are the clubs comprising the bottom three and are resigned to a fate of relegation.
After a campaign of ineptitude for those three, only Norwich entered the final day with any hope of jumping out of the bottom three, but it wasn't realistic. They needed to make up 17 goals on West Brom.
Not surprisingly, it didn't happen.
For Manchester City and their fans, this is a time to rejoice in the accomplishment at hand. For everyone else, it's not too early to start looking toward next year, and there should be another exciting title race at hand.
City will remain frighteningly loaded, Liverpool's deadly attack will be hunting for hardware and United will attack this offseason in an attempt to quickly get back to their dominant ways.
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