Leicester and Leeds will join Southampton in the Championship next season following a dramatic final day of the Premier League.
Everton beat Bournemouth 1 – 0 at home, effectively handing Leeds and Leicester their sentence. Leicester didn’t know that though, and had to wait two or three minutes after their 2 – 1 win over West Ham to find out they’d still been relegated.
Leeds’ fate was sealed when they went a goal down after two minutes against Tottenham. They never got control of the game after that and lost 4 – 1 to end their three year run in the top flight.
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s strike was enough for a spirited Everton to overcome Bournemouth. He’s come in clutch for Sean Dyche lately, and after the game the Everton manager stressed there was a lot of work to be done ahead of next season.
No club sums up the highs and lows of football more than Leicester over the past decade. They were promoted to the Premier League in 2014 after a ten year absence.
In 2016, they won the Premier League in what will go down in history as the greatest footballing fairytale. They competed in the Champions League the year after and enjoyed a four year spell as the fourth or fifth best team in England.
They never qualified for the Champions League again, though, narrowly missing out in two consecutive seasons. Their ‘golden period’ saw them add the 2021 F.A Cup to their list of honours, but the rot had already set in.
Lack of squad renewal left manager Brendan Rodgers struggling at the start of this season. The club would eventually replace him with Dean Smith in an effort to avoid relegation, but to no avail.
If you’re Leeds, you probably regret sacking Marcelo Bielsa. He got his team to overperform massively and was punished for a poor run of form. As the four managers since him have proved, staying in the Premier League is hard for a team like Leeds.
It’s the first time all three promoted teams have avoided relegation back to the Championship since 2018. Next season Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town will join the Premier League.