Aguero steals the show on Etihad farewell; Atletico, Lille script famous league triumphs

The Argentinian broke Wayne Rooney’s single club Premier League goal-scoring record with a 184th league strike for Manchester City, in the match against Everton, ahead of the Champions League summit clash, which will be his last game for the club.

The Manchester City players lift Sergio Aguero aloft during the trophy ceremony after the English Premier League match against Everton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.   -  AFP

During an exciting final day of the 2020-21 Premier League season, Liverpool and Chelsea sealed the last two 2021-22 Champions League spots by finishing third and fourth, respectively. They made the top-four at the expense of FA Cup titleholder Leicester City, which suffered back-to-back defeats, most recently a 2-4 result against Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool snatched a fifth straight victory by defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 in front of a 10000-odd crowd at the Anfield Stadium, completing an unlikely turnaround after dropping as low as seventh in the standings. Despite a 1-2 loss at Aston Villa, CL finalist Chelsea somehow ended up above Leicester in dramatic fashion as the latest PL edition came to a close. West Ham United will join LCFC in the Europa League next season as it claimed sixth place with wins against West Brom and Southampton.

Tottenham beat North London adversary Arsenal to a Europa Conference League Qualification slot, while Leeds United moved up a rung and pushed Everton to 10th. Last but not least, champion Manchester City and its city rival Manchester United bagged victories to confirm the top two places on the table. Sergio Aguero broke Wayne Rooney’s single club PL goal-scoring record with a 184th league strike for Man City ahead of the CL summit clash, which will be his last game for the club.

La Liga

Atletico Madrid pipped both Real Madrid and Barcelona to its first La Liga triumph since 2014. Third-placed Barca was out of the title race in the penultimate gameweek following a 1-2 home loss against Celta Vigo. A come from behind victory at Valladolid handed Atleti the Championship as Real finished second, having accumulated just two points fewer.

Sevilla, which had attained the final Champions League spot for next season, ended its campaign with a 1-0 win over Alaves. Real Sociedad and Betis managed to claim the two Europa League positions with positive results at Osasuna and eighth-placed Celta, respectively.

Meanwhile, Villarreal could only finish seventh and end up in the UEFA Conference league. However, the team could even make the CL if it defeats Man United in the upcoming Europa League final. Granada and Athletic Bilbao closed out the top-10. On the other hand, Huesca, Valladolid and Eibar were relegated from the Spanish top division.

Serie A

Luck favoured Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus as it replaced Napoli at fourth and confirmed its spot in the next edition of the Champions League following a dominant 4-1 win against Bologna. Napoli, which was ahead of Juve by one point before the start of the final matchday, faltered at home to Verona during a 1-1 draw and had to settle for fifth and a slot in the 2021-22 Europa League.

The Milan clubs finished first and second, with Inter beating AC Milan to the Serie A title by a mammoth 12 points. The latter had taken away the runner-up position from Atalanta, which it overcame 2-0 in the last game for both teams. Lazio sealed sixth and the other Europa ticket despite a poor run of form of late, while seventh-placed AS Roma will be in the Conference League ahead of Sassuolo only due to a positive head-to-head record. Benevento, Crotone and Parma faced the drop to the Italian second division.

Christophe Galtier’s Lille finally ended Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in the Ligue 1 and won the league title by a solitary point on the final day of the 2020-21 French football season.   -  AFP

 

Bundesliga

Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Mueller’s 49-year-old Bundesliga goal-scoring record for a single season (40 goals in the 1971/72 edition) with his 41st strike during Bayern Munich’s 5-2 thrashing of Augsburg as the Bavarians celebrated their ninth consecutive German league triumph in style. RB Leipzig finished second despite three losses in its last five games, and third-placed Borussia Dortmund backed up its DFB Pokal final success, a 4-1 result against Leipzig, with back-to-back 3-1 wins over Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen. Wolfsburg came out on top in a tough battle with Eintracht Frankfurt to claim the fourth spot, while Leverkusen fought off Union Berlin, which will be part of the Conference League, and Borussia Monchengladbach to claim the final Europa League slot. Stuttgart ended up ahead of Freiburg at ninth in the standings, only on goal difference. Werder Bremen and Schalke are the teams moving to 2. Bundesliga, while FC Koln will contest a two-legged relegation play-off against Holstein Kiel.

Ligue 1

Christophe Galtier’s Lille finally ended Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in the Ligue 1 and won the league title by a solitary point on the final day of the 2020-21 French football season. Lille saw off a late surge from Angers and held on for a 2-1 victory, which secured the Championship for the club. Meanwhile, PSG settled for second place despite a 2-0 win at Brest. The triumph over Monaco in the Coupe de France final will be a mere consolation for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

On the other hand, Monaco sealed third and a Champions League Qualification spot as fourth-placed Lyon slumped to a 2-3 defeat at home to Nice. Marseille got the other Europa League slot following a 1-1 draw against Metz, and Rennes stole the Conference League position from the hands of Lens with a 2-0 triumph over Nimes, which will join Dijon in Ligue 2 next season. Nantes will take on Toulouse in the Ligue 1’s relegation play-offs.