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10 things we learned from Championship Sunday: Week 38 of the 2023-24 Premier League season

Just like that, it's done.

The Premier League's 2023-24 season will forever be memorable for many reasons including a surprising three-team title race that lasted until the final weeks, and a two-team title fight entering Championship Sunday.

[ MORE: Final table| Golden Boot race | Assist leaders ]

The eventual champion may not have been a surprise when all was said and done, true, but there's something to be said for the best-constructed team of all-time missed two Ballon d'Or winners for extended periods of time and still delivering silverware.

For this season to have resonance, however, it needed the subplots, of which there were many:

Here are 10 thoughts about Week 38's Championship Sunday from our writers, as Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards, and Nick Mendola share their observations from the final 10 games of the 2023-24 Premier League season.

10 things we learned from Championship Sunday: Week 38 of the 2023-24 Premier League season

The best ever (*?)

Manchester City 3-1 West Ham

Let's keep this simple: No one has ever been better, deeper, and stronger than Manchester City and that's largely why they won their fourth-straight Premier League Trophy. To do so without Kevin De Bruyne for half the season and Erling Haaland for a month further shows how good of a manager Pep Guardiola is, as those absences should really be enough to take any team out of contention for a title in this deep, free-spending Premier League. He may be the best manager of all-time, is certainly the best manager of his era, and City are a beast. But there will be plenty more, now, who will be hoping for someone to dethrone Man City as 100-plus charges loom over the club. It has to be noted that the club has continuously protested its innocence and plans to prove it with a public judgment in its favor. That sort of conclusive proof would be splendid, because this team is so special and has been produced from within as well. Pep Guardiola called Phil Foden the best player in the Premier League and he's definitely up there. Rodri has become one of the best midfielders in the world while Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Ruben Dias have all taken other steps. That's without mentioning that Pep guided Cole Palmer to the precipice of stardom, then watched him dazzle at Chelsea. City is a machine. That cannot and should not be taken away from them. And Pep is a wizard. Nick Mendola

Arsenal immensely proud despite coming up short

Arsenal 2-1 Everton

[ JPW at the Emirates: Arsenal ready to hunt down City ]

Everybody connected with Arsenal knows they’re heading in the right direction. It still hurts they didn’t win the Premier League title on Championship Sunday but it gives them solace. You don’t get cheered off the pitch like they did on Sunday if there isn’t a belief that things will get better. Gunners captain Martin Odegaard and manager Mikel Arteta praised the fans after the game on the pitch but urged them to keep pushing the team forward. It’s clear this Arsenal team are going to win something soon and they have sent out a massive warning to Manchester City this season: Arsenal are here to stay. Joe Prince-Wright

Classy Jurgen Klopp gets and gives a nice goodbye

Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

[ MORE: What Klopp said to Anfield after the game ]

Every single member of Liverpool would’ve liked at least one more game on their schedule and for this match to have some relevance to a trophy fight, but in some ways it was truly nice that Jurgen Klopp could exit the Anfield set after what became an easy win made easier by Nelson Semedo’s red card. Whether or not you’re a Liverpool fan, there’s no debating whether Klopp is a strong leader of men who fosters a sense of community wherever he goes, and he turned Liverpool from an uneven giant back into one of the strongest clubs in the world. He raised the already-strong sense of family on Merseyside, and highlighted the supporters — as he said Sunday after the game — as “the superpower of world football.” Barcelona, and many others, would agree with this sentiment. Anfield now feels like Old Trafford did 15 years ago, and Arne Slot is walking into a very good place. Jurgen Klopp tries not to make things about him and in a way he must know that only makes it more about him. See you soon, Kloppo. Nick Mendola

Spurs’ rebuild on track, but it’s all about this summer’s transfer window

Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

No matter which way you slice if, Ange Postecoglou’s first season in the Premier League was a massive success, and by extension, so was the first season of Spurs’ desperately needed rebuild. Sure, the vibes weren’t the absolute best down the stretch due to some poor results and the Arsenal-Manchester City debacle, but the club is placed miles better heading into summer 2024 than 2023. First things first, they have their manager and have given every indication he will be backed with what he needs — a significant shift in how the club has typically been run. Harry Kane, the best player in club history, departed last summer, and yet Tottenham improved their points total by six and finished three places higher in the table. The foundation for what could be Spurs’ next great team is already in place, with Heung-min Son, Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, James Maddison, and Pedro Porro all to return as starters after fantastic performances this season, plus promising youngsters Brennan Johnson, Destiny Udogie, Pape Sarr and Radu Dragusin pushing for places with Europa League football on the horizon.

Postecoglou might have even unearthed a hidden gem with Dejan Kulusevski making the late-season switch to center forward after Richarlison picked up an injury. The big Swede has shown flashes of quality in a striker-ish role of late, using his size and strength to take up dangerous spots inside the penalty area, rather than his more ponderous wing play, which doesn’t suit Ange Postecoglou’s idea of football at all. If Richarlison leaves this summer (as rumored), Spurs will need to sign a starting no. 9, but Kulusevski has shown himself plenty capable of being a rotational player at three different positions — as squad-building goes, that’s an invaluable piece. A few other peripheral players on big wages will also likely be moved on. The obvious: None of the above matters if Tottenham aren’t ambitious and aggressive during the upcoming summer transfer window. Along with a center forward, they need: a defensive midfielder who’s more suited to Ange-ball than Yves Bissouma, who should remain as a top rotational option, depth at both full backs, where they had none all season; and another winger whose skill set more closely resembles Johnson’s abilities. Andy Edwards

This summer, next season about turning Chelsea into Mauricio Pochettino’s team

Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth

Chelsea lost more games (10) than they won (nine) over their first 23 Premier League matches this season, and Mauricio Pochettino looked like he might not see the end of season one at Chelsea. Over the final 15 games? Just one defeat. Injuries were a big part of the early-season struggles, just as good health played its part in the turnaround. They did it by scoring loads of goals in the second half of the season — failing to score two or more goals just twice in 15 games — but they still don’t resemble anything close to a Pochettino team defensively, and that’s where he’ll undoubtedly look to improve the squad next season.Andy Edwards

Fun finish for fun teams at end of injury-ravaged, challenging seasons

Brentford 2-4 Newcastle

Both Newcastle and Brentford dealt with season-altering suspensions — Sandro Tonali and Ivan Toney — as well as two long lists of injuries that seemignly refused to quit until the final whistle of the season. Despite this, Thomas Frank and Eddie Howe attacked the opposition. Both men would rather be entertained and risky than bored and safe. There are so many things for both of these teams to fix, and uncertainty as Toney is expected to leave Brentford and Newcastle badly need depth (especially if City win the FA Cup and push Newcastle into the Conference League). But for this night, the teams went for it and, as usual with these two, fans and neutrals reaped the dividends. Nick Mendola

Man United, Brighton both leave Week 38 with massive uncertainty

Brighton 0-2 Manchester United

Tell us you know what the 2024-25 Premier League seasons will look like for both Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion, and we’ll laugh you out of the room. Yes, there’s reason to think Tony Bloom has the golden touch in identifying coaches, but can he follow up back-to-back home run hires in Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi? The Seagulls will get Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson back to health and have a tremendous recruitment team, but they’ve also weathered so many big-name exits from the squad the past few years. It’s a dangerous time to project his team post-RDZ. As for Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United, they could win the FA Cup over their rivals and it still may not be Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United come August. A report late last month said that massive turnover could be coming to the squad, too, and the club will be recruiting without European football if it fails to surprise Manchester City at Wembley. There are bright young players but big-price pieces have either failed (Antony) or failed at United while thriving abroad (Jadon Sancho). Aside from Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot find a player in their prime and likely to return to Old Trafford. What will these two look like in weeks, let alone this time next season? Nick Mendola

Elanga, Gibbs-White, and Hudson-Odoi represent Forest’s future

Burnley 1-2 Nottingham Forest

The trio of forwards underneath Chris Wood caused chaos with their direct runs, crosses into the box, and shots from distance. Whether it is Wood, Taiwo Awoniyi, or someone else up top to finish the chances off, Forest have to get the ball to Anthony Elanga, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi as much as possible next season and beyond. That trio are their future and if Forest sort things out at the back, they have the attacking quality to make sure they score and create the goals which will see them finish well above the drop zone next season. Joe Prince-Wright

Eagles can soar to Europe next season

Crystal Palace 5-0 Aston Villa

This surge at the end of Crystal Palace's season is no coincidence. Palace have quality players in the attacking third, they're healthy now, and they are playing to their strengths. Oliver Glasner has found a system which works and not only makes the most of their counter-attacking threat but gets Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze on the ball in dangerous positions with lots of space. They remain robust defensively and if Palace can keep hold of Eze and Olise this summer, with a full preseason working on Glasner’s pressing tactics, they have everything in place to push for Europe.Joe Prince-Wright

Few sides added more to the Premier League than Luton Town

Luton Town 2-4 Fulham

Relegation was a foregone conclusion for Luton — 26 points - 18th place — ahead of Championship Sunday, and Rob Edwards’ side didn’t miss their chance to deliver one more goal fest for the road. For the 31st time in 38 games this season, the Hatters scoredand conceded in a game — a PL record for the road as well. It was a gift and a curse again in the finale, as Adama Troare opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, setting off a chain reaction of five goals in 12 minutes plus first-half stoppage time. Luton were level through Carlton Morris’s penalty kick early in stoppage, but Fulham were back ahead after Raul Jimenez scored just before the halftime whistle. Jimenez struck again in the 49th minute, but Luton were within just a goal again in the 55th. And, as has often times been the case this season, they simply didn’t have the firepower to keep pace, as Harry Wilson added the fourth and final goal in the 68th minute.Andy Edwards