Last League Day Craziness – New Champion Crowned

In a wild set of games, the English Premier League wrapped up its season with a stunning upset of Manchester United by Manchester City to win the Barclays Premier League title. Manchester City has not won the title for 44 years, winning on goal difference over Man United. This was a season for the ages with many upsets and unexpected results in  quite a few games. Today was of course no exception.

 

 

As is required  on the last day of the league all of the final games occur simultaneously so no team has an advantage one way or the other of knowing the outcomes of the other games. This means that everything is basically up in the air until the final whistle blows on the stoppage time of each game. Fans are glued to their smartphones both on and off the pitch even while attending to the game in front of them simply because the table rankings kept changing as things in the games unfolded. I imagine quite a few people had the day of their lives with the results of final seconds of some of these games; for other fans it was a day of absolute heartbreak and devastating loss.

Newcastle let Everton gain the lead early in the game and were never able to get enough traction to change the momentum in their favor. Final score was Newcastle 1 – 3 Everton. Without the win, there was no way Newcastle was even going to have a shot at a Champions League slot no matter how the other games played out. This made me very sad. Not only did I not get to watch it because the game was broadcast on a channel I don’t get, but then of course Newcastle stumbled out of the gate so close to a huge ending to their season. This was not the way I wanted Newcastle’s season finale to go at all. *shakes fist*

Bolton and QPR were in a closely contested fight to stay alive and not be relegated. Bolton had to win without question to have any shot at staying in the Premier League but were unable to hang on. They drew Stoke City 2 – 2; without the win Bolton was doomed to relegation along with Wolverhampton and Blackburn. This of course guaranteed that QPR would squeak by, despite a straight red card to Joey Barton for kicking Sergio Aguero from behind, and avoid being relegated.

Final Table for this season:

Club Pld Pts
               Man City 38 89
               Man Utd 38 89
               Arsenal 38 70
               Tottenham 38 69
               Newcastle 38 65
               Chelsea 38 64
               Everton 38 56
               Liverpool 38 52
               Fulham 38 52
               West Brom 38 47
               Swansea 38 47
               Norwich 38 47
               Sunderland 38 45
               Stoke 38 45
               Wigan 38 43
               Aston Villa 38 38
               QPR 38 37
               Bolton 38 36
               Blackburn 38 31
               Wolves 38 25

 

Randomness: Successfully identified a Cooper’s hawk on my way to the ‘rents house to celebrate Mother’s Day. All this time I had thought that this was a red-tailed because I had only ever seen it from the front. The brown and white dappled pattern is reminiscent of a juvenile red-tailed hawk (or so I thought). Today, however, I finally got to see the hawk facing away from me as it perched on a road sign. Low and behold – the prominent horizontal bars on the tail. Thank you educational bird guide book! I just thought that it was so cool to actually see a bird of prey that I didn’t really have any knowledge about before now.

Note those awesome tail stripes.

If Pepe Falls in a Forest and No One is Around, is it a Dive?

I got a chance to watch the Real Madrid vs. Valencia game today. This was a regular league game for these clubs but I was riveted because Real Madrid is ahead of Barcelona in the La Liga table. I am a Barcelona fan. I want to see them take the Spanish league title. Naturally I was rooting for Valencia. Because Real Madrid failed to win, and thus earn three points towards their table standings, the gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona has narrowed to only four points. Four. Huzzah!

Normally I am not an avid fan of either team but this game was intense and suspenseful right up until the last few seconds of stoppage time so I was glad I caught it. Well, normally is really that I just hate on Real Madrid and am indifferent towards Valencia. During the course of the game there were several rather questionable moments of ‘injuries’ to players. One of my favorites was Pepe’s spectacular dive and then kick of fellow teammate in an attempt to curry favor of the ref. My oh my does Pepe pop up off the ground fast once he realizes he wasn’t going to get the foul call he was after.