West Ham qualify for Europa League as Leicester denied Champions League qualification on final day again

·2-min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham and Leicester City will play Europa League football next season after plenty of twists and turns on a dramatic final day of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.

The Hammers needed just a point against a Southampton side with little to play for in front of 10,000 returning fans at the London Stadium to guarantee sixth place and got all three courtesy of a stylish quick fire first-half brace from an unusual source in Pablo Fornals and Declan Rice’s quality late effort.

Europa League qualification and a first top-six finish this century caps off a remarkable season that has seen a brilliant transformation under David Moyes, with West Ham embroiled in a relegation battle only last season.

For Leicester, who clinched their maiden FA Cup triumph at Wembley last weekend, missing out on a Champions League return on the final day for the second successive season is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly when they appeared on for a top-four finish for so much of the afternoon.

The Foxes had been firmly in the driving seat for third just a few short weeks ago, but end the campaign fifth despite two penalties from Jamie Vardy in a dramatic final day 4-2 home loss against Tottenham, who seal seventh position and a place in the inaugural Uefa Europa Conference League ahead of Arsenal thanks to a late brace from substitute Gareth Bale on his likely final Spurs appearance.

Chelsea squeeze into the top four above Leicester by one point despite going down 2-1 at Aston Villa, with Liverpool third behind champions Manchester City and Manchester United after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at Anfield.

Arsenal, meanwhile, end a difficult season eighth and without any European football for the first time in 25 years despite Nicolas Pepe’s double sinking Brighton.

More to follow

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