Man City Reach 100 Points
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City broke several records on the way to their third Premier League crown in the 2017-18 season. The Manchester giants were the dominant force in England, finishing a whopping 19 points ahead of runners-up Manchester United, who were managed by Jose Mourinho. With just 18 points from United to Arsenal, down in sixth, Pep’s troops absolutely walked away with the title.
At the other end of the table, all three promoted clubs from the 2016-17 EFL Championship survived, with West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Swansea City dropping out of the top tier. The Baggies, who finished bottom, went on a 20-game winless run from August to January and managed just six victories all term.
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Rampant City Cruise to Crown
After finishing third with 78 points the season before, Man City went into the 2017-18 campaign hungry for success. From the first whistle to the last, the Manchester giants were the dominant force in the Premier League, going on to finish on 100 points after a remarkable campaign. Pep’s boys broke all sorts of records along the way, including the most wins, as they won an astonishing 32 of their 38 Premier League matches. They also secured the most away wins, had the most successive victories and scored the most goals. Their goal difference was an incredible +79 and they only experienced defeat twice all season.
After a 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur coupled with Man United’s shock home defeat to West Brom, Man City won the title with five games to spare. City made a truly stunning start, dropping just two points from their opening 20 Premier League games. Over the course of the season, only Everton, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Burnley, Man United and Huddersfield Town took points away from City, with bitter rivals United and Liverpool the two teams to beat them. In injury time on the final day of the season, Gabriel Jesus’ goal at Southampton took the Citizens to the 100-point mark.
Defending Champions Chelsea Miss Out on Top Four
Chelsea were superb in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, with Antonio Conte guiding the Blues to the title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge. However, the defence of their crown got off to the worst possible start when they were beaten at home by Burnley on the opening weekend. It was the first time in Premier League history that the holders had lost at home in their first game but was a sign of things to come from the Clarets, who went on to finish seventh and qualify for Europe.
The Londoners struggled for consistency all season though and ended up missing out on the top four altogether. They were miles off the pace, finishing a whopping 30 points behind eventual champions Man City. On a more positive note, Chelsea did finish the season by winning the Emirates FA Cup. However, Conte was sacked by the Chelsea board in July.
Burnley Shock the Premier League and Reach Europe
Sean Dyche’s Burnley, who were promoted from the Championship in 2016, finished their first season back in top tier in 16th, avoiding relegation by just six points. However, the following campaign would be an extraordinary one for the Clarets.
Burnley stunned everyone by finishing in seventh spot and securing the final UEFA Europa League position.
In a memorable year for the Lancashire side, Burnley would go on to win 14, draw 12 and lose 12.
They were certainly the best of the rest, with Dyche’s boys shipping just 39 goals in the process, which was fewer than Arsenal and just one more than Chelsea and Liverpool.
Burnley ended their season with no wins in five, including a 5-0 loss at Arsenal, but Dyche’s boys won five in a row before that which was enough to see them outperform many bigger clubs, including the likes of Everton, Leicester and Newcastle.
All Three Promoted Clubs Stay Up
For only the third time in Premier League history and the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, all three promoted clubs from the Championship stayed up. Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town all had superb seasons in the top flight.
Huddersfield, who were making their first appearance in the Premier League, went the closest to the drop, but David Wagner’s men stayed up by four points in the end. Brighton, who were also PL first timers, finished three points above the Terriers in 15th. Given the tiny budgets those two sides operated on that was truly impressive, with both clubs deserving immense credit. Newcastle, the 2017 Championship winners, finished in a very respectable 10th spot.
Egyptian King Wins Golden Boot
Former Chelsea man Mohamed Salah returned to the Premier League to join Liverpool at the start of the 2017-18 season. The Egypt international had caught Jurgen Klopp’s eye with some stunning performances in Italy at Roma, which earned Salah a £34m move to Anfield.
To say he was a success on Merseyside would be an understatement, as Salah hit the ground running, scoring a staggering 32 Premier League goals to win the 2017-18 Golden Boot. Aided by Salah, Liverpool notched 84 goals, 10 more than any side bar City, but they remained too weak at the other end of the pitch to mount any sort of serious title challenge.
English ace Harry Kane pushed the Liverpool’s Egyptian forward all the way in the Golden Boot race though, with the Tottenham Hotspur man helping himself to an impressive 30 goals. Despite Kane scoring three goals in the last two games of the season, Salah held on to win the award.
Man City’s prolific Sergio Aguero took the bronze medal by netting 21 times. England’s Jamie Vardy scored 20 for Leicester City, while Raheem Sterling scored 18 in an impressive season for the champions.
Relegations & European Qualifications
As you would expect, Man City were the first team to make sure of Champions League qualification, with rivals Man United joining them in the 2018-19 competition. Tottenham took third, while Liverpool beat Chelsea to the fourth and final spot by five points in the end. The Reds will have rued their 12 draws, no side in the top 14 sharing the points more frequently. Had they converted just three of those stalemates into wins they would have finished second, albeit well off the red hot pace set by City.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Burnley went into the Europa League, the latter qualifying despite a goal difference of minus three and despite scoring just 36 goals all term. For reference, Stoke ended 19th but scored 35, whilst West Ham’s 48 goals scored saw them finish 13th. At the wrong end of the spectrum, West Brom, Stoke and Swansea dropped out of the Premier League with 31, 33 and 33 points respectively. 17th placed Southampton managed just 36 points in a year when 34 would have been enough to survive.
Which Teams Were Relegated?
As we touched on, the three promoted clubs survived for only the third time in the history of the Premier League. Swansea’s excellent stay in the top flight came to an end, with the Welsh side finishing in 18th on 33 points. City suffered the most defeats in the league with 21, and their fate was sealed after a 1-0 home loss to Southampton in the penultimate game. Swansea ended the campaign with no wins in nine and five straight defeats.
Stoke, who had spent 10 whole years in the Premier League, regularly pushing for a top-half finish, also dropped out of the division with 33 points to their name. Despite a 1-0 win over Arsenal in their first home game, the Potters struggled all season long and conceded far too many goals along the way. In fact, they went on to win just six more times this term. The win at Swansea on the final day ended a run of 13 without victory but it was too little, too late.
West Brom finished rock bottom of the Premier League after a woeful season. The Baggies picked up just six wins, suffered 19 defeats and drew 13 times. However, Albion improved drastically when Darren Moore took over in the final weeks, with Moore guiding West Brom to shock wins over Man United, Newcastle and Tottenham. Unfortunately for the Midlands club, the revival was too late as they were relegated despite a 1-0 victory over Spurs, who ultimately ended some 46 points better off than the Baggies.
Which Teams Qualified For Europe?
The two Manchester clubs picked up the first two Champions League places, with Tottenham and Liverpool finishing in third and fourth, respectively.
Outgoing champions Chelsea had a go, but 10 defeats put paid to their Champions League hopes. The Reds finished five points above the Blues.
Burnley were the Premier League’s surprise package this season, finishing in seventh and qualifying for the Europa League second qualifying round.
Arsene Wenger’s parting gift was securing Europa League football for the Gunners, as they finished seven points behind Chelsea in sixth.