2017-18 EPL season overview: The 20 teams assessed
ABS-CBN Sports on May 14, 2018 08:24 AM
Manchester City teammates celebrate with supporters after scoring the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, Sunday, May 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
LONDON (AP) — Manchester City won the Premier League title by a record 19 points, while Stoke, Swansea and West Bromwich were relegated.
Here is a look at how all 20 teams fared in the 2017-18 season:
Champions League qualification:
1. MANCHESTER CITY (100 points)
Under the inspirational guidance of Pep Guardiola, City set new standards as the champions swept all before them. City trailed for just 153 minutes this season, the fewest ever for a Premier League team, according to Opta. The title was won with a record-equaling five games to spare by playing an exhilarating brand of attacking football. Rarely before has a team been so dominant, so clinical and so stylish and that was rewarded with the first 100-points haul.
2. MANCHESTER UNITED (81)
Runners-up in the best finish since Alex Ferguson retired by winning the title in 2013, and the FA Cup can still be collected by beating Chelsea on Saturday. Progress has been tempered by frustration. Jose Mourinho's style has been criticized and his players often look like a group of individuals rather than a team. The 19-point gap to champion City highlights the work required.
3. TOTTENHAM (77)
After seeing top-four rivals Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool all improve considerably, securing Champions League qualification for a third successive year ranks as Mauricio Pochettino's best achievement. Finished third despite the unfamiliar surroundings at Wembley Stadium for home games while the north London club's White Hart Lane home is rebuilt. Pochettino already operates under tight financial restraints and keeping up with big-spending rivals could be even harder with the stadium construction costs to pay off.
4. LIVERPOOL (75)
Having had to manage the demands of a run to the Champions League final, Juergen Klopp did well to ensure a return to Europe's top competition regardless of the result against Real Madrid. Mohamed Salah scored 32 goals in his first season — more than Huddersfield, Swansea and West Brom all managed as a team. So many players improved under Klopp's guidance — particularly Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andrew Robertson — as Liverpool avoided being derailed by Philippe Coutinho's January departure.
Europa League qualification:
5. CHELSEA (70)
From champions to fifth place. Better, though, than 2016 when Chelsea finished 10th after being crowned champions the previous year. This season can still end on a high if Chelsea beats United in the FA Cup final. But will Chelsea be looking for a new manager regardless of the Wembley result? Antonio Conte has been in combative mood throughout the season — falling out with Diego Costa and the Chelsea hierarchy early on.
6. ARSENAL (63)
Arsene Wenger's final season in charge of Arsenal ended in disappointment. A lowest-ever finish under the three-time Premier League champion — sixth — and an awful away record of only four wins reinforced the need for change in the dugout after 22 years. The new manager has plenty to do just to return Arsenal to the Champions League, and a second season in the Europa League awaits.
7. BURNLEY (54)
Burnley's second season back in the top flight went better than expected with a top-seven finish, which will see the northern club compete in Europe next season for the first time in more than half a century in the second-tier Europa League.
8. EVERTON (49)
Finished eighth after a turbulent season when Everton failed to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Manchester United for 75 million pounds ($97 million) during the summer transfer window. The summer arrival of three playmakers — Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen — left Ronald Koeman with too many similar players in attacking midfield. When Koeman was fired in October, Everton was 18th. Sam Allardyce took charge in November with Everton 13th and there has been fan discontent over the style of play despite climbing up the standings.
9. LEICESTER (47)
Another season of change saw Craig Shakespeare fired and replaced by Claude Puel in October. The Frenchman guided the Foxes away from the relegation zone but they ultimately failed to mount a European challenge. It has led to criticism of Puel and questions surround his future heading into the off-season. What Leicester desperately need now is consistency two years after winning the title so unexpectedly.
10. NEWCASTLE (44)
A run of nine games yielded just a single point, raising concerns about an instant return to the second tier as the turn of the year approached. But safety was effectively clinched with five matches to spare. Now will Newcastle keep hold of manager Rafa Benitez if he can't spend significantly to reinforce the squad?
11. CRYSTAL PALACE (44)
What had threatened to be such a damaging season ended with an impressive finish, highlighting the remarkable turnaround under Roy Hodgson. Palace lost its opening seven games — five with Frank de Boer in charge — and relegation looked likely. Largely led by Wilfried Zaha's outstanding form, only goal difference kept Palace from making the top 10.
12. BOURNEMOUTH (44)
Eddie Howe's side made a habit of scoring late goals and took more points from losing positions than any other club (21). After a slow start left the south-coast club in the bottom three halfway through the season, a productive five-week spell from late December to early February went a long way to securing a fourth successive season in the top flight. Lewis Cook also became the first Bournemouth player to represent England following his international debut in March.
13. WEST HAM (42)
A troubled and depressing campaign during which Olympic Stadium flaws and recruitment policy issues were laid bare. Fans turned on the board in the 3-0 home loss by Burnley in March, one of 10 defeats by three or more goals. Slaven Bilic was fired in November with West Ham in the bottom three, and David Moyes just about hauled the London club out of danger.
14. WATFORD (41)
Watford moored itself in midtable before slacking toward the end of the season. Injuries took their toll as Watford lost 10 players for two months or more. The arrival of Javi Gracia, who replaced Marco Silva in January, seemed to have little effect.
15. BRIGHTON (40)
After ending a 34-year exile from the top flight, survival was the objective and Brighton achieved it comfortably. Thanks to a strong home record, the creativity of Pascal Gross and veteran striker Glenn Murray's goals, Chris Hughton's Seagulls secured safety with two games to spare.
16. HUDDERSFIELD (37)
Huddersfield added another chapter to their fairytale by ensuring a second season in the Premier League. On relatively meager resources, David Wagner's side finished four points above the relegation zone.
17. SOUTHAMPTON (36)
The appointment of Mauricio Pellegrino almost cost Southampton its Premier League status. The Argentine was fired in March with Southampton deep in relegation trouble, but Mark Hughes' hiring paid off. Despite a tough start, Hughes oversaw a three-game unbeaten run including a 1-0 win at fellow struggler Swansea to avoid the drop.
18. SWANSEA (33)
Another season of flux brought the relegation that the club had been sleepwalking toward in recent years. A lack of investment in the squad from the American owners caught up with Swansea as Carlos Carvalhal was unable to repair the damage done under Paul Clement in the first half of the campaign.
19. STOKE (33)
A dire season has seen Stoke struggle considerably both in defense and attack, with some high-profile signings making very little impact. Mark Hughes was fired in January, and his replacement Paul Lambert then could not prevent the Potters from being relegated after 10 years.
20. WEST BROM (31)
The late revival under caretaker manager Darren Moore was not enough to save the Baggies. Wins over Manchester United, Newcastle and Tottenham under Moore clawed Albion closer to safety but the damage had already been done in Alan Pardew's disastrous reign, where he earned just eight points from 18 league games. West Brom's fate can be traced back years after bad decisions and poor recruitment.