The final day of the Premier League saw plenty of drama, even if the destination of the title had long been decided.
The relegation battle was the centre of attention for most neutrals, and it did not disappoint.
Leeds United needed a win against Tottenham and for results elsewhere to go their way, but Harry Kane’s second minute goal rather deflated the crowd at Elland Road.
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Aston Villa secured their first European campaign since the 2010-11 season with a 2-1 win over Brighton at Villa Park.
Villa, needing a win to confirm their place in the European Conference League in light of Spurs beating Leeds, made an impressive start.
Jacob Ramsey played a delightful ball across the face of goal for Douglas Luiz to slide home Villa’s opener in the eighth minute.
Ollie Watkins doubled Villa’s lead in the 26th minute, passing his shot into an empty net after Jason Steele dove into the feet of Ramsey. It would have been a penalty had Watkins not put the ball away.
After 20 minutes, Deniz Undav thought he had a goal back for Brighton, but VAR intervened to rule it out due to an offside in the build-up.
Undav got his goal when he exposed dreadful Villa defending from a free-kick in the 38th minute, racing in behind to make it 2-1 before the break.
Brighton did not appear overly motivated to get an equaliser and the match settled into a scoreless second half as Villa secured their place in Europe.
On the south coast, Liverpool and Southampton shared an entertaining, error-packed 4-4 draw.
Diogo Jota got the opening goal after a woeful no-look pass from Romeo Lavia across his own goal which the Portuguese snaffled up and smashed into the goal from close range.
Roberto Firmino made it 2-0 after 14 minutes, dribbling through the packed Southampton defence before rolling his shot into the goal.
James Ward-Prowse got a goal back for Saints in the 19th minute with a neat, low finish across goal.
In the 28th minute, Southampton were level as Kamaldeen Sulemana raced onto a clever pass into the box and slipped his finish under Caoimhin Kelleher.
Sulemana doubled up to give Southampton the lead just after the break with a sensational strike following a 60-yard run. Receiving the ball deep in Saints territory, Sulemana kept looking for passing options but when none presented themselves, he went alone.
Stuart Armstrong made it 4-2 to Southampton in the 65th minute, snatching an attempted Jordan Henderson pass deep in Liverpool territory before slapping his shot beyond Kelleher.
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Liverpool were level in the blink of an eye. Cody Gakpo scored a tap-in from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross in the 72nd minute. One minute later Mo Salah played Jota in and the Portuguese forward made it 4-4.
In North London, Arsenal destroyed Wolves 5-0.
Granit Xhaka headed Arsenal into an early lead after Gabriel Jesus floated in a cross from the right. Wolves’ defence was nowhere to be seen as the Swiss international leapt high to head home.
Xhaka doubled Arsenal’s lead when a wayward defensive flick fell straight to him in front of goal. Bukayo Saka made it three after 27 minutes. Making space in the box with a sensational body feint, the England winger then whipped his finish into the far corner.
Thomas Partey lashed in Arsenal’s fourth in the 52nd minute, pouncing on a loose ball in the box following a corner, but the goal was chalked off for a foul on Wolves keeper Jose Sa. Arsenal did add another when Leandro Trossard dinked a cross to Gabriel Jesus who rose to head home in the 57th minute.
The Gunners had to wait 20 minutes for their next goal, which came courtesy of Jakub Kiwior. The Polish defender slapped in a loose ball from a corner to make it 5-0.
Across the capital, Chelsea brought the curtain down on a dreadful season with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle.
Anthony Gordon opened the scoring with what will surely be the easiest goal of his career, trapping the ball over the line from inches out after horrendous Chelsea defending and an excellent pass from Elliot Anderson.
Raheem Sterling dragged Chelsea level in the 27th minute after catching Newcastle sleeping at a free kick. Kieran Trippier was judged to have made the final touch, so the goal was awarded as an own goal against the England full-back.
At Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest shared the points after a 1-1 draw.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored the opener in South London and it was a goal with a distinctly end of season feel. A long ball in behind found the Nigerian before some chaotic defending in the box eventually saw Awoniyi put the ball away.
Will Hughes levelled for Palace with an uncharacteristic deft header in the 66th minute.
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