After one of the closest title races in years, Manchester City won the 2018-19 English Premier League. But that is only half the story. It was another season of agony and ecstasy with plenty of twists and turns. Pep Guardiola’s team won 4-1 at Brighton to finish with 98 points – the second-highest total in Premier League history – as Liverpool beat Wolves 2-0 at Anfield to finish a single, agonising, point adrift. That points tally put them second in the all-time total, trailing behind… well… themselves. For the first time since May 2014, the Premier League title was decided on the final day of the season. Much like five years ago, City held the advantage over Liverpool and knew that if they managed to beat Brighton, they would be the first team to defend their title in a decade.
City are the only team to finish in the top four every season since the end of the 2010/11 campaign having last failed to crack the Champions League places before winning the title for the first time. In their last bid at back-to-back titles City failed finishing eight points behind Chelsea in the 2014/15 season.
MOST POINTS IN A SEASON AS TITLE WINNERS
Manchester City (2017/18) – 100 points
Manchester City (2018/19) – 98 points
Chelsea (2004/05) – 95 points
Chelsea (2016/17) – 93 points
Chelsea (2005/06) – 91 points
Manchester United (1999/00) – 91 points
Vincent Kompany said the title win was the “hardest” he had experienced after Pep Guardiola’s men held off Liverpool on a dramatic final day. A 14th straight league win ensured Guardiola’s men pipped Liverpool by a solitary point as the Reds’ long wait to win the league continued despite a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Anfield that saw them post the third highest points tally in Premier League history.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cut a forlorn figure after his side fell short of their maiden Premier League title finishing with an impressive 97 points, after losing just once the entire campaign – having clocked 29 years since their last league triumph earlier in the week. This was despite holding their end of the bargain by winning at home, while their title rivals had an early scare away at Brighton, falling behind before hitting back emphatically to win 4-1. Speaking after the match, the German said his side had tried all they could to push Man City, and didn’t believe they could have done more.
FINAL POINTS TABLE
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE LAST DAY OF THE SEASON
All the stats from the final round of 2018/19 Premier League matches
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-4 Manchester City
Manchester City have won 32 Premier League matches this season, equalling their own record from 2017/18 for most victories in a single campaign in the competition
Burnley 1-3 Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31) is only the second Premier League player to score 30+ goals in all competitions this season, after Sergio Aguero
Crystal Palace 5-3 AFC Bournemouth
Crystal Palace have scored five goals in a Premier League match for only the third time ever, last doing so with a 5-0 win over Leicester City in April 2018
Fulham 0-4 Newcastle United
Ayoze Perez is one of four players to score 10 Premier League goals in 2019 along with Sadio Mane (14), Jamie Vardy (12) and Sergio Aguero (12)
Leicester City 0-0 Chelsea
Chelsea ended the season in third position, the 13th time in the last 16 seasons they’ve finished in the top three of the Premier League
Liverpool 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Liverpool’s tally of 97 points would have been enough to win the Premier League in all but one of the previous 26 seasons of the competition, 2017/19
Manchester United 0-2 Cardiff City
Manchester United have only kept two home clean sheets in the Premier League this season, their fewest at Old Trafford in a top-flight campaign since 1962/63, with two
Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield Town
Nathan Redmond has scored as many Premier League goals under Ralph Hasenhuttl in 23 appearances (six) as he managed in his previous 75 Southampton matches beforehand
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton
Christian Eriksen’s goal for Tottenham Hotspur was the 1067th Premier League goal this season, breaking the previous record of 1066 goals in a 380-match campaign. In total, there were 1,072 goals in 2018/19
Watford 1-4 West Ham United
Only Paolo Di Canio (47) has scored more Premier League goals for West Ham United than Mark Noble (42)
2018 – 19 AWARDS
👉 Aubameyang, Salah and Mane share Golden Boot
👉 Hazard wraps up 2018/19 Playmaker Award
👉 Shutout secures Golden Glove award for Alisson
👉 Guardiola bags Manager of the Season
The incredible 2018/19 Premier League season ended with Man City reclaiming their title and a record for total goals scored set on the final day.
Christian Eriksen’s second-half equaliser for Tottenham Hotspur against Everton was the 1,067th goal of the campaign, edging ahead of the previous high set in 2011/12 – 1066 goals at 2.805 goals per match. With a further five goals scored after Eriksen’s, the season ended with 1,072 goals being scored. With the help of Crystal Palace’s eight-goal thriller against AFC Bournemouth and four goals being scored by Newcastle United, West Ham United and PL Champions Manchester City, the final day yielded 36 goals in total.
Only one final match round in the last 10 seasons has produced more goals, two seasons ago – 37.
👉 Golden Boot
Three players shared the Golden Boot award after Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalled Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as the top scorers in the 2018/19 Premier League, on 22 goals each. It is the first time three players have shared the award since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Michael Owen and Dwight Yorke in 1998/99.
Salah led the race going into the final day, but he could not add to his 22 goals. Mane struck twice in second-placed Reds’ 2-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers to tie with his Liverpool team-mate. Arsenal’s Aubameyang also netted twice, in a 3-1 win at Burnley, and he was the man who threatened to take the award on his own as he missed a late chance to claim a hat-trick.
Mane and Aubameyang have won the award for the first time, while Salah has claimed the Golden Boot in back-to-back seasons, after scoring 32 times in 2017/18.
👉 Playmaker Award
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard claimed the 2018/19 Premier League Playmaker of the Season Award even though he played only 21 minutes in the final match of the season. Hazard had 15 assists going into the final day, one ahead of Ryan Fraser.
The Belgian was rested to the bench by Maurizio Sarri at Leicester City while Fraser started at Selhurst Park for AFC Bournemouth. But Fraser was unable to pull level despite AFC Bournemouth scoring three times against Crystal Palace.
So, even though he came off the bench on 69 minutes Hazard did not need to add to his tally to become the second player to claim the award, presented by Cadbury.
The inaugural Playmaker Award was won last season by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
👉 Golden Glove
Alisson claimed the 2018/19 Golden Glove award after keeping his 21st clean sheet of the season.
The Liverpool goalkeeper shut out Wolverhampton Wanderers in his side’s 2-0 win on the final day to win the award, which was presented to him by Paul Graves, a Reds fan selected by Cadbury. Alisson earned the award outright after Ederson, who was also on 20 clean sheets going into the last match, conceded in Manchester City’s 4-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion.
It is only the second Premier League season where more than one goalkeeper has kept 20 clean sheets.
Edwin van der Sar won out on that occasion with 21 to Pepe Reina’s 20 in 2008/09. Only Petr Cech has kept more clean sheets than Alisson in a season, with 24, for Chelsea in 2004/05.
👉 Manager Of The Season
Pep Guardiola was named the Barclays Manager of the Season for the second consecutive year after guiding Manchester City to consecutive Premier League titles.
The Spaniard’s team were crowned champions on the final day thanks to a 4-1 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion which took them to 98 points, the second-most ever reached in a PL season behind only the 100 they themselves managed last term.
In beating runners-up Liverpool by one point Guardiola became only the third manager in PL history to retain the title, after Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. The 48-year-old beat fellow nominees Nuno Espirito Santo, Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino after votes from the public were combined with those of a panel of football experts to decide the winner.
From the youngest-ever Premier League player to the fastest goal in history, see the records that were matched or broken this season
Oldest goalscorer combination
Bruno’s assist for Glenn Murray for Brighton against Wolves in October was the oldest assister to scorer combination in PL history, aged 73 years and 57 days
Sessegnon ushers in new age
When he netted against Cardiff City in October, Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon became the first player born in or after the year 2000 to score a PL goal
Sarri’s unbeaten start
Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri remained unbeaten in his first 12 PL matches, a record for a manager at the start of his career in the competition
Win or lose for drawless Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur set a PL record of going 28 matches without a draw from the start of the season. Spurs also became the only team to ever go a whole campaign without drawing away
Most away wins and least overall draws
There was a higher ratio of away wins than in any other previous campaign, at 34 per cent, while the 71 draws across the entire season were the fewest in PL history
Age just a number for oldest manager
Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson became the oldest manager to take charge of a PL match. He was aged 71 years and 276 days when his side put five past AFC Bournemouth on the final day
Solskjaer makes Man Utd history
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the first Manchester United manager in history to win his first six league matches in charge of the club
Most exclusive assists
All five of Diogo Jota’s assists have been for Wolves team-mate Raul Jimenez, the most assists exclusively by one player for another
Long’s fastest goal
Southampton’s Shane Long scored the fastest goal in PL history, netting after just 7.69 seconds against Watford in April
Aged 16 years and 30 days, Harvey Elliott became the youngest PL player when he featured against Wolves in May, breaking the record previously held by Matthew Briggs, also of Fulham, in May 2007 (16y 68d)
The 1,072 goals scored made 2018/19 the highest-scoring 20-team PL season, with Eddie Nketiah’s goal for Arsenal at Burnley in the fourth minute of stoppage time the last
Most assists by a defender
Trent Alexander-Arnold set up 12 goals for Liverpool, the most assists by a defender in a single PL season
Most points combined for top two
Manchester City and Liverpool earned a combined 195 points, the most by the top two clubs at the end of a top-flight season
Man City match own feat of most wins
City won 32 PL matches, equalling their own record from 2017/18 for most victories in a single campaign
EA SPORTS FIFA TEAM OF THE SEASON
No surprises that league champion Manchester City and runner up Liverpool feature heavily, with a combined total of 13 players from the two clubs as voted for by E-Sports professionals and FIFA influencers. Standouts from Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers round out the 20 man squad.
Ederson (Manchester City)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Matt Doherty (Wolves)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
James Maddison (Leicester)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Following the PL win, Man City became the first men’s team in history to win the English domestic treble, beating Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Not since the all-conquering Arsenal Ladies team of 2007 has a team won the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League title.
Only twice in FA Cup final history has a team scored more than four goals — Bury in 1903 and Blackburn in 1890. City equaled Bury’s all-time record for biggest FA Cup final victory, as Sterling scored two quickfire goals inside the last 10 minutes to make it 6-0.
It completes a remarkable year for City as Pep Guardiola becomes one of just seven managers to win all three major domestic trophies in England.
City’s triumph means Man Utd, who finished sixth in the PL, will enter the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League at the group stage while Wolves are into the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round for finishing seventh.
On another note, away from the EPL, English clubs created European football history by taking all four final spots in the continent’s two major competitions. Arsenal won in Valencia and Chelsea beat Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday to reach the Europa League final. That followed dramatic wins for Liverpool over Barcelona and Tottenham against Ajax in the Champions League.
It is the first time all four finalists in Europe’s top two competitions have come from one nation.
The first team to retain the title for 10 years, City are worthy champions. They were pushed all the way by an excellent Liverpool, but to reach 98 points (after amassing 100 last season) is quite incredible.
There is plenty of sympathy for Liverpool after they finished second with 97 points. That total would have won 116 of the previous 119 titles yet against Manchester City, it wasn’t enough.
A strange season at Stamford Bridge where coach Maurizio Sarri has not always endeared himself to fans. Still, he steered them to third and, with the final of the Europa League to come, this could end up being a very successful season.
With no new signings, injuries to key players and a move to a new stadium during the season, Spurs must be happy with again qualifying for the Champions League. Their stunning European form, which sees them play in the Champions League final next month, means they deserve nothing less than an A.
Like Chelsea, a mixed bag for a team with a new coach for the season. Unai Emery’s side showed promise in patches but ultimately a poor defensive record cost them a Champions League qualifying place. However, beat Chelsea in the Europa League final and they can still qualify, which might justify a higher grade.
For a club like United, sixth is a failure and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho mid-season has a lot to do in the summer.
Final position: 6th
Plenty expected Wolves to do well in their first season back in the Premier League and they delivered. If, as expected, they add to the squad in the transfer window, challenging for a European spot next season is a possibility.
An inconsistent campaign at Goodison Park perhaps best summed up in December, when Everton lost 6-2 at home to Spurs before beating Burnley 5-1 away in the next match. Form improved at the end of the season but really Everton want to be challenging for a place in the top six.
Another side who parted company with their manager when Claude Puel was sacked in February. Results have improved under new boss Brendan Rodgers and fans will be quietly optimistic about next season.
West Ham United
Started the season with four defeats in a row so to recover and finish in the top half showed some character. Finished the season strongly and the fans will expect a top eight finish next campaign.
Watford owners had pushed their luck in changing their manager yet again, but Javi Gracia did an excellent job. Far from being relegated (as expected), Watford finished a comfortable 11th and featured in the FA Cup final against Man City.
One place lower than last season, Palace will be satisfied with a season where they never looked like being in a relegation scrap. The highlight of the season must be the extraordinary 3-2 win at Manchester City, including the goal of the season from Andros Townsend.
Final position: 12th
Rafael Benitez got the most he could from a limited squad and it’s no surprise fans are desperate for him to stay. The main priority at the start of the season would have been avoiding relegation and that was achieved comfortably.
The smallest club in the league, Bournemouth again survived without many issues and will play a fifth consecutive season in the Premier League. Impressive results included a 4-0 win against Chelsea, a 4-0 win away at Watford and a 5-0 win away at Brighton.
A challenging season for the Clarets who surpassed all expectations the previous year to finish 7th. With the distraction of European competition stretching the squad this campaign, Burnley looked in trouble at the halfway point in the season. Credit must go to boss Sean Dyche for rallying his troops to the magic 40-point mark that saw them avoid relegation.
Saints had a squad capable of a top-half finish but they had a disastrous start to the season with one win in 14. That was enough to see Mark Hughes sacked and Ralph Hasenhüttl appointed. Hasenhüttl did enough to see Southampton to safety but will surely look to make changes in the summer transfer window.
The second season in the Premier League can often be the undoing of recently-promoted clubs and Brighton found this season tough, particularly after Christmas. Ultimately though, the main priority was survival and they live to fight another season in the Premier League.
Cardiff always looked like they would struggle this season but in the end one extra win would have been enough to stay up. They go straight back down to the Championship but can be proud of the way they responded this season after six defeats in their opening eight. The big focus now will be regrouping for a promotion challenge next season.
Big things were expected from Fulham in their first campaign back in the Premier League but they never recovered from an opening half of the season in which they won just twice. They were relegated by the start of April and Scott Parker – their third manager of the season – has a big job to rebuild confidence in the summer.
Huddersfield surprised a lot of people by avoiding relegation last year, but the ‘second-season syndrome’ got them. They won only three matches all season and suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history.
Who Made Your Super 8 This Season?
Until next time folks… Cheerio!