The 2011/2012 EPL (English Premier League) season has just wrapped up and the 20th anniversary of the league produced the closest-ever finish with Manchester City scoring two goals in injury time to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 and take the title away from Manchester United on goal difference. This is the full review by GamblingNerd.com. Both Manchester clubs ended the season on 89 points, 19 ahead of third-place Arsenal. Tottenham Hotspur finished in fourth and will earn a Championship League berth along with the top three clubs if Bayern Munich beats Chelsea in the 2012 CL final on May 19th.
All three teams that were promoted last season, QPR, Norwich, and Swansea, managed to survive the season and all stayed up. Blackburn, Bolton, and Wolves were the three unlucky teams relegated. Swansea and Norwich played for wins instead of draws and it allowed them to earn 47 points each. QPR can count themselves lucky as they managed to stay up on the last day of the season even though they lost 3-2 to City. Bolton only managed a 2-2 draw with Stoke on the final day of the season and that sealed their fate.
There were many stories this season, with some of them highly unexpected. We saw Paul Scholes come out of retirement and return to Manchester United midway through the season while former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry rejoined the London club in the January transfer window for a few weeks and managed to score some big goals.
Dalglish the Last Manager to go
Wolves’ manager Mick McCarthy was deservedly sacked midway through the season along with Andre Vilas Boas of Chelsea, while Steve Bruce of Sunderland, and Neil Warnock of QPR were all fired early on in the season. When the year had ended, Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish and Aston Villa’s Alex McLeish were also looking for new jobs as they were let go a few days after the campaign came to an end.
Eighth-place Liverpool had one of their worst seasons in decades, but managed to win the Carling Cup with a 3-2 penalty-shootout win over Cardiff at Wembley. However, they were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea in the FA Cup Final. Chelsea also disappointed this year by finishing in sixth place. Along with the promoted teams, Newcastle had a great season and managed to qualify for the Europe League by finishing sixth in the table.
Liverpool spent $165 over the past year on players such as Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Sebastien Coates, Jordan Henderson, and Charlie Adam. However none of them lived up to their potential, with Downing being the worst of the bunch. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres had another poor year at Chelsea.
It was also odd to see Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez, last year’s Golden Boot winners with 20 each, go through strange seasons. Man United’s Berbatov sat on the bench most of the season while Man City’s Tevez should be grateful manager Roberto Mancini took him back after a lengthy suspension following his refusal to come off the bench in a Champions League game.
Some of the players who came out of nowhere and had good seasons were Papiss Demba Cisse (13 goals) and Demba Ba (16 goals) of Newcastle along with Everton’s Nick Jelavic. Norwich keeper John Ruddy and Swansea keeper Michael Vorm were excellent as was striker Grant Holt of Norwich who scored 15 goals.
Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie was the top goal scorer with 30 on the season followed by United’s Wayne Rooney with 27 and Man City’s Sergio Aguero at 23. Of course, Aguero scored the title-winning goal for City in the fourth minute of injury time against QPR. Van Persie was also named the PFA’s player of the year.
Suarez, Evra and Terry in Trouble
Not everything was rosy though, as Luis Suarez was accused of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and John Terry of Chelsea was charged by the police for doing the same to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. There were 1,066 goals scored in total during the season with more than 12 million fans piling through the stadium turnstiles.
While these were some of the things fans will remember about the season, there were many more and each individual will have their own special memories of the EPL’s 20th year.
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