Tue, May 13, 3:12pm by Dominic Ciconte
City sealed the title with a 2-0 win over West Ham at Etihad Stadium on the final day of the EPL season with Liverpool scoring a 2-1 win over a nine-man Newcastle United to lock-in second place and direct entry to the UEFA Champions League next season.
French midfielder Samir Nasri and captain Vincent Kompany scored the goals for City with joyous supporters sprawling onto the field at the final whistle.
But, while everyone in the EPL toasts City and manager Manuel Pellegrini, UEFA’s investigatory body is reported to be close to issuing a severe penalty against the club for breaking UEFA’s financial fair play rules, which penalises clubs for building up high debts.
The Guardian and other outlets reported City would face a 49-million pound fine, be forced to cap their wages at this season’s tally and have a 21-play limit to their UEFA Champions League squad for next season.
It has been reported that City was considering challenging the penalties and facing off with Europe’s governing body.
But, if UEFA gets its way and City enter next season with a cap on its salaries and a restriction on its Champions League squad, then their title hopes will fade slightly.
This is because Pellegrini used his depth so well this season, keeping key players fresh for European and EPL matches, something which showed as Liverpool’s smaller squad battled to replace injured or suspended players in the final weeks of the season.
The outcome of this Manchester City vs. UEFA scrap won’t be known for a little while yet and considering their superstar squad was reportedly keen to go around again next season, they are still a good bet. You can now get $2.80 at Sportsbet.com.au on Manchester City to win the EPL title next season (better than $2.70 at Sportingbet and Centrebet).
But, if you are looking at their champions league odds, wait for this matter to be decided before putting your money down on the sky blues.
Chelsea completed its campaign with a 2-1 win over relegated Cardiff City, who fans protested before and during the match to demand owner Vincent Tan who changed the club’s home jersey to red this season despite Cardiff’s long history in blue.
The other Blues, Chelsea, have sealed third place while Arsenal slotted into fourth taking the final two champions league places, the Gunners will have to play themselves into the group stages via qualifying.
Everton and Tottenham Hotspur finished in fifth and sixth positions so will enter UEFA Cup next campaign and both scored wins in the final round with the Toffees beating Hull City 2-0 and Spurs skating past Aston Villa 3-0.
Manchester United’s season of frustration ended fittingly with a 1-1 draw with Southampton while Stoke City kept its fans smiling with a 2-1 win over West Bromich Albion.
Crystal Palace ended its season with a 2-2 draw with Fulham although Socceroos fans had a scare with Palace captain and vital Australian midfielder Mile Jedinak injured his groin.
With a month until the FIFA World Cup, don’t expect to see much of Jedinak on the field until the Socceroos’ first match in Brazil.
Cardiff City, Fulham and Norwich City will go down to the English League Championship next season with Leicester City and Burnley claiming direct promotion to the EPL next season.
The remaining spot in next season’s EPL will be fought out between Derby County and either Queens Park Rangers or Wigan Athletic in the promotion playoff final, also known as the 100 million pound game, at Wembley on May 24.
Liverpool superstar Luis Suarez claimed the EPL golden boot with 31 goals while teammate Daniel Sturridge was second on 21 goals with Manchester City’s midfielder Yaya Toure ending in third place with 20 goals.
Manchester City – $2.80
Chelsea – $3.10
Liverpool – $6
Manchester United – $6
Arsenal – $9.50
Tottenham – $26
Everton – $67
Newcastle – $276
Crystal Palace – $501
Aston Villa – $501
Burnley – $501
West Ham – $501
West Brom – $501
Hull – $501
Stoke – $501
Swansea – $501
Southampton – $501
Sunderland – $501
Leicester – $501
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