Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Huddersfield grab point to survive


All that is left to decide on the final day of the Premier League is whether Liverpool or Chelsea takes the final Champions League place.

It is advantage Liverpool — by two points and a vastly superior goal-difference.

Juergen Klopp has friend David Wagner to thank for Liverpool only requiring a draw against Brighton and Hove Albion to hold onto a top-four finish on Sunday when Chelsea play at Newcastle United.

Wagner’s Huddersfield Town held dethroned champions Chelsea to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, ensuring that the northern English team would have a second-ever season in the Premier League.

As Brighton and Newcastle were already safe, all three promoted teams this season have avoided the drop.

“It’s a bigger achievement than getting promoted,” Wagner said. “We were predicted as a team to get relegated.”

Newcastle’s 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur allowed the north London club to complete their season at their temporary Wembley home by securing a place in the top four.

Harry Kane curled a shot into the top corner to guarantee third-place Tottenham would open their new stadium in the Champions League for a third consecutive season.

The three teams going down are Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and, almost certainly, Swansea City. Although the south Wales club can still catch Southampton on points on the final day, their goal difference is inferior by nine.

Sunday is to be the final time that Arsene Wenger manages Arsenal after 22 years. The Frenchman’s penultimate game ended in a 3-1 loss at Leicester City on Wednesday.

On a miserable night for Chelsea, three of their Premier League records were broken by Manchester City after the title-winners beat Brighton 3-1.

City moved onto 97 points, two more than Chelsea’s final total from the 2004-2005 season, and 105 goals, two more than Chelsea’s previous record haul from the 2009-2010 season. Pep Guardiola’s team also now have 31 wins, surpassing the previous record of 30 set by Chelsea during last season.

The night’s games started against the backdrop of more encouraging news from the hospital where the league’s most successful-ever manager is being treated. Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is out of intensive care after emergency surgery on Saturday on a brain hemorrhage.

As Huddersfield players and fans, including actor Patrick Stewart, celebrated at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea players watched on gloomily.

This was Huddersfield’s night, taking the lead five minutes into the second half.

Willian was disposed inside the Chelsea half and Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy launched a high ball forward. Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero raced off his line and collided with Laurent Depoitre, allowing the visiting forward to tap into the net.

Chelsea fortuitously equalized in the 62nd minute when Mathias Jorgensen’s clearance cannoned off Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso’s head and went back into the net.

As Chelsea scrambled to produce a winner to move level on points with Liverpool, Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Loessl made vital saves, including tipping Andreas Christensen’s header onto the post.

“This was definitely the most important save in my career, no doubt about it,” Loessl said.

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