Man Utd win to qualify for Champions League at Leicester’s expense

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Manchester United secured a place in the Champions League at the expense of Leicester City with a 2-0 victory at King Power Stadium.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side needed a point from this decisive final-day meeting to confirm a place in the top four – and break the hearts of the Foxes, who were in a Champions League spot for so much of the season.

Leicester needed victory once Chelsea took command at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers but their dreams were dashed as Bruno Fernandes scored a 71st-minute penalty after Anthony Martial tumbled under challenge from Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans.

Both sides had their chances, with Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel saving well from Marcus Rashford in the first half and Jamie Vardy seeing a header glance off the frame of the goal after the break.

Leicester pressed could not break Manchester United down and their misery was compounded when Evans was sent off against his former club for a wild, late lunge on Scott McTominay.

Manchester United confirmed the formalities seconds from time when substitute Jesse Lingard robbed Schmeichel and rolled the ball into an empty net.

It is a result that fulfils the usual minimum requirement of Champions League qualification for Manchester United.

But while Leicester City’s fifth-placed finish is highly creditable and earns a place in the Europa League, this will undoubtedly be a huge disappointment and anti-climax after being in a position to reach the Champions League for so long.

Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

Champions Liverpool finished on their highest Premier League points total as they came from behind to beat Newcastle on the final day of the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds accumulated 99 points, one better than their 1978-79 total – adjusted to three points for a win – and 18 above runners-up Manchester City.

They also matched the Premier League record for wins in a season (level with City’s 32 in 2017-18 and 2018-19) but fell just short of City’s biggest winning margin of 19 points in 2017-18.

Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead after 25 seconds from Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick, the fastest goal ever scored on a Premier League final day.

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Chelsea 2-0 Wolves

Chelsea sealed fourth place in the Premier League to wrap up qualification for next season’s Champions League with a comfortable victory over Wolves.

Frank Lampard’s side needed a point from the potentially nervy encounter at Stamford Bridge in order to clinch a top-four place – but they stylishly grabbed all three.

Mason Mount’s delightful 25-yard curling free-kick and Olivier Giroud’s effort from close range were just 144 seconds apart on the stroke of half-time and they settled the contest.

The loss means Wolves end the season in seventh place, behind Tottenham on goal difference, after Jose Mourinho’s side drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace.

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Man City 5-0 Norwich

Manchester City legend David Silva made his final Premier League appearance but Kevin de Bruyne stole the show as his side brushed aside already-relegated Norwich.

Silva, who has won four league titles during a glittering 10-year spell at City, was desperate to mark the occasion with a goal, but his best effort was kept out by Tim Krul’s flying save.

City still ended up comfortable winners, thanks to Gabriel Jesus’s close-range finish from a deflected Raheem Sterling cross and a superb curling strike from De Bruyne, who as usual took centre stage.

De Bruyne slipped Sterling clear to add a third, meaning the Belgian equalled Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season. (BBC Sport)

 

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