Manchester United and Chelsea registered wins to seal their berths in the Champions League for 2020-’21 while Bournemouth and Watford were relegated to the second division after a thrilling finish to the Premier League season.
United and Chelsea have, therefore, earned their spots in next season’s European marquee event.
Chelsea defeated Wolves 2-0 at home while United held on to a 2-0 win at King Power Stadium against top four rivals Leicester City. Watford suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at Arsenal while Bournemouth’s win against Everton was not enough as the two sides were relegated, while Aston Villa stayed up.
Tottenham finished sixth after a draw at Crystal Palace, combined with Wolves’ defeat, ensured Jose Mourinho’s side are guaranteed a Europa League spot along with Leicester City.
Premier League 2019-'20 final standings
|15.||Brighton and Hove Albion||38||9||14||15||39||54||-15||41|
|16.||West Ham United||38||10||9||19||49||62||-13||39|
At a time of year when players are usually jetting off for lucrative pre-season tours, the 2019-’20 top-flight campaign will finally come to an end following a season extended by the three-month coronavirus shutdown.
Liverpool had already been presented with the Premier League trophy, second-placed Manchester City were guaranteed a Champions League spot and Norwich had been relegated.
But in a thrilling conclusion, top-four places, Europa League berths, relegation spots and the Golden Boot were settled in the final round of matches.
United finished third after a nervy 2-0 win in a Champions League shootout against Leicester while Chelsea ended in fourth spot after beating Wolves 2-0 thanks to two goals on the stroke of half-time.
At the other end of the table, Bournemouth and managerless Watford dropped to the Championship while Aston Villa fans breathed a huge sigh of relief after they got the draw they needed at West Ham.
Leicester, in fifth spot, will play in the Europa League next season where they will be joined by Tottenham, who drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace to leapfrog Wolves.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea required just a draw to seal Champions League qualification for next term and two goals in first-half stoppage time gave them breathing space.
Mason Mount whipped in from a free-kick to give Chelsea the lead and the home side went further in front almost immediately, when Olivier Giroud slid home.
United, whose form has dipped in recent weeks after they pulled themselves back into contention for the Champions League, were locked at 0-0 at half-time at the King Power Stadium.
But they finally broke the deadlock in the 71st minute, when Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot after Anthony Martial was upended. Jesse Lingard scored late to seal the win.
The result is a huge lift for Solskjaer, whose team slipped well off the pace earlier this season, but is a bitter blow for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester, who have been camped in the top four for almost the whole campaign.
Watford, who sacked Nigel Pearson earlier this month, started in disastrous fashion when they conceded a penalty in the opening minute at the Emirates.
Craig Dawson floored Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette and, after a lengthy VAR review, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked home the resulting spot-kick.
Their fate was effectively sealed by further first-half goals from Kieran Tierney and an Aubameyang overhead kick, though a Troy Deeney penalty and a Danny Welbeck strike gave them hope.
Bournemouth beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park but needed West Ham to beat Aston Villa to survive.
Jack Grealish’s late goal for Villa was a hammer blow but the home side dramatically levelled a minute later through Andriy Yarmolenko. However, Villa held on to secure their Premier League survival.
An early goal by Harry Kane put Tottenham in front against Crystal Palace but Palace equalised early in the second half through Jeffrey Schlupp. That was enough for Jose Mourinho’s men to finish in sixth position.
Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-1 to finish the season on 99 points and second-placed Manchester City finished the season with a flourish, thrashing Norwich 5-0 to reach 102 goals for the campaign.
Elsewhere, Brighton beat Burnley 2-1 and Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-1.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy won the Golden Boot with 23 goals.
English Premier League results on Sunday, the final day of the 2019/20 season:
Southampton 3 (Adams 50, 71, Ings 84-pen) Sheffield United 1 (Lundstram 26)
Newcastle 1 (Gayle 1) Liverpool 3 (Van Dijk 38, Origi 59, Mane 89)
Manchester City 5 (Jesus 11, De Bruyne 45+1, 90, Sterling 79, Mahrez 83) Norwich 0
Burnley 1 (Woods 44) Brighton 2 (Bissouma 20, Connolly 50)
Arsenal 3 (Aubameyang 5-pen, 33, Tierney 24) Watford 2 (Deeney 43-pen, Welbeck 66)
Crystal Palace 1 (Schlupp 53) Tottenham 1 (Kane 13)
Everton 1 (Kean 41) Bournemouth 3 (King 13-pen, Solanke 45+1, Stanislas 80)
West Ham 1 (Yarmolenko 85) Aston Villa 1 (Grealish 84)
Leicester 0 Manchester United 2 (Fernandes 71-pen, Lingard 90+8)
Chelsea 2 (Mount 45+1, Giroud 45+4) Wolves 0
(With AFP inputs)