LONDON, England – Following a thrilling final day that saw Everton remain in the Premier League, Leicester City and Leeds United have been demoted.
Sean Dyche’s team defeated Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to a goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure in the second half, while Leeds lost 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at home. Given Everton’s victory, Leicester’s 2-1 victory over West Ham United was insufficient.
Dyche appointment is profitable
Sean Dyche’s main concern going into the game on Sunday was how he would close gaps in his defense and offense. Without any healthy full-backs and without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the majority of the week was spent trying out various formations in an effort to find a workable solution.
Dyche ultimately decided on a three-man defense, which was rarely attractive but ultimately productive.
James Garner, a January Everton target, filled in at right wing-back while facing the dangerous Dango Ouattara. The midfielder admitted after the game against Wolves last Saturday that he had never played in his new position before, but he was composed as ever at Goodison.
Garner made smart passes, leapt into tackles, and pushed Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers to make a spectacular first-half save. Dwight McNeil, on the other hand, was a capable and eager runner.
It hurt worse without Calvert-Lewin. Dangerous crosses into the box failed to connect in the first half. They frequently lacked the players and presence to really make an impact. However, Doucoure’s miraculous goal, which brought to mind Gareth Farrelly’s equalizer against Coventry in 1998 that kept Everton in the game, was the deciding factor. Dyche had discovered a way, by any means necessary.
His replacing of Frank Lampard at the end of January marked the turning point in Everton’s season.
For Everton, Doucoure is crucial.
The final day of the season is always the most dramatic in all of football, and Doucoure’s goal for Everton completes the full cycle of his exclusion under former head coach Frank Lampard.
The match-winning goal by Dwight McNeil was assisted by Doucoure in the opening minute of Everton’s victory over Brentford. He also scored twice in the opening half against Brighton to help his team to a decisive 5-1 away victory, and he had a goal and an assist in the late 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
Despite scoring 51 goals, Leicester was demoted.
In a 38-game season, Leicester has become just the third team to be demoted from the Premier League after scoring more than 50 goals.
After Everton defeat Bournemouth 1-0, their 2-1 victory over West Ham United at the King Power Stadium wasn’t enough to keep them in the division, but Harvey Barnes’ first-half goal brought them to 50 goals for the season, and Wout Faes’ second-half header brought them to 51 goals, matching Middlesbrough’s total from 51 in 1996–97. The other team to surpass 50 points in 2010–11 was Blackpool (55).
The main factor in this team’s relegation was their subpar defensive performance, which resulted in just one clean sheet in their past 23 league games.
Wasteful finishing by Leeds has cost them – You will undoubtedly be in the relegation zone if you give up the first goal in 20 of your 38 Premier League games this season. After just two minutes, Harry Kane’s goal put an end to Leeds’ tenuous chances of making it out alive, but what came next was even more indicative of their season.
In the first half, Leeds attempted nine attempts in an effort to turn around the score. They have only made more attempts in the first 45 minutes once this season—against Crystal Palace in April. Only one of those nine efforts, though, managed to test Spurs goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
At the end of the season, their percentage of shots on target was 31.4%, which was the third-worst ratio of any Premier League team.
Working an opportunity is one thing, but it should go without saying that taking advantage of those opportunities and making the most of them is how you escape the relegation zone. If ever a single game encapsulated an entire team’s season, it did on Sunday at Elland Road.