10 things we learned from the Premier League weekend as Chelsea win the title

Antonio Conte lifted the Premier League crown at the end of his debut season - as Chelsea beat West Brom to complete a stunning season.

The Blues wrapped up their fifth Premier League title on Friday night thanks to Michy Batshuayi's late winner at West Brom.

At the other end, Hull dropped back into the second tier with a horrific 4-0 defeat to relegation rivals Crystal Palace - joining already fallen Sunderland and Middlesbrough in next season's Championship.

Tottenham waved goodbye to White Hart Lane with an unbeaten season at their old home.

Liverpool's Champions League hopes were given a hit when Arsenal and Manchester City won but boost as they thrashed West Ham.

Here is what we learned from this weekend's Premier League action...

1. Hull were doomed from the moment they were promoted

Even after the playoff win last May, Steve Bruce was unsure he would be staying.

He walked out after a disagreement over his transfer budget and Curtis Davies famously posted a Twitter pic of the nine-man first-team squad at the start of August.

Two opening wins covered over the cracks but they have been in the drop zone since October and have never gained to momentum to pull clear of trouble.

2. Keeping Coutinho

Jurgen Klopp remains confident he will stay, Barcelona remain confident they will sign him. The Spanish club do tend to get their man and, as we all know, Luis Suarez pledged his future to Anfield before leaving.

So Liverpool will be hoping Coutinho’s parting gift to the club is not the outstanding performance here that nudged them to the brink of a Champions League return. He was simply magnificent, pulling the strings and providing the kind of cutting that West Ham could only dream of possessing within their ranks.

If Liverpool can keep him beyond this summer than an exciting new era awaits.

3. Spurs sign off in style

It is not just this victory that was a fitting finale to White Hart Lane but their season as a whole.

Spurs finished it unbeaten at home for the first time since 1964-65 and equalled a club record of 14 straight league wins at home.

On top of that they clinched second with their highest ever points tally.

They may have missed out on the title but it has still been a brilliant season for Spurs.

 

4. Aguero consigned to the bench

On the fifth anniversary of his epic goal, arguably the most dramatic moment in Premier League history, Aguero found himself consigned to the bench, just as he was when Jesus announced his arrival in stunning fashion earlier this season.

Aguero, who came on with 12 minutes left, may be making his way back from injury, hence his status among the subs, but it is becoming increasingly clear he is not central to Guardiola's plans, with his future uncertain this summer.

5. Change the tune

That still doesn't explain the puzzling and insulting banner that was flown over the stadium during the first half, which read 'Wenger - Out means out!!".

It proved that the so called fans who want rid of their manager have no sense of pride, history or respect.

Even if it is time for Wenger to go - and if they finish top four and win the FA Cup it's a pretty decent season by whichever measure you choose - surely he deserves better than a crappy plane and a s*** slogan.

6. Ross Barkley lets talent do talking

The England star was told in no uncertain terms by his manager Ronald Koeman, he has just nine more days to give an answer over his future, with a new contract waiting to be signed.

His response was poetic, a dramatic piece of art to light up an otherwise turgid contest against Watford , as he produced a wonderful shot from distance to show his talent can not be hurried.

Koeman says he must be sold if he doesn't sign the new deal within the next week, but that one goal alone is enough to make Blues fans wonder whether that would be the right thing to do.

On a night when industry and organisation held sway, it was always going to take something special to break a dull deadlock, and whatever the criticisms of Barkley, he does have that magical ingredient.

7. Black Cats bounce back?

After 19 home games, David Moyes has managed just three wins in front of the Mackem faithful.

Sunderland are going to face a whole host of difficulties next season in the Championship - key players leaving, a manager who looks a busted flush - but chief among them is a ground where club's will go and raise their game.

They look anything but a good bet for an immediate return.

8. Steve Agnew hasn't done enough to carry on as Middlesbrough's head coach

 

Boro chairman Steve Gibson hoped Agnew would be able to lift the dressing room when he appointed him as Aitor Karanka's successor, but the Teessiders have continued to flatline.

They have gone down with barely a whimper and Agnew has collected a meagre six points.

They were poor against a weakened Saints line-up and it's hard to see how Gibson can change Agnew with the task of trying to win promotion back to the Premier League next season.

9. Pace is priceless

There are few front lines in the Premier League with more pace to burn than Bournemouth's attack.

Josh King and Junior Stanislas started like an Olympic sprint relay team here, and Norwegian international King has added consistency to his strike rate, making him one of the most prolific scorers in Europe's major leagues in 2017.

And Stanislas was excellent against his former club. His movement and composed finish when he broke the deadlock were both textbook.

10. Chelsea won the title because...Conte's decision making

Conte had the confidence in his ability to take big decisions. It did not take Conte long to switch to the 3-4-3 formation which served Chelsea so well.

Plus he handled the phasing out of John Terry – something which has troubled many of his predecessors - and the captain's departure with respect. He also refused to discuss the possibility of Diego Costa moving to China publicly.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next