10 things we learned in the Premier League – Week 37
Manchester City are Premier League champions, and they didn’t even need their Sunday win over Chelsea to get there.
Arsenal couldn’t keep any pressure on City with a loss at desperate Forest, but the Gunners weren’t the only North London side to mess up their lines on Saturday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
And there’s a bit more clarity on the relegation picture, although Leicester City would love to muddle it a bit more when Week 37 of the Premier League season concludes at Newcastle on Monday (watch live, 3pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).
Here’s where our writers are living, as Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Andy Edwards (AE), and Nicholas Mendola (NM) share their observations from across the most recent PL games.
Premier League news
Brighton secures spot in Europe with win over Southampton Newcastle top Brighton, on precipice of Champions League Liverpool cuts through Leicester City in latest show of strength
1. Much-changed Man City keeps rolling despite title party distraction (Man City 1-0 Chelsea): Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the team which battered Real Madrid in midweek and three of them combined for the only goal as Kalvin Phillips played in Cole Palmer who set up Julian Alvarez to finish. Chelsea huffed and puffed as Conor Gallagher hit the post while Raheem Sterling (who got a great reception from the City fans when he was subbed off) twice came close as caretaker boss Frank Lampard at least saw his side dig in. But it was City’s fringe players and youngsters who showed just how good they are as Guardiola will have the luxury of resting his star men for the final two Premier League games and ahead of the FA Cup final against Manchester United on June 3 and the UEFA Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10. (JPW)
2. Arsenal go quietly into the night (Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal): In the end, this was a sad way for Arsenal’s title hopes to officially go out. With their Premier League Trophy hopes hanging by less than a thread, Arsenal managed just five shots for a combined 0.22 xG in the second half. The Gunners hardly threatened Forest despite the severity of their circumstances for the final 70 minutes. (AE)
3. Positive vibes for Liverpool despite top-four setback (Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa): Liverpool are now 10 games unbeaten and although they will be very disappointed to lose ground in the top four race they cannot complain with the way they’ve turned things around this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side were caught out by a very good Villa side in the first half but they battered them in the second half and could have easily won the game. Despite the changes which are coming up to their team this summer, this feels like a Jurgen Klopp Liverpool side once again. Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, and Diogo Jota are clicking through the gears and the quartet of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Mohamed Salah have all stood tall. Central midfield remains the key area for Klopp to add a new star this summer and he already knew that. However, this run at the end of the season has also told Klopp something he didn’t know: there’s no need to totally revamp this Liverpool squad and given a few key additions they will be ready to challenge for major trophies again next season. Even if they don’t finish in the top four as they hope for Newcastle and Manchester United to slip up, Liverpool’s finish to this season proves they aren’t as far from the glory days of the last few seasons as everyone, including themselves, thought they were. (JPW)
4. First season a success for Erik ten Hag (Bournemouth 0-1 Manchester United): Two games into his tenure, it looked like Erik ten Hag might not make it two months in the job. But it is quite clear 35 games later that the Dutchman has laid some important groundwork ahead of a pivotal summer transfer window for Manchester United. A 4th- (or 3rd-) place finish is all but guaranteed, which was objective No. 1 when the season began. There is also no small matter of the FA Cup final, and the chance to deny Manchester City a treble of their own, still remaining as well. Champions League football is nice, but finishing the season by lifting a second trophy — at City’s expense, no less — would be the real treat for United fans. (AE)
5. Spurs season summed up in 90 minutes (Spurs 1-3 Brentford): Tottenham are a team who are truly breathtaking…. in both good and bad ways. In the first half against Brentford we saw Harry Kane score a breathtaking goal to make it 1-0 and they were slick, full of energy, and should have been at least 2-0 up as their switch to a 4-2-3-1 system with Dejan Kulusevski roaming centrally seemed to bamboozle Brentford. But then the Bees figured it out and picked Tottenham apart. It seemed like Spurs thought they had the game won and in the second half we saw a breathtakingly bad display from Tottenham. This Jekyll and Hyde team put in yet another Jekyll and Hyde display and Spurs are capable of delivering moments of magic alongside moments of wretchedness. This is a season to forget and whoever comes in next has to totally reset everything behind-the-scenes, with or without Harry Kane, as Spurs have to start from scratch for real this time. Since Mauricio Pochettino left they have been papering over the cracks but if they seriously want to be a top four team who challenges for trophies, major DIY is needed this summer. (JPW)
6. Brighton is going to Europe (Brighton 3-1 Southampton): There it is: Roberto De Zerbi’s men are finishing in the top six unless they don’t field a goalkeeper or something equally strange over the final two matches of the season. Brighton’s full-team contribution was again on display Sunday, even accounting for the opposition. Evan Ferguson, 18, added to his impressive rookie display with his fifth and sixth goals of the season, and there were no passengers at the Amex. And what else can be said about Pascal Gross, now the new Brighton top Premier League goal scorer. Brighton in Europe. Wow. Well-earned. (NM)
7. Toffees take safety fight to final day (Wolves 1-1 Everton): When Sean Dyche was appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor, the path forward seemed clear: He would get the Toffees to defend like Dyche’s Burnley teams and that would be enough itself to keep them clear of the bottom-three. Yet Everton have done no such thing under Dyche. In 17 games under his watch, Everton have kept just four clean sheets, while conceding multiple goals 11 times (including six of their last eight outings), and three or more goals on five occasions. (AE)
8. Leaky Leeds no more solid under latest boss (West Ham 3-1 Leeds): It’s now been 12 Premier League games since Leeds or its opponent kept a clean sheet. Seven of those matches are Leeds losses. Leeds has conceded 74 goals this season, a league-high, and may well lose their place in the top flight despite being middle of the pack in goals scored. It hasn’t been pretty even if it has been entertaining, and it’s a bit of cruel trick to imagine a manager could’ve come in and just taught a poor defensive unit to defend a lot better. Yes, even Big Sam Allardyce. If Leeds goes down — and who knows what Tottenham will look like at Elland Road next week — it will be because of a variety of factors, but not being able to stop the other team will be the primary reason. (NM)
9. End-of-season saunter shows next season promise for Cottagers, Eagles (Fulham 2-2 Crystal Palace): Willian and Aleksandar Mitrovic combining with quality in the final third for Fulham coupled with flashes of brilliance from Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise at the other end proved how fun both Fulham and Palace can be when they are at their best. When the pressure is off both of these teams have players who can express themselves and finishing in the top 10 is not out of the question for next season. Both could push for Europe if they get their summer recruitment right, plus Marco Silva stays at Fulham and Palace figure out the direction they want to go in whether or not Roy Hodgson sticks around in some capacity. Yes, both teams were ‘on the beach’ down by the banks of the River Thames as some mistakes were made by both sets of players. But when the sun is shinning and both teams have impressed given their resources, the beach is fun. So are Fulham and Crystal Palace. (JPW)
10. Brentford answers questions but more remain (Spurs 1-3 Brentford): Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa both looked very good as the Bees began a long time without suspended star striker Ivan Toney. But what will the Bees look like next year without Toney, as their wonderful top-half campaign comes up short of European football. Brentford’s recruitment has been both wise and reliable, but there’s a lot to do to remain a team capable of the top ten. With suitors for Thomas Frank and Mathias Jensen surely around the corner, what will the Bees do in 2023-24?
10 things we learned in the Premier League – Week 37 originally appeared on NBCSports.com