Soccer Down Here
The Best of 2021/22 Final Premier League Matchday
by Nyle Farooqui
Manchester City win the Premier League after emotional rollercoaster:
Manchester City won the Premier League in what was an exciting 3-2 match against Aston Villa. The narrative coming into this was if Steven Gerrard could help Liverpool win the Premier League for his former side. Matty Cash would give Aston Villa the lead with a header in the 37th minute after Lucas Digne was able to find him with a cross. Tension and panic would be occurring as City were not able to find an equalizer during the first half. Former Liverpool player Phillipe Coutinho would extend Villa’s lead to 2-0 in the 69th minute. At this point, the tables turned. If Liverpool were to score another goal to make it 2-1 against Wolves at that point, Liverpool would have been at the top and City would have needed to score 3 goals. However, you can never cut out this Man City side. Ilkay Gundogan would bring some life back into the match by heading the ball in the back of the net in the 76th minute thanks to a cross from Raheem Sterling. An impact from players that came on as substitutes. Rodri would then score 2 minutes after thatto bring City back on top with 12 minutes left to play. And finally, Ilkay Gudogan would score again in the 81st minute to ultimately put the icing on the cake. Leaving no doubt that City would win the title. It’s a testament to the players that they have as they never dropped their heads. Quality players step up in big games and this is what ultimately shows the true sign of a champion. Pep Guardiola continues to show what he can do with this team as they continue to dominate England. It is his 4th Premier League trophy with City in 5 years. Good times for City, especially with the imminent arrival of Erling Haaland.
Liverpool fall short but should be proud:
It was also an eventful day for Liverpool. The pressure would start immediately as Pedro Neto would score in the 3rd minute after a defensive howler from Konate to give Wolves the lead in a match that Liverpool had to win in order to keep their PL title hopes alive. Sadio Mane would then respond 21 minutes after to tie it. Shortly after, Liverpool fans were roaring as they were notified that Aston Villa scored to give them the lead against City. The roars intensified even further however when they were notified that former Liverpool player Phillipe Coutinho extended Villa’s lead to 2-0. They now knew that if Liverpool were to score to make it 2-1 at that time, Liverpool would be in position to win the Premier League at that moment. However, that also depended on if Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was able to have his side still come out of the match with a win against City. Anxiety was apparent throughout Anfield as it took a while for Liverpool to score again. They would finally do so again in the 84th minute after a goal from Salah, it brought some spark back to Anfield. The problem was that City at this point managed to make a comeback by scoring 3 goals in just 5 minutes, but there was still some hope from Liverpool fans that Aston Villa could tie against City with the time remaining. Andy Robertson would seal the icing on the cake for Liverpool in the 89th minute. However, it ultimately wasn’t enough. The Reds did what they could and for a while it looked like Steven Gerrard could help them out, but ultimately the dreams of Steven Gerrard helping Liverpool win the Premier League didn’t come to reality. However, Jurgen Klopp should be proud of his side’s efforts. A fantastic season for them with 92 points, just one point behind City at the end of the day. Liverpool was 14 points behind City in January and on the final day, they ended up being 1 point behind. They were relentless and put pressure on City till the end. There is still much that Liverpool has to play for. The unprecedented quadruple is out of their sights but a treble is stil possible. Liverpool so far have won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. Now, there is another opportunity for glory against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28th in Paris. A truly tough opponent that has caused Liverpool trouble before with a 3-1 win over them in the 2018 UCL final. However, a successful night in Paris would cap off a truly incredible campaign for Liverpool.
Leeds United stay in the Premier League after a 2-1 win over Brentford on final day:
Jesse Marsch has helped Leeds United stay in the Premier League after taking the mantle of beloved Leeds cult Marcelo Bielsa. It was never going to be an easy situation for Jesse Marsch walking into the door of a Leeds United side that sacked Bielsa after a poor run in form. However, their 2-1 win against Brentford on Sunday was a crucial step in the direction for Leeds. Leeds heading into this match were written off as many thought they could be relegated. This did not stop them however as they would never give up. Leeds scored in the 19th minute but it would be called for offside. However, Raphinha would score in the 56th minute off a penalty kick to give Leeds United the lead. The penalty was a result of a poor tackle from Brentford goalkeeper Raya. Canos would respond then for Brentford in the 78th minute but Brentford would then be down to 10 men after the goal scorer received a red card. Former NYCFC player Jack Harrison would then score at the death. With Burnley losing 2-1 to Newcastle, this confirmed that Leeds are staying in the Premier League. A big day for the American manager Jesse Marsch after what was a very difficult season for Leeds with injuries among other factors. Now, they have another chance to prove themselves in the Premier League. This Leeds United side now has a chance to make noise in the Premier League once again like they did in 2020/21 when they finished 9th in the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa.
Burnley relegated on final day:
After Burnley lost 2-1 to Newcastle on the final day, caretaker Mike Jackson’s side has been relegated from the Premier League. Callum Wilson would score off a penalty kick in the 20th minute to give Newcastle the lead. The penalty would be rewarded after a handball from Burnley’s Nathan Collins from a corner. Wilson would score again in the 60th minute to double Newcastle’s lead. It was poor defending from Burnley as nobody kept track of Wilson as he was making a run into the box. Burnley’s Maxwell Cornet would score in the 69th minute. Newcastle’s Dubravka would initially make a save but then Cornet puts the shot away at the second attempt. Collins would bounce back after that handball incident by picking out Cornet. Burnley had multiple chances to equalize but they were never able to convert any of those chances. Mike Jackson’s side will be looking back at this and thinking that if any of these chances they had were converted, then maybe perhaps the result could have changed. Perhaps, they wouldn’t have been relegated. This puts a dark cloud above Burnley’s head with the future being unclear. According to Hanes Benge, Burnley will have to pay a large amount of the portion of the 65M pound loan ALK Capital used to buy the club. A lot of work will have to be done to bring Burnley back to the Premier League.