Friday, 31 May 2013

Fergie retires with title

Manchester United secured their 20th league title with 4 matches to spare as Robin van Persie netted a first-half hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa. Two matches later, Sir Alex Ferguson announced he would retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge of the Red Devils.
Manchester City suffered a setback when they lost 2-0 at Everton and despite winning 2-1 at Manchester United went on to lose 3-1 at Tottenham giving United the chance to win the league the following day. Having lost their title they also lost the FA Cup final and parted with their manager Roberto Mancini.
Chelsea ended the season on a high since losing 2-1 at Southampton in March, dropping points only in their 2-2 draws at home to Tottenham and away to Liverpool. Among their conquests were Manchester United whom they defeated 1-0 at Old Trafford. The Europa Cup trophy was not enough to keep interim manager Raffa Benitez at the club.
Arsenal earned a Champions League place after winning all but 2 of their last 10 matches, drawing 0-0 and 1-1 at home to Everton and Manchester United respectively.
Tottenham narrowly missed out on a Champions League place. After losing 3-2 at Liverpool and 1-0 at home to Fulham and drawing 2-2 at home to Everton, their 3-1 triumph over Manchester City was followed by a 2-2 draw at Wigan and despite a 2-2 draw at Chelsea and winning their last 2 matches, they could not catch up with Arsenal whom they had been leading earlier in the season.
Everton had a decent run towards the end of the season drawing only at Tottenham 2-2 and Arsenal 0-0 before their goalless draw at Liverpool whom they finished above and ended the season with a 2-1 loss at Chelsea that did not affect their final position.
Liverpool lost the chance to overtake their local rivals Everton when they were held to a goalless draw by them at Anfield. They had earlier lost 3-1 at Southampton and played out goalless matches at home to West Ham and away to Reading.
West Bromwich Albion finished a very respectable 8th despite only winning 2 of their last 10 matches, 2-1 at home to Swansea and 3-0 at Southampton. They ended the season with 3 late goals in an amazing 5-5 draw against champions Manchester United.
Swansea who lost 2-1 at West Brom could have finished above them but were thumped 3-0 at home to Fulham on the last day of the season.
West Ham finished in the top 10 picking up points in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool and a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United, finishing below Swansea on goal difference.
Norwich had been flirting with relegation, but a vital 2-1 victory over troubled Reading steered them towards safety and 2 impressive wins, 4-0 at home to West Brom and 3-2 at Manchester City, in their last matches of the season gave them a healthy position in the table.
Fulham enjoyed a 1-0 win at Tottenham but went on to lose most of their matches including a 4-2 home defeat to already relegated Reading, but ended the season with 3 goals at Swansea.
Stoke stayed safe with a 2-0 victory at QPR and win by a single gaol at home to Norwich City before adding points in 1-1 draws at Sunderland and Southampton
Southampton showed strength at home with a 3-1 triumph over Liverpool and a 2-1 victory against Chelsea, but were taken apart 3-0 by West Brom.
Aston Villa who found themselves hovering about the relegation zone overcame QPR 3-2 and won 3-1 at Stoke before thumping Sunderland 6-1 and winning 2-1 at Norwich.
Newcastle will be glad the season is over, after suffering humiliating home defeats 3-0 to rivals Sunderland and 6-0 to Liverpool. Their only consolation is finishing above Sunderland.
Sunderland survived by the skin of their teeth with a memorable 3-0 victory at Newcastle and a 1-0 win at home to Everton instrumental in their feat, though their 6-1 hammering at Aston Villa will leave them with plenty to ponder for next season.
Wigan were gunned down 4-1 at Arsenal days after lifting the FA Cup. The Latics had earned home wins against Newcastle 2-1 and Norwich 1-0 and tied 2-2 with Tottenham and even enjoying a 3-2 win at West Brom before having their fate sealed at the Emirates.
Reading were relegated with 3 matches to go, together with QPR as the 2 played out a goalless match at the Madjeski Stadium. A 4-2 win at Fulham the following week was scant consolation for the Royals who had only picked up one point in their previous 10 matches leading up to their relegation.
Queens Park Rangers were finally relegated as expected, dragging their hosts down with them, when they drew 0-0 at Reading. The Hoops who spent most of the season at the bottom of the table were living more in hope than expectation. 

Cardiff, Hull and Crystal Palace were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.