Intriguing Premier League season comes down to final whistle

Intriguing Premier League season comes down to final whistle

The Premier League has its fair share of critics but few could complain about a season in which the title race will not be decided until the final whistle tomorrow on the very last day.

It's not just the top two either with fourth place still being contested as well as the remaining relegation spot.

While Manchester City are favourites to take the honours for the fourth time in five seasons, Liverpool's midweek win at Southampton means City cannot afford to slip up at home to Aston Villa as the Reds would be expected to pick up three points at home to Wolves.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp gave a fair assessment of his team's title hopes with a cautious "not likely but possible."

The relegation issue was made much clearer on Thursday night following Everton's remarkable come from behind 3-2 home victory over Crystal Palace which meant the Toffees are safe.

Goodison Park erupted with a mixture of relief and joy as Frank Lampard's team escaped the dire consequences that would have come with relegation.

The game ended with an ill-advised but inevitable pitch invasion by fans which saw Palace manager Patrick Vieira get in an unseemly scuffle with a taunting Everton fan.

An overjoyed Lampard called it "one of the greatest moments in my footballing career."

"It is a special night in Everton's history," he added.

It is also one they will not want to repeat next season.

There was another important match on Thursday where Burnley picked up a precious point in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

The result means that Leeds, who have a dreadful goal difference, will have to better Burnley's result in tomorrow's final games.

Burnley are at home to Newcastle United while Leeds visit Brentford in what almost certainly will be two very tense games.

It was only a few weeks ago that half-a-dozen teams were vying for fourth place and a vital entry into the Champions League.

In recent weeks, it has become a two-way battle between north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.

The Gunners had looked the most likely to clinch it until last weekend's loss against a revitalised Newcastle.

Now Arsenal will need to win at home against Everton and hope Tottenham lose at bottom-placed Norwich City. A draw would suffice for Spurs.

If Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are in form a Spurs slip-up seems unlikely, but they are not called "Spursy" for nothing and things might not go according to plan.

That's the great thing about this season -- anything can happen and there may well be some twists in the tale.

Chelsea have experienced a rather frustrating season but with a far superior goal difference to Spurs still managed to secure third place on Thursday with an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

They have only won one of their last six home games and manager Thomas Tuchel admitted it was something of a "miracle" that the Blues took third spot.

Chelsea conclude their season with a home game against relegated Watford.

However, their priority is that Todd Boehly's consortium enjoys a smooth takeover of the club as there is plenty of work to be done if they are to be competitive next season.

In the lower divisions, we must not overlook a significant game tonight at Wembley where Sunderland will be seeking to finally haul themselves out of League One after four long seasons when they take on Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off final.

The Black Cats will start strong favourites and with the backing of 44,000 fans travelling to London from Wearside, they should get over the line this time.

However, Sunderland have messed up in the play-offs before and Wanderers are sure to put up a battle.

To wrap up the season, on May 29 Nottingham Forest will be battling to return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years when they take on Huddersfield in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

There are no doubt many neutral fans with memories of Forest's amazing triumphs in Europe who would like to see them back in the top flight.

But you can be sure the Yorkshire Terriers would love to spoil the party.

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