October’s Sackico between Manchester United and Tottenham appears twice as we look at the moment that decided where each Premier League team was destined to end up in 2021/22.
Arsenal – Loss away to Tottenham
The Gunners had fourth place within their grasp and they knew a victory at Tottenham on May 12 would secure them Champions League football for the first time on donkeys. Arsenal were emphatically beaten in classic Arsenal fashion by conceding a silly penalty that Harry Kane obviously converted, and then stupidly reduced to 10 men, all within the first 45 minutes. Spurs got that psychological boost from victory and finished fourth after Arteta’s side were eliminated at Newcastle a few days later, a result many fans expected after losing the North London derby.
Aston Villa – Lost at home to Tottenham
Villa dropped to 14th place after positive summer and winter windows as well as the ambitious appointment of Steven Gerrard in November. Expectations were high despite the sale of Jack Grealish, Sincerely rooting for the Villans to finish in the top eight thanks to a great season from Leon Bailey.
Their loss to Spurs was the fourth in a row after losing to West Ham, Arsenal and Wolves. Gerrard’s side riddled Hugo Lloris’s goal but could not find a breakthrough and Spurs won 4-0 thanks to the ruthlessness of Heung-min Son. This game summed up a frustrating season for Villa and made it clear that it was time to plan for 2022/23.
Brentford – The signing of Christian Eriksen
Brentford had a great start to the season and looked like they would be absolutely fine in their first Premier League campaign. However, their form flagged and many believed that Thomas Frank’s men might find themselves in a relegation battle. Enter Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder joined in January but did not make his debut until February 26. His arrival was a boost but he was not noticed on the field until he was equipped. His debut was a home loss to Newcastle, but after shaking off the cobwebs, Eriksen was absolutely terrific and Brentford moved up to an impressive 13.
Brighton – Victory away from Arsenal
Brighton had lost six in a row before receiving a chorus of boos after a 0-0 draw at home against Norwich. Perhaps the Albion season was over. Perhaps the players were, as they say, on the beach. But no, they were far from over as Graham Potter put his team’s season back on track with a victory at Arsenal on April 9. Derailing the Gunners’ Champions League hopes in the process, they then did them a favor with a win at Spurs. Convincing wins against Wolves, Manchester United and West Ham meant the Seagulls finished a ninth-place finish in the top flight, a club record.
Burnley – The sale of Chris Wood
No, not the sacking of Sean Dyche, but the sale of Chris Wood to Newcastle. The Magpies would have played an absolutely blind role had they been in relegation contention until the end of the season; instead, they just screwed over a Premier League rival. Burnley struggled to score goals throughout the season and in January sold a player who had scored at least 10 times in all of their top-flight campaigns at Turf Moor. Having fallen on the final day alone, Wood’s goals would probably have saved Burnley.
Most Premier League goals scored by Burnley since Chris Wood joined the club in 2017/18:
◉ 49 – Chris Wood
◎ 30 – Ashley Barnes
◎ 9 – Jay Rodriguez
I walk to the front. ???? pic.twitter.com/BMRRe2YUhv
— Squawka (@Squawka) January 11, 2022
Chelsea – The war in the Ukraine
With a title run out of the equation after a series of poor results, they ended up sitting third in the league for a long time and attention quickly turned to their off-field concerns after Roman Abramovich’s penalties made him forced to put Chelsea up for sale. . It turned into a sticky situation, and as a result, his season was over.
Crystal Palace – When they took a chance on Patrick Vieira
Palace had a great summer in 2021 with the departure of Roy Hodgson and numerous players. Many names were associated with the managerial job, but Steve Parish took a risk and hired Patrick Vieira when the Arsenal legend took over his first job in the Premier League. After failing to win any of their first four with the Frenchman, they beat Spurs, then went winless in four, only to beat Man City. A lot of their draws could easily have been wins and Vieira made them play cool stuff like garnered much praise during the 21/22 campaign.
Everton – When a fan painted graffiti outside Goodison Park
Everton were about to name Vitor Pereira as their new manager after the sacking of Rafael Benítez, but a fan spray-painted the words. ‘Pereira leaves Lampard enters’ outside of Goodison Park. The Toffees listened and stayed awake.
The Everton merry-go-round continues ????
Vitor Pereira, the favorite to be the new coach, gave an interview to Sky Sports on television about the job.
…He hasn’t gotten the gig yet!
Graffiti has already appeared in Goodison Park saying ‘Pereira out, Lampard in’.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) January 26, 2022
Leeds – The dismissal of Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa is a Leeds United legend, to be sure, and many fans were extremely critical of the Yorkshire club for firing the Argentine, but it ended up being the right move. Jesse Marsch came in and shook things up, and that’s exactly what Leeds needed. He was bloodily close, but the American guided Leeds to safety. Marsch needs to bolster his squad this summer to avoid another relegation battle.
Leicester – When he conceded from a corner for the first time
Leicester had a very strange season. They somehow finished 8th when they could easily have finished 14th. Their Achilles’ heel was clearly defending set-pieces, and as soon as they conceded from a corner for the first time, teams obviously sat up and thought, ‘Well, they’re pretty good at this.’ And since then, the Foxes were absolutely thrilled to be exposed again and again.
Liverpool – Draw against Manchester City
Liverpool needed to beat City to win the league. A draw kept them at arm’s length, but it wasn’t enough to win their second Premier League title. After the tie, barring one or two odd results, the Reds were always going to finish second.
Manchester City – Draw at home against Liverpool
I mean, there wouldn’t be much point in saying anything more now…
Nights at the top of the Premier League in 2021/22:
Man City – 168
Man Utd – 14
Spurs – 13
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) May 24, 2022
Manchester United – Winning away to Tottenham
Sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after finishing second in the league last season would have been harsh, but it was the right thing to do. Instead, United supported him by signing Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, and everyone thought they would contend for the title. It was not to be, and Solskjaer was under pressure early in the season. He left for Spurs in October and played for El Sackico with Nuno Espirito Santo also struggling. United won the match, but also lost itas Solskjaer stayed a bit longer and Nuno left Spurs to be replaced by Antonio Conte.
Newcastle: the completion of their Saudi-led takeover
It eventually happened and now they are safe and officially minted.
Norwich – When they achieved promotion to the Premier League
This is what Norwich does: they yo-yo. See you again next year.
Southampton – When they realized they were safe
Southampton’s season finale was worrying. They won one of their last 12 league games and perhaps the victory against Norwich on February 25 allowed everyone at the club to get too comfortable. They finished with 40 points, one more than Everton, who were in danger of relegation until the 85th minute of their penultimate match.
Tottenham – The appointment of Antonio Conte
As a result of the aforementioned El Sackico, the Spurs fired Nuno and appointed Conte. After months of complaining that his team had no chance of finishing in the top four, they did so at Arsenal’s expense. That must have felt very sweet.
Watford – The sacking of Xisco Muñoz
Watford made a Watford quite early in the season and became the first club to sack their manager, sacking Xisco Muñoz. He showed that it was going to be the same s**t, a different season for the Hornets.
Points per game:
Goals scored per game:
Goals conceded per game:
Hodgson: 1.7 pic.twitter.com/eeIWJneiG1
— Watford Talk (@WatfordTalk) March 10, 2022
West Ham – Victory away against Rapid Wien
The Hammers balanced the Thursday-Sunday schedule pretty well, but he eventually caught up. Victory against Rapid Wien on matchday five of their Europa League group stage campaign ensured qualification for the knockout stage of the competition, and then it became a case of all eggs in one basket.
Wolves – Loss away to Arsenal
Like Southampton and Aston Villa, a single result seemed to have Wolves starting to focus on the upcoming season, or perhaps their summer break.
Wolves were flirting with the idea of European qualification and after wins against Leicester and Spurs, they were beaten 2–1 by Arsenal, who scored in stoppage time to win on 24 February. That result seemed to leave them and the Molineux breathless. club were inconsistent between then and the end of the season.