Slow Newsletter: Manchester City champions again, De Zerbi, Allegri, Bundesliga, Oxford United

MANCHESTER CITY won their fourth consecutive Premier League title, beating West Ham united 3-1 on the final day of the season. They went into the last game two points clear of Arsenal, who were at home to Everton. But it took just two minutes for City to open the scoring through Phil Foden and there was never any doubt from that point that they would end the day as champions. They went 2-0 ahead on 18 minutes with another Foden effort, but Mohammed Kudus netted a truly spectacular overhead kick for West Ham three minutes from the break. Arsenal, meanwhile, went 1-0 down in the 40th minute at the Emirates when a free kick from Idrissa Gueye was deflected past David Raya. Three minutes later, Takehiro Tomiyasu levelled for the Gunners. City restored their two-goal advantage in the 59th minute through Rodri and that was enough to give them their 3-1 victory. Arsenal clinched victory in the 89thminute through Kai Havertz, but the title had been won by Pep Guardiola’s side. In the battle for European places, Tottenham won 1-0 against Sheffield United to secure a Europa League berth, while Chelsea’s 2-1 win at home to Bournemouth will give them Europa or Conference League football next season.

BRIGHTON coach Roberto De Zerbi left his role with the club after their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester United. Brighton fans gave him a good send-off, chanting “we want you to stay”, but the past few months have seen a definite change in the Italian’s body language. De Zerbi took Brighton to sixth place in 2022-23 and into Europe for the first time. But this year, the team has struggled to maintain momentum and has also lost some key figures. There has also been unsettling talk of De Zerbi being a contender for some major jobs, such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus.

JUVENTUS may have won the Coppa Italia, but they are ending the season without coach Massimiliano Allegri, who was sacked after the final. Allegri, who has had a difficult 2023-24, raged at directors, the referee and journalists, as well as the club’s sporting director. Juventus said his behaviour was unacceptable by the club’s standards and dismissed him with a year remaining on his contract. It was widely expected that Allegri would leave Juventus this summer as his popularity had plummeted. His temporary replacement until the end of the campaign is Paolo Montero.

BAYER Leverkusen ended their Bundesliga programme with a 2-1 win against Augsburg and became the first German team to finish a season unbeaten. Their goals came from Victor Boniface and Robert Andrich. Bayern Munich, without the injured Harry Kane, lost 4-2 to Hoffenheim after going 2-0 up in the first eight minutes. This pushed Bayern into third place, allowing Stuttgart – 4-0 winners against Mönchengladbach – to take the runners-up spot. Champions League finalists, Borussia Dortmund, won 4-0 against relegated Darmstadt.

OXFORD United have won promotion to the Championship after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Wembley in front of 70,000 people. Oxford’s two goals came from Josh Murphy in the first half, both created by Ruben Rodrigues. Oxford have not been in English football’s second tier for 25 years. They went into the play-off final as underdogs at Bolton had beaten them 5-0 in March. Oxford coach Des Buckingham commented: “To see what I’ve just seen, I haven’t got words for it. With the football we’ve just played there, I thought we were excellent today. I am so proud of lead this team and I’m so proud of the players and what they’ve just shown Oxford United to be.”

Published by Neil Fredrik Jensen

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