The 2018/19 Premier League season has ended and it came with its own share of unlimited excitement, anxiety, and tension.
The ‘noisy neighbors’ successfully defended their Premier League title despite being hotly chased by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, the German boss who was stated to have a bridesmaid’s tag about him but never the bride.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City sealed a double and are on course for a domestic treble as they will face Watford in the FA Cup final on May 18.
The Premier League top two in the just concluded 2018/19 campaign took the fight to each other and dragged it on till the final day where they both garnered wins.
However, the same can’t be said for the other clubs who came with the aim of competing for the title when the season began last August. Here are some talking points from the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
1. The top 2 were no match for other supposed title contenders.
It must be noted that just 1 point separated Manchester City from Liverpool with 98 and 97 points respectively. However, the gap from the 3rd and 4th places was enormous as a whopping 26 points separated third-placed Chelsea from the eventual champions.
Manchester City scored 95 goals, Liverpool scored 89 whilst Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur scored 63 and 67 goals respectively. Arsenal who came somehow close with 73 goals finished 5th on the log.
2. Manchester United’s romance with sixth was signed. sealed and delivered
The Red Devils had a final matchday to forget as they lost 2 nil at Old Trafford to an already relegated Cardiff City. There’s no doubt that doubts have started creeping in amongst the fans and club officials regarding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s prowess in the job.
It can be recalled that Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties as manager as his side had a relationship with the sixth spot on the log at the time before being replaced by Solskjaer.
The Norwegian started off like a house on fire with a series of wins before ‘whatever it is’ crept in and saw them still end up sixth on the log.
3. The top 4 debacle
There is no doubt that the 2018/19 Premier League race for a place in the top four and eventually the UEFA Champions League was one of the most underwhelming in recent years.
The likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and Manchester United took inconsistency to a whole new level as they conspired to lose the places to each other.
However, Chelsea and Tottenham who appeared to be better off than the other two managed to seal their places. In a more competitive race for the top 4, the points haul would have been larger. The 2017/18 campaign saw Spurs and Liverpool seal the third and fourth spots with 77 and 75 points respectively.
4. The Golden boot race
The race for the golden boot saw three African players emerge tops. I must say this! Injuries did Englishman Harry Kane no favors.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah, as well as Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, ended up as joint top scorers with 22 goals to their names respectively.
Nobody saw this coming and the trio could not eventually outwit each other with the needed extra goal on the final matchday.
5. The Premier League dominated Europe
Who would have thought that the Premier League would have 4 teams in the finals of Europe’s major elite competitions at the end of the season?
The European Supercup is definitely coming to England. Liverpool and Tottenham have a date in the UCL final on June 1, while London rivals, Chelsea and Arsenal will face each other in the Europa League final on May 29. This is a record! And a welcome one at that for English football.
Other notable talking points include how newly promoted Wolves under Nuno Espirito Santo emerged as giant killers in the just concluded season as they took the fight to the big boys.
Fulham’s spending spree in the transfer market which led to the dismissal of Slavisa Jokanovic, appointment and dismissal of Claudio Ranieri and appointment of Scott Parker ended in shame as they were relegated to the Championship. Funny enough, the likes of Jokanovic and Scott Parker were players under Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea.
Man United fans look away. The Red Devils and Huddersfield Town had the same record in their last 5 games in the just-concluded season. 3 losses and 2 draws.
We’ll now have to wait till August 2019 to get served up with more Premier League excitement.