Everton seal Premier League safety as Leicester and Leeds relegated on final day of the season
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Everton seal Premier League safety as Leicester and Leeds relegated on final day of the season

Leicester City and Leeds United were relegated to the Sky Bet Championship after Everton beat Bournemouth to preserve their top-flight status on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the most important goal of his career and possibly Everton’s history to save the side from relegation with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

Everton came into the final day with their fate in their hands, and Doucoure’s stunning strike ensured there was nothing relegation rivals Leicester and Leeds could do to leapfrog the Toffees to safety.

Premier League table
Image:Premier League table: Everton stay up on final day
  • Everton 1-0 Bournemouth – Report, highlights, analysis.
  • Leicester 2-1 West Ham – Report, highlights, analysis.
  • Leeds 1-4 Tottenham – Report, highlights, analysis.
  • Final Premier League table 2022/23.

Dyche: Everton has cracks, but it’s not a broken club

Manager Sean Dyche insisted Everton was not a broken club after guiding them to safety on the final day.

“Obviously it means a lot,” he told Sky Sports. “To me, I took over what they called a broken club. It’s not broken. There are certainly cracks but it’s not broken. We’ve shown that fighting spirit we needed.

“But I’ve told the players they shouldn’t be in this state and we’ve got to learn. Next season is going to be a big season. It’s a magic day but at the end of the day we shouldn’t be in this shape.

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“We needed belief in the group and I think we’ve done that well. As a staff we’ve maintained that, we’ve kept them believing. They’ve seen people dropping, we’ve got no full-backs, no forwards, but we’ve kept going.

“‘Doucs’ has been a shining light in that and he scores a cracking goal. He might have mis-hit it. But we have to learn from this experience. You’re only a big club if you give big club performances and you do big club things. This is a big club but we’ve got to get it back to being there off the pitch and not just on the pitch.”.

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Carra: Everton shouldn’t celebrate too much

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Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher:.

“I was really pleased there was a feeling inside Goodison Park that Everton fans shouldn’t be celebrating this. I’m from the city. Everton haven’t punched above their weight for a long time, but to find themselves in this position two years running is awful.

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“When I hear the players saying that commitment and mentality got them over the line… It’s embarrassing. Everton shouldn’t be in this position with the players they have got and the amount of money that has been spent, over £700m. I can understand the players are relieved, but don’t be celebrating this too much.

“Those players have got away with a lot this season because all the eyes have been on the owner and those running the football club. There were cries of ‘sack the board’ at the end of the game, I agree with that. But the players have been awful, absolutely shocking, so they shouldn’t be getting away with it at all.”.

Leicester City, who lifted the title seven years ago, became just the second former Premier League champions to be relegated, despite being West Ham 2-1 at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes were on course to stay in the Premier League at the halfway stage of the final-day fixtures after Harvey Barnes gave them the lead against West Ham and lifted them out of the bottom three, but Doucoure changed the complexion of the relegation picture in Everton’s favour with his decisive strike.

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‘Leicester did their bit but there was an air of resignation’

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith:.

“Leicester did what they had to do but Everton responded. It’s a sad day. They’ve had nine great seasons in the Premier League, the miracle of winning the title and then the FA Cup. It’s been a marvellous period in the club’s history. Leicester have always been a yo-yo side – even when I joined in 1982.

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“Leicester played well. When you see James Maddison pulling the strings and the pace of Harvey Barnes you think they shouldn’t be in this position. They have a lot going for them when in this mood. And fair play to them for playing well in these circumstances – it was as good as they’ve played for a couple of months. Leicester did their bit but there was an air of resignation.”.

Leeds United’s bid to survive on the final day failed to get off the ground, with Harry Kane’s second-minute opener inspiring Tottenham to a 4-1 victory at Elland Road which ended their three-season stay in the top flight.

Leicester and Leeds join Southampton – who drew 4-4 with Liverpool on the final day – in next season’s Championship after the Saints’ 11-year spell in the top flight ended following defeat to Fulham on May 13.

Allardyce: Squad hasn’t been good enough

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Leeds manager Sam Allardyce:.

“There are many things and factors that have to be put in place for a football club to reap long-term success. Most of it comes down to how good are the players. These players have tried very hard since I’ve been here and I can’t fault their effort but as a squad, they haven’t been good enough by the fact they’re in the bottom three of the Premier League.

“I would have hoped I could have got a little bit more out of them. I take responsibility for that but it’s a tough old world when things start failing, and when confidence starts going it’s very difficult to claw it back.”.

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On his future at the club: “I’ll have the discussion next week at some stage. There’s lots of opportunity when we can sit down and get over the disappointment of getting relegated.

“The last thing I wanted to do was be the man who took Leeds down. We did all we possibly could try to get better results. I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity and the staff and what we tried to do hasn’t been good enough in terms of the results.

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“I can tell the board what I think needs to be done and they can say what they think. Is the club going to go forward and who with? Is it going to be bought, stay the same – what’s going to happen? That’s probably the first thing that needs to get sorted out before you speak to me.

“I can’t really say I’ve enjoyed it. I’m glad I came back. I tried my best to get Leeds out of trouble. I can’t enjoy anything when I don’t win. The disappointment is huge.

“Getting in the training ground every day and trying to make the players look at the situation they’re in and get out of it, if anything I’ve enjoyed trying to do that.

“We didn’t leave a stone unturned. It’s really sad that Leeds is in this position.

“To the fans, I apologise. I didn’t do better and the players didn’t do better, and try and win at least two out of the four games and give ourselves a bigger opportunity to stay in the Premier League.”.

Everton safe, Leicester and Leeds down – Opta stats

  • Everton have avoided relegation from the Premier League, with next season now being their 70th consecutive season in the top flight, the second-longest run by an English side (Arsenal ongoing 98 including next season).
  • Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucouré has scored five Premier League goals this season, only netting more in 2017-18 (7). All five strikes have come in 15 games under Sean Dyche, after having scored none in 24 Premier League appearances under predecessor Frank Lampard.
  • Despite their 2-1 win Leicester have been relegated from the Premier League, just seven years after winning the top-flight title under Claudio Ranieri.
  • Leicester’s relegation is their 12th from the top flight of English football, with no side suffering the drop more (Birmingham City also 12).
  • Leeds suffered their seventh relegation from the top flight, and first since 2003-04. Their 31 points this season was their second-lowest tally in a top-flight campaign (after 24 in 1946-47), when accounting for three points per win all-time.

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