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Full-time: Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough, Watford 0-5 Manchester City

  • Liverpool beat Arsenal to fourth spot as Manchester City cement third place on a goal-laden final day of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign
  • Gunners miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years
  • Georginio Wijnaldum powers Liverpool ahead in first-half stoppage time to relieve growing tension around Anfield
  • Philippe Coutinho whips in a brilliant 25-yard free-kick after Daniel Sturridge is fouled by Adam Clayton and Adam Lallana coolly slots home a third
  • Vincent Kompany heads Kevin De Bruyne's corner past Heurelho Gomes to give City an early lead at Vicarage Road
  • Sergio Aguero nets a first-half brace after being teed up by De Bruyne and Leroy Sane respectively to record his best single-season goal tally in English football (33)
  • Fernandinho piles on the misery for outgoing Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri before Gabriel Jesus completes the rout after half-time
  • Recap: Arsenal 3-1 Everton, Chelsea 5-1 Sunderland, Hull 1-7 Tottenham and Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Jurgen Klopp

That is all for this particular live blog, thanks for following along and be sure to stay tuned to IBTimes UK for all the reaction from a goal-laden final day of Premier League football.

Goodbye for now.


It was considerably tense in that first half, but Liverpool eventually secure fourth place and a spot in the Champions League play-off round with ease. City finish with a flourish at Vicarage Road to take third and qualify directly for the group stages of Europe's elite club competition.

Arsenal's victory over Everton proves to be in vain and Arsene Wenger has now been left with a number of defensive concerns ahead of the FA Cup final at Wembley. The Gunners miss out on the Champions League for the first time in two decades.

Here is a look at the final table:

Premier League table

Full-time scores

Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough

Watford 0-5 Manchester City

Aaron Ramsey nets a third for Arsenal in stoppage time, but it won't make any difference whatsoever to his side's cause.

One minute of added time to play at Vicarage Road and two at Anfield. There will be no late drama as far as the race for a top-four finish is concerned.

Lucas takes the captain's armband as Milner, skippering Liverpool in the absence of Henderson, is replaced by Moreno.

The outgoing Spaniard quickly gets into a feisty debate with Chambers.

Sturridge makes way for Origi. It looks like Alberto Moreno will come on shortly too.

Negredo sets up Forshaw with a fine lofted pass, but the latter can only send a spinning volley wide. He should have done much better there.


Klopp's first change on 79 minutes sees Lucas Leiva replace compatriot Firmino for what will surely be the final game of his 10-year Liverpool career.


An ambitious outside-of-the-boot attempt from Sturridge is blocked and the ball bobbles kindly off Firmino, who looks to prod home from close range only to be denied by a last-ditch clearance from Gibson.

Agnew makes a double change for 'Boro. Fabio and Gestede make way for Ayala and Negredo.

Mignolet gathers safely after Milner wins an aerial battle with Bamford inside the penalty area.

Liverpool quickly go back down the other end and Sturridge curls a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.


The Spaniard ended his illustrious career following Bayern Munich's 4-0 win over Freiburg yesterday.

Wijnaldum miscues a volley wide after Firmino and Lallana link up to good effect.

Liverpool are not merely content with three and seem determined to mark Middlesbrough's top-flight swansong with a proper hammering.

Not that it really matters now, but Everton have pulled one back in North London.

Romelu Lukaku nets from the penalty spot after Nacho Monreal is whistled for handball.

End-to-end stuff now on Merseyside. Simon Mignolet denies Forshaw and Guzan tips another Coutinho effort wide.

Lallana is rewarded for his persistence and slots in a third for Liverpool, who now look to be expressing themselves with the pressure well and truly off.

Yet another goal at Vicarage Road, where Jesus collects Aguero's cross and beats Tom Cleverley before lifting the ball over Gomes. Substitute Andrew Eleftheriou tried and failed to clear it off the line.

Watford 0-5 Manchester City (Gabriel Jesus)

Goal: Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough (Adam Lallana)

Things have gone from bad to worse for Arsenal. Already without Shkodran Mustafi and Koscielny, Gabriel has now been stretchered off with a serious-looking knee injury.

Champions League hopes seemingly all but over, their centre-back options for the FA Cup final have been severely thinned.

Only a fantastic flying block from George Friend prevents Firmino from adding further gloss to the scoreline. Clyne balloons the rebound into orbit and Sturridge is flagged offside as he looks to chip Guzan.

Adam Clayton brings down Sturridge 25 yards from goal. Coutinho then steps up to whip a superb free-kick away from Guzan and into the far corner.

Liverpool are heading back to the Champions League. Well, the final qualifying round at least.

Philippe Coutinho

Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Middlesbrough (Philippe Coutinho)

The Dutchman likes performing in front of his own fans...


The second halves are underway.

Willy Caballero is at full stretch to deny Okaka, while the physios enter the fray at Anfield after a painful collision between Lovren and Gestede.


Wijnaldum's powerful breakthrough in first-half stoppage time puts Liverpool firmly back in the driving seat and renders 10-man Arsenal's 2-0 lead over Everton irrelevant.

Lovren can count himself very fortunate indeed not to have given away a penalty and left his side down to 10 men. 'Boro have every right to feel aggrieved with that particular decision.

Prolific City are guaranteed third spot barring an absolutely extraordinary collapse at Vicarage Road. Injury-hit Watford have been torn apart.

Half-time scores

Liverpool 1-0 Middlesbrough

Watford 0-4 Manchester City

The sense of relief flooding around Anfield is palpable as Wijnaldum collects a smart around-the-corner pass from Coutinho and proceeds to beat Guzan at his front post with a vicious strike that leaves the oft-maligned American with no chance whatsoever.

Liverpool leapfrog Arsenal back into fourth. What a time to score.

Georginio Wijnaldum

Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Middlesbrough (Georginio Wijnaldum)

One minute of added time signalled at Anfield.

Fernandinho makes a key interception and plays a one-two with fellow Brazilian Jesus before adding a fourth for City before half-time.

This could be a cricket score. Watford are being humiliated.

Goal: Watford 0-4 Manchester City (Fernandinho)

Guzan gathers a couple more balls as Liverpool, eager to relieve some of that building tension around Anfield, let fly at every available opportunity.

Lovren then hacks clear as Bamford looks to find a way through the Reds backline.

Sane gets away down the left flank and cuts the ball back for Aguero to sweep home from close range. This is now his most prolific scoring season in a City shirt.

A wretched end to Mazzarri's difficult 12 months in charge.

Sergio Aguero

Goal: Watford 0-3 Manchester City (Sergio Aguero)

Sturridge rolls Fabio before guiding a shot just wide. An animated Klopp stokes the home crowd.

Despite going down to 10 men, Arsenal extend their lead over Everton thanks to a tap-in from Alexis Sanchez.

The pressure on Liverpool cranks up another notch as Coutinho bends a low effort narrowly wide of Guzan's far post.

A reminder that a draw for Liverpool would NOT be enough to secure fourth place if Arsenal win.


City have been attacking this heavily depleted Watford defence at will and the pressure tells once more. De Bruyne slides the ball forward for Aguero, who motors through the gap between Holebas and Mason before finishing coolly past Gomes.

Guardiola's men have a firm grip on third place.

Goal: Watford 0-2 Manchester City (Sergio Aguero)

Guzan holds Coutinho's latest drive. At the other end, Gestede heads a Stewart Downing cross wide.

Patrick Bamford plays a neat one-two with Adam Forshaw and goes down in the box after feeling Dejan Lovren's arm across his shoulder.

The striker screams for a penalty, but Martin Atkinson says no. Had he given that, then the clumsy Lovren would have been off.

Controversial. Was the initial contact outside the area?

Wave after wave of Liverpool attacks at Anfield. Two more shots cannon back off 'Boro defenders before Emre Can blazes over from distance.

Strong defending from Gibson to stand firm and block Georginio Wijnaldum's low effort after more good work from the tricky Coutinho.

Arsenal's joy at scoring that early goal has just been wiped out by a red card for Laurent Koscielny awarded inside 15 minutes.

The French centre-back lunges in on Enner Valencia and is promptly given his marching orders by referee Michael Oliver. He will now miss next weekend's FA Cup final against Chelsea.


Bad news for Liverpool from the Emirates, where Hector Bellerin has turned home at the far post to give Arsenal an early lead over Everton.

As it stands, the Gunners will finish in the top four at Liverpool's expense. Still a long way to go, however.

Coutinho stumbles and the overlapping James Milner takes charge of Liverpool's latest attack. His cross from the byline is headed on by Gibson before Nathaniel Clyne fires wide. Chambers' quick movement at the back post prevented a potential own goal there.

Liverpool, as you might expect, have dominated the opening 10 minutes of this match. Quick low balls towards Firmino and Sturridge are scooped up by Guzan.

No signs of any nerves from City as Kompany pops up with his third goal in eight appearances.

This time the injury-plagued skipper takes advantage of some woeful Watford marking to head compatriot Kevin De Bruyne's corner beyond Heurelho Gomes.

Goal: Watford 0-1 Manchester City (Vincent Kompany)

Philippe Coutinho drifts slightly wide before his dinked cross towards Daniel Sturridge is headed away at the vital moment by Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers.

A very early sighter from the returning Firmino is easily gathered by Guzan.

Memories of Darren Bent's 2009 strike for Sunderland loom large...


Here we go then. The final day of the Premier League season is underway.

A reminder before kick-off that Liverpool vs Middlesbrough will be the main focus of this blog, although we will also keep you fully up to date with goings on at Vicarage Road.

Score updates from Arsenal vs Everton to come also.

Not the friendliest of sends-offs for Mazzarri at Watford, by the looks of things...


10 minutes remaining until kick-off at Anfield and Vicarage Road.


Not sure about that particular shade of red...

It briefly escaped my notice there that Watford, who are missing no fewer than SIX centre-backs, have named two goalkeepers on the bench in the towering Costel Pantilimon and Rene Gilmartin.

"We needed to cover a hole and Gilmartin is an exceptional guy," says Mazzarri.

A back three comprised of full-backs Mason, Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat against a potent City attack boasting the likes of David Silva, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero could be an absolute bloodbath.

Watford vs Manchester City

Mazzarri hands 19-year-old academy graduate Brandon Mason his first Premier League start in the absence of Sebastian Prodl (suspended), Miguel Britos (calf) and Adrian Mariappa (knee).

Striker Stefano Okaka also comes in, with skipper Troy Deeney once again left on the bench. Christian Kabasele, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Mauro Zarate and Roberto Pereyra are all out injured.

Gael Clichy and Pep Guardiola

Guardiola's sole change from a 3-1 win over West Brom sees Gael Clichy return at the expense of Aleksandar Kolarov. Vincent Kompany retains his place in a typically attacking starting XI despite picking up a knock in midweek.

Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and Claudio Bravo are the long-term absentees for City.

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough

Klopp makes one change to the side who thrashed West Ham, with Roberto Firmino, who missed that 4-0 win with a muscle injury, replacing Divock Origi. Ben Woodburn drops out of the matchday squad altogether. Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan remain sidelined.

Roberto Firmino

'Boro caretaker boss Steve Agnew makes two alterations to the team beaten 2-1 at home by Southampton as captain Grant Leadbitter and Rudy Gestede are preferred to Marten de Roon and Alvaro Negredo. Brad Guzan continues in goal ahead of Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.

Victor Valdes and Gaston Ramirez are still out, although Daniel Ayala returns to the bench. Ben Gibson looks set to play his final match for the club ahead of a likely summer exit.


Official team news is beginning to filter through. Stand by...

As noted by Tony Mogan in his thorough preview piece, a 39th game between Arsenal and Liverpool will be triggered if Middlesbrough win 2-0 and the Gunners are held to a 1-1 draw.

Arsene Wenger's troops would go head-to-head with City in a fourth-place play-off if they win 1-0 and somehow the latter implode and are thrashed 4-0 by Watford. That would also require Liverpool getting the job done and taking third.

A 3-0 victory for Liverpool and a high-scoring 3-3 tie at Vicarage Road would leave the Reds and City facing a play-off for third.

If Arsenal beat Everton and Liverpool fail to overcome 'Boro, then Jurgen Klopp's side will drop to fifth and have to make do with a place in the group stages of the Europa League.

Jurgen Klopp

For City to fall out of the top four altogether, they would have to lose and see Arsenal both win and bring about a five-goal swing.

Victory for Liverpool today would guarantee their place in the top four, while City only need a point at Watford and will claim third spot with a win in Hertfordshire.

The Reds would qualify directly for the Champions League group stages and bypass a potentially tricky two-legged play-off tie against the likes of Sevilla, Napoli or Borussia Dortmund if they defeat goal-shy 'Boro and City are beaten by the Hornets.

As noted by Liverpool's official website...

If Pep Guardiola's charges were to draw at Vicarage Road, Klopp's men would move ahead of their rivals with a win by four goals or more on home soil.

A victory by three clear goals would see the Reds leapfrog City if 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2 is the final score in their clash with Watford – or if there is a higher score draw in that game and Liverpool notch at least one more goal than the Manchester club on the day.

If Liverpool win by such a margin and City draw while scoring the same number of goals (e.g. 3-0 and 3-3 or 4-1 and 4-4) a play-off would be required to settle third position.

After no shortage of thrills, spills and controversy during 37 weeks of often memorable football, today the curtain SHOULD finally fall upon the 2016-17 Premier League season.

While my IBTimes UK colleagues Tony Mogan and Rhod Cannon are across other goings on around the top-flight, here our focus falls solely upon Liverpool and Manchester City as the heavyweight duo attempt to consolidate their respective top-four places and seal participation in next season's Champions League against relegated Middlesbrough and a Watford side being led by outgoing head coach Walter Mazzarri for the final time.

Premier League table
Opta/IBTimes UK

Just three points separate Liverpool, City and fifth-place Arsenal before kick-off and the former pair have qualification firmly in their own hands. The Gunners, who have featured in Europe's elite club competition in each of the last 19 years, must win at home to Everton today and hope that another result goes their way.

There also exists the slim possibility of a Champions League play-off if two of those aforementioned contenders finish dead level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

Stay tuned for all the relevant permutations and team news in addition to live updates from both Anfield and Vicarage Road. This is going to be a busy afternoon.