All rise for Michy Batshuyai! Being a good striker is all about timing and, having done nothing other than run an interesting Instagram account all season, the Belgian front man came off the bench to score the goal that sealed the title for the Blues. You can guarantee the picture of him on his knees celebrating made it on to social media. Weirdly, Chelsea closed this out in the exact same manner as Leicester last season with no frills, no real drama or upset and thoroughly professionally. Yet, with Chelsea you just knew this was in the bag long ago. Mainly because it was Spurs chasing them. Once more a Chelsea manager rocks up and wins the league. Easy when you know how, hey Arsene? Conte will be rewarded by an offer that would make him one of the best paid managers outside of China. Said offer might be coming from Inter though.
Speaking of Spurs, apparently they are leaving White Hart Lane? I wasn’t aware of this fact. I mean, when clubs leave their historic stadiums aren’t we supposed to have months of build up, controversy, countdowns, brand new stadiums paid for by the taxpayer all ready to move into? No? Just West Ham then. Spurs welcomed Manchester United to White Lart Lane for “the Finale” which I presume was named such so that Tottenham felt as if they had reached a final this season. Either way, they went out in style banishing memories of most of the United victories at the Lane over the years. Fair play Tottenham, this season you managed to come second in a one-horse race.
Just look at Arsenal go! Like the experienced middle distance runner, the Gunners are just picking up pace on the final lap and are ready to overtake those that went too early. They are not, as we know, bothered about gold medals, just about qualifying for the next stage. Stoke were all too willing to step aside, and even Mike Dean couldn’t stop Arsene’s men. Sanchez showed Ozil what an assist really looks like and Giroud scored some more. I still don’t understand why Giroud gets almost as much stick as the manager. He plays, he scores. Simple. It’s not his fault what happens at the other end. Oh, and nice one Crouchy. His tweet after the game said something like “slightly dubious” as he practically punched home Stoke’s consolation.
If a gauntlet was thrown down to Liverpool by Arsenal, Liverpool who struggle against mid-to-lower-table teams, they certainly accepted it. Of course, it helps to be playing West Ham when you need reply to a statement. Four goals later, the reply was very much written in stone. With one game left, Liverpool would consider themselves very unfortunate to end up outside the top four.
Manchester City would probably feel the same, especially with their two games remaining. Their win over Leicester saw them end the weekend in 4th. You need a bit of luck at times, and City certainly had that. Sterling was offside, though when Raheem is in the six yard box you can never quite be sure that he is interfering with play. Mind you if he is in the six yard box it’s not always a goal-scoring opportunity either! Riyad Mahrez summed up his season in one run up. Slipping and taking the penalty with both feet and seeing it disallowed is how far he has dropped this time round. Don’t forget though, Leicester could finish 8th which would not be a bad campaign at all. Just imagine if they’d got rid of that guy sooner.
Sunderland followed up their unexpected win at Hull last weekend with a tricky trip to the Stadium of Light, which it could be said is Sunderland’s bogey ground. Those fans that were still there at the end of the match will have been delighted to see Moyes just shoot straight down the tunnel. Mind you, it was the best shooting by anyone associated with the Black Cats this campaign. Swansea turned up the heat on Hull with their 2-0 win, knowing that defeat the next day for their rivals would see Paul Clement avoid the fate of being sacked twice in the Championship in a few months time.
Now look, I like Marco Silva. I think that has been pretty clear in the last few weeks. But, I can’t help but feel that they really should have smashed Sunderland last week so that not everything was on the table against Big Sam’s Palace. You don’t want to play a side managed by a furiously chewing Allardyce at this stage of the season. And Hull showed that they really didn’t want to be playing Palace, capitulating to a 4-0 loss that was quite out of character in recent months. Somewhere Merson and Thompson were smiling, seeing the most British of British managers in Allardyce safe as that Johnny-come-lately-foreign type was sacrificed.
Of course, had they gone English it would not have guaranteed safety as Steve Agnew very much proved. Still, at least the sun had the decency to shine at the Riverside, meaning it could well and truly set on Middlesbrough’s Premier League tenure. Brad Guzan has had better weeks, hasn’t he? Having been nutmegged three times on Monday night, his desperate charge out of goal to almost kill Long and his defender was comical. Not quite as comical as Long’s penalty however. Here’s a question. Has anyone ever run a channel as willingly as Shane Long? Patrick Bamford scored, which was great as I presumed he had either retired young or was recovering from a career threatening injury.
Plucky little Bournemouth currently sit tenth. Eddie Howe, English in name but not in management style, has worked out how to get the best out of Josh King, English in name but actually Norwegian negating some recent calls for him to get an England call-up. King got the winner, and his reward might be to keep John Terry away from his wife next season.
So, we have a few games during the week but they mean very little unless you consider the top-four thing of importance. The relegation battle that looked like it might go the distance is over quicker than expected, so all that catches the eye for next week’s column is whether Arsene Wenger is going to find a way to have one last laugh at our expense.