And that’s a wrap! After nine months, 380 matches and over 1000 goals, the curtain falls on a truly remarkable season.
The final Matchweek of 2020-21 saw Liverpool and Chelsea squeeze into the Champions League spots, as the desperately unlucky Leicester City missed out on Europe’s Premier club competition by falling at the final hurdle for the second season in a row. On the other side of the coin, Tottenham’s victory over The Foxes enabled them to finish above rivals Arsenal yet again, whilst fellow London side West Ham secured an incredible 6th placed finish, and Sergio Aguero enjoyed the perfect Manchester City send-off.
Beyond the pitch, though, one of the real highlights of this Matchweek (and indeed Matchweek 37) was the return of a limited number of fans to all Premier League grounds, some of which hadn’t welcomed supporters in over 14 months. It was a timely reminder of the hard work that had gone on behind the scenes to ensure that there was even a Premier League season to begin with, and gives us hope of a return to full capacity grounds in the not too distant future.
Stars in Premier League – Gameweek 38
But that is a story for another day. For now, it’s time to take one final look back at the Premier League’s Stars of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s final game may have been all about Sergio Aguero, but it proved to be an exceptional day’s work at the other end of the pitch as well, as goalkeeper Ederson signed off a golden glove-winning campaign in style.
A smart early save from Dominic Calvert-Lewin helped calm any City nerves, before the Brazilian made an excellent stop from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty – the first that Ederson has saved in the Premier League for over three years. With the scores at 2-0 at the time, it was a crucial moment in the game to crush Everton’s hopes of a revival, and set the stage for Aguero’s fairytale ending.
A magnificent ending to a terrific season for Manchester City’s crazy and beloved goalkeeper.
Defender: John Egan (Sheffield United)
A miserable season for Sheffield United ended on a high on the final day with a 1-0 victory over Burnley, a result which bumps the Yorkshire side up to 23 points overall. In truth, it stands as a relatively respectable tally and one far away from any unwanted records that they looked destined to be heading towards earlier in the season.
Like many players in the team, centre back John Egan has struggled this season, but he bowed out of the top flight with an excellent performance here. The defender was equal to everything that Chris Wood and Burnley threw at him throughout the game, winning 11/14 aerial duels against the tough striker.
Another ray of light for the Blades that they’ll hope to build on in their return to the championship.
Midfielder: Pablo Fornals (West Ham United)
A bumpy run of form for West Ham may have had some Hammers fans fearing the worst on the final day for the club’s European hopes, but these fears were put to rest with relative ease as the London side cruised past Southampton.
West Ham have had their fair share of heroes throughout the season, and it was the turn of Pablo Fornals to step up and be counted. The attacking midfielder took the game to Southampton early with a poacher’s finish inside the penalty area, before showing similar instincts just moments later to turn home Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
It’s been a dream season for West Ham, and now they can enjoy the summer knowing that they have a European adventure to look forward to, in part due to the performance of Fornals here.
Forward: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
What a way to say goodbye. A few hearts might’ve sunk upon seeing that Sergio Aguero was benched for his final Premier League match, but the legendary striker reminded us one last time why he is one of the finest players this league has ever seen by coming onto the field to score twice past Everton.
A poked finish shortly after being subbed on gave Aguero the dream ending he’d been looking for, but it got even better for the Argentine with another goal that took him past Wayne Rooney’s record of 183 goals for one Premier League club.
It was everything Aguero could’ve hoped for on his farewell, a perfect way to round off a truly sensational Premier League career.
Manager: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
That’s how you end the season in style. Not only a perfect day for Ederson and Sergio Aguero, but one for the Manchester City team as a whole, who produced perhaps their best win of the entire campaign by hammering a lacklustre Everton 5-0.
It was champagne football from Pep Guardiola’s side, who cranked up the style ahead of their Champions League final showdown next weekend. From De Bruyne’s pinpoint finish to Foden’s dancing feet and Aguero’s incredible finale, it was the stuff of dreams from Pep Guardiola’s side from start to finish, the Catalan reminding everyone just how he has once again turned this side into champions.
Now, one final challenge awaits the great manager this season, as all eyes turn to the upcoming blockbuster in Porto.