Premier League: Leicester fumble away Champions League, blow two leads and fail to capitalize on Chelsea loss

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Liverpool and Chelsea have qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League after finishing third and fourth respectively in the 2020-21 Premier League after an eventful final day on Sunday that also saw Arsenal drop out of continental competition for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp’s men beat Crystal Palace 2-0 as Thomas Tuchel’s side lost 2-1 away at Aston Villa and the Blues had to rely on Leicester City losing 4-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur as the result that condemned Brendan Rodgers’ FA Cup winners to a UEFA Europa League finish in the league alongside West Ham United who thumped Southampton 3-0.

Sadio Mane scored a goal in either half as Liverpool eased to victory at Anfield while Ben Chilwell’s strike at Villa Park proved mere consolation for Chelsea as Bertrand Traore and an Awar El Ghazi penalty did the damage for the Villans with Cesar Azpilicueta seeing red late on.

The Birmingham clash had been expected to be at the heart of the drama and there were notable incidents as goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was forced off and replaced by the maligned Kepa Arrizabalaga with the Champions League final on the horizon and Timo Werner had a goal ruled out due to Azpilicueta’s offside.

It was at King Power Stadium where the drama really unfolded, though, as a pair of Jamie Vardy penalties were cancelled out by Harry Kane and then a Kasper Schmeichel own goal before Kane teed Gareth Bale up for the winner in what could be both players’ final act for Spurs and the Wales international added his second at the death.

The blow will be softened by the Foxes’ first FA Cup title when they beat Chelsea at Wembley Stadium last weekend, but one win from their final five Premier League fixtures — with three defeats in that run — effectively cost Rodgers and his players the Champions League berth they were fighting for.

Pablo Fornals scored twice and provided an assist for Declan Rice as West Ham blew out Southampton in style to render Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion through a Nicolas Pepe brace academic in the UEL race as the Gunners missed out on European involvement after a 25-season run.

Manchester City’s 5-0 mauling of Everton dropped Carlo Ancelotti’s men down to mid-table to complete a disappointing finish to the campaign as Sergio Aguero signed off with a double for the champions ahead of their UCL final against Chelsea in Porto next week with Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden also finding the back of the net at Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United, Leeds United, Newcastle United and Sheffield United also won with two of the three relegated clubs tasting defeat as they said goodbye to the top-flight and the Blades’ rare victory meant that only five points separated the bottom three in the end when they had been cut adrift at one point.

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