Dubai: Everton managed to secure their place in the Premier League for another season in a thrilling finale on the last day of the campaign.
However, the day ended in disappointment for Leicester and Leeds, as they were relegated to the Championship.
Sean Dyche’s Everton knew that a victory against Bournemouth at home would ensure their survival, regardless of the outcomes at the King Power Stadium or Elland Road.
In a tense match, the Toffees emerged victorious with a spectacular goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure just before the 60th minute, securing a 1-0 win.
Meanwhile, Leicester did their part by defeating West Ham 2-1, and Leeds suffered a 4-1 loss to Tottenham, sealing their fate in the drop zone.
Leeds, aware of the urgency, adopted a defensive strategy against Tottenham. However, their plan backfired as Harry Kane found the back of the net within two minutes, putting the hosts in even deeper trouble. Leicester took the lead in the 33rd minute when Harvey Barnes skillfully finished a one-two with Kelechi Iheanacho, igniting celebrations at the King Power Stadium.
The live table remained unchanged until Everton’s Doucoure unleashed a stunning strike in the 57th minute, propelling Goodison Park into a frenzy and lifting the Toffees out of the relegation zone. Shortly after, Wout Faes scored his first goal for Leicester, giving them full control over the match against West Ham, while the home fans hoped for a Bournemouth equalizer.
Leeds managed to pull one back through Jack Harrison, but it only served to improve their goal difference. Their efforts were canceled out moments later when Kane netted his second, with Jordan Pickford tangling with Dominic Solanke in the Everton goalmouth. West Ham’s Pablo Fornals later scored for the visitors, increasing the pressure on Leicester to hold on for victory.
However, Leicester’s fate also hinged on a favour from Bournemouth, who were playing Everton. The tension was palpable at Goodison Park, as ten minutes of injury time were added. The home crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief when Pickford made a remarkable save to deny Matias Vina’s volley. As the final whistle blew, a dejected Leicester was consigned to relegation, while Everton’s survival was confirmed.
The sound of Stuart Attwell’s whistle prompted jubilant celebrations from Everton’s fans, who invaded the pitch in celebration.
Meanwhile, Leicester, once crowned champions in 2016, faced the harsh reality of returning to the Championship after nine years in the top flight.