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Mission accomplished for Red Devils

Manchester United's win against Leicester City on the last day of the Premier League season ensured that they will compete in the Champions League next season. Picture: Reuters

Manchester United and Chelsea secured places in the Champions League with wins on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday. 

A penalty from Bruno Fernandes and late goal from Jesse Lingard gave United a 2-0 win at Leicester City, who missed out on the Champions League by finishing fifth and will have to settle for a spot in the Europa League.

Chelsea ended fourth after a 2-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur, who drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace, are also in the Europa League after finishing sixth.

It was a nervous display from United against an injury-ravaged Leicester, but they ended the campaign unbeaten in 14 Premier League games and with their mission of regaining a place in the Champions League accomplished.

Draws against Southampton and West Ham had left United needing at least a point at the King Power Stadium and while they again looked tired in a nervous display, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side got the job done.

Fernandes, who was central to United’s rise in the second half of the season, put United ahead in the 71st minute after Anthony Martial was brought down in the box.

The win was wrapped up when substitute Lingard robbed Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel on the edge of the area and slotted into the unguarded goal.

“We looked a bit tired and leggy, I think everyone could see. It wasn’t a classic,” said Solskjaer who will now hope the club back him in the transfer market.

“The club know what I feel we need and we are going to try to pursue it and let’s see where we end up.”

Chelsea also needed just a point at Stamford Bridge to guarantee a place in Europe’s top club competition and a wonderful free kick from Mount and confident finish from Giroud put them two goals up by the break – a lead Wolves never threatened to damage.

Champions Liverpool rounded off their superb season with a 3-1 win at Newcastle United to finish on 99 points, 18 ahead of second-placed Manchester City who crushed Norwich 5-0.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed his side’s character and will to win even the “difficult games” as the champions came from a goal down to beat Newcastle.

Liverpool found themselves behind after just 26 seconds but goals from Virgil van Dijk, Divock Origi and Sadio Mane brought the curtain down on a superb season for the Reds that saw them win their first league title in 30 years.

“It’s far away from being perfect, but it’s a good example for what the boys did over the whole season,” Klopp said of the comeback win.

“They didn’t only win football games when the sun is shining, the pitch is perfect, the ball, everything is perfect. They won all the difficult games – not all of them, but a lot of them – and today was a difficult game.

“We won it, well-deserved, They competed 95 minutes in the game, after the season the boys played? Incredible, really.”  


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