Everton avoid the drop as Leeds and Leicester go down on final day

Everton avoid the drop as Leeds and Leicester go down on final day

The final day of the 2022/23 Premier League season failed to match last year’s incredible drama, with Manchester City clinching the title over Liverpool following their astounding 3-2 comeback against Aston Villa, but there were still plenty of intriguing storylines across the country as another campaign drew to a close on Sunday.

With the race for the title and top four spots wrapped up in advance, all eyes were on the relegation battle as Everton, Leicester City, and Leeds United fought for their Premier League survival. Leeds and Leicester began the day in the drop zone, needing victories over Tottenham and West Ham and Everton to drop points against Bournemouth at Goodison Park to change their fate.

While Leicester did manage to edge out the Hammers at the King Power, Everton assured their safety with a nervy 1-0 win against Bournemouth thanks to a 57th-minute screamer from Abdoulaye Doucoure. The Frenchman volleyed home from the edge of the area through a crowd of Bournemouth defenders, securing the three points for the Toffees and assuring their top-flight status for another season.

Everton’s victory means that Leicester City and Leeds United join Southampton in the bottom three, who enjoyed an entertaining 4-4 draw on the South Coast against Liverpool to end their 11-year stay in the Premier League.

Over at the top of the table, Brentford completed the double over Manchester City, beating Pep Guardiola’s side for the second time this campaign to secure their first-ever top-ten finish in the Premiership. With two major Cup Finals on the horizon for the reigning champions, the Cityzens rested the majority of their first-team superstars against the Bees, including Erling Haaland, Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish, and John Stones, and the second-string XI succumbed to an 85th-minute winner from Ethan Pinnock to finish their league campaign on 89 points.

Their title rivals Arsenal, meanwhile, enjoyed an uplifting end to the season in front of their home support at the Emirates. The Gunners bounced back from consecutive defeats to Brighton and Nottingham Forest, thrashing Wolves 5-0 to secure their 26th victory of the campaign – the joint-most by an Arsenal side in Premier League history.

Elsewhere in the country, Aston Villa secured a European finish for the first time in 13 years with their 2-1 win over Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton at home. The Midlands side continued their stunning rise under Unai Emery in the league and pipped Tottenham to seventh place in the table with their final day victory over the Seagulls, leaving Spurs without European football next season for the first time since 2010.

Rounding out the rest of the results, Manchester United strolled to a comfortable 2-1 win over Fulham at home, while Champions League-bound Newcastle United drew 1-1 at Chelsea to secure their highest points tally in the league in two decades.