The eventful Premier League relegation battle

Premier League fans experienced a season like no other as two clubs confirmed relegation on the final day. The two joined Southampton FC, whose relegation had earlier been confirmed. Three clubs were risking relegation to the Championship; Everton, Leicester City, and Leeds United. The battle was set for the deadline day, a unique phenomenon in the Premier League. After a ferocious fight that displayed the character in Sean Dyche’s men, Everton managed to escape the fall.

The last supper

Like the proverbial last supper, the clubs cautiously approached the last match, knowing its weight on the fan base. Leeds United had been in the league the past three seasons impressing in several matches. Everton had never been relegated since the inception of the new premier league in 1992. Leicester City had won the Premier League title as underdogs two years after their promotion to the league. The three clubs understood the assignment ahead and knew how crucial their wins would be.

Leeds United were sitting in 19th position with 31 points. In the 18th spot, Leicester City also had 31 points but with a superior goal difference to that of Leeds United. Everton was hanging by a thread with 33 points at position 17. All of them needed wins to solidify their chances of survival.

Leeds United suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur FC, who were focused on finishing the season strong. This humiliating loss confirmed to the fans that Elland Road will have to go at least a season without Premier League football. Leicester City held on to a 2-1 win against West Ham United. However, this win did not keep the 2015/16 underdog EPL winners in the coveted league as a defeat for Everton would have been mandatory to secure their position in next season’s PL campaign.

Disappointed Maddison following Leicester City’s relegation. Image: Skysports

Everton will forever be thankful to Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose strike gave them life for another season. Some fans had already started doubting whether they would enjoy the ambiance of Goodison Park next season. Doucoure’s goal proved the saving grace for the Toffees, who had lost their glory.

Therefore, The Championship will have three EPL regulars battling to get back to the EPL next season. Leeds United, Leicester City, and the Saints must adapt to the 44 games season while battling to get a slot back in the EPL.

The manager’s input

Sean Dyche deserves his flowers for powering Everton out of relegation despite finding them worse off. Although he recorded some humiliating defeats, Dyche held on his nerves and secured Everton from the jaws of relegation. Playing deep and utilizing set pieces, Everton survived relegation by a whisker—credits to Sean Dyche for giving some life back to the Merseyside Blue side.

Sam Allardyce, known as Big Sam, could not salvage Leeds United from the sinking ship. Despite looking promising when taking the job, Allardyce faced yet another relegation in the EPL. Having a vast experience in the league, it was thought Sam would find a way to survive the cut. However, he failed to steady the sinking ship and will have to do with the Championship next season.

What next for the fallen giants?

The 44 games a season league awaits the relegated parties in the Championship. They will be facing promising clubs like Coventry, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland FC, who slightly failed to gain promotion to EPL. The battle to return to the Premier League will be an exhilarating affair.

Consequently, the clubs risk losing some of their top cream of players. Leicester City might lose the likes of Harvey Barnes, Wout Faes, James Maddison, and Sinistera. Southampton risk losing Bella Kotchap, Lavia, and Mara, among other stars who impressed individually. Among talented players, Leeds United might lose Gnonto, Rodrygo, and Aaronson.

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