Manchester City will start their Premier League title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures, announced on Thursday morning, handed Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of 11-12 August – a fixture that will be Unai Emery’s first competitive match as the Arsenal manager.
City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017-18, do not face another side from last season’s top six until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against the newly promoted trio of Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence that also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton – the three teams who came up in 2017.
Arsenal v Manchester City Bournemouth v Cardiff City Fulham v Crystal Palace Huddersfield Town v Chelsea Liverpool v West Ham United Manchester United v Leicester City Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur Southampton v Burnley Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion Wolves v Everton
Oh no: an article about how we can be kind to insects (G2, 21 May). Does this go for clothes moths too? They have just eaten through my only ever cashmere sweater. When he sees them, my husband says: “It’s no use killing them – I should torture them and ask where they are coming from.” The Indian tapestry, I suspect. What do they eat in the wild? Is our house “the wild” for them? Do I have to be kind to them? Margaret Squires St Andrews, Fife
• If Noah Charney wishes to include the recently sold Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo, in his forthcoming book (Raiders of the lost art, G2, 21 May), he should first look at the many representations of the same subject by Bernardino Luini, in all of which the same error in the depiction of the sphere is made. Luini was a painter from Leonardo’s circle and worked in a similar idiom. Deirdre Toomey London
“You’ve been great for us but we’re not prepared to renew your contract for next season.” The words I think every player fears and dreads, so when I heard them from my (now former) manager Chris Hughton, I felt a whole range of emotions. I’m at the stage in my career that I knew what might be coming but at the same time you can never prepare for it. I’ve been released and just like every player who has experienced the scenario there is no way to ready yourself.
Disappointment is immediate along with the relief of at least knowing the decision. Then you question yourself and you feel failure, worry, fear and anxiety that any person in any line of work would feel when losing their job. I appreciate how privileged I am to do a job I love and get well paid for, and I understand people who say flippantly it’s OK for the likes of me who have had a long career and all the benefits that come with that. But the sheer emotion of having to break the bad news to my wife and children who are happy in the area and at their school and having to come to terms with the fact my chances of playing at the very top level again are extremely slim makes everything daunting, painful and testing.
Even though Mohamed Salah ended up with the Golden Boot award and a Premier League scoring record this was not quite up there with his finest performances of the season. Liverpool supporters will be hoping he is saving the mesmeric, catch-me-if-you-can stuff for Real Madrid in Kiev, for this was a more workmanlike display, albeit one good enough to find plenty of holes in the Brighton defence.
Mo Salah scored his 32nd Premier League goal of the season, breaking the record for a 38-game season, as Liverpool secured a top-four finish with an easy win at Anfield
That’s it for today’s live blog, and for the Premier League season. Thanks for your company throughout. Goodnight!
Jurgen Klopp speaks! “What the boys did is unbelievable. I can’t believe we could achieve this with Adam Lallana injured all season. The players have 9,000 games in their legs. I’m really proud of the boys. A nearly perfect season: we had no chance to challenge Manchester City so the only thing you can go for is a Champions League place.
“I’m really happy for Mo. He had a little dip the last two or three weeks but today he was back at his best. It’s difficult to stay on track [when people tell you how good you are] but he’s done that. Congratulations to Manchester City. To challenge that we need more consistency and have a little more luck with injuries.
The Liverpool players are back on the field to enjoy a lap of honour. They went unbeaten at home all season in the league and were involved in some immense matches: the 4-3 win over Manchester City, the 2-2 draw with Spurs and that tactically compelling 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Mo Salah’s daughter is having the time of her life, kicking the ball around Anfield to huge cheers. Her dad has long since gone down the tunnel but she’s still going strong.
Mo Salah speaks “The Golden Boot is very special. It’s always in my mind to help the team win games, and we will be in the Champions League next season so I’m very proud. It was always in my mind that I wanted to have success in England. I’m always trying to improve every year. It was very special to break the record in front of the Kop. I’ll do my best to win it next season, don’t worry.”
Mo Salah is back on the field, receiving about 48 different awards from Kenny Dalglish: Player of the Year, Golden Boot, and the rest. He has his little daughter with him, and is looking left and right to take it all in. He started the season as a Chelsea flop and ended it being routinely compared to Lionel Messi. And he seems a thoroughly nice bloke.
A ridiculous match at Wembley has ended Tottenham 5-4 Leicester. That means Liverpool will have to settle for a second consecutive fourth-placed finish. They’ll get over it.
“Despite their best efforts to reschedule the show, Liverpool fans Echo & the Bunnymen will play a gig in Birmingham on the night of the Champions League final,” says Peter Oh. “That could be the edgiest performance ever by Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant.”
It’s not quite an Agueroooooooooooooooo moment, but Gabriel Jesus’s late winner at Southampton has taken Manchester City to a staggering 100 points. Simon Burnton has more.
Peep peep! Liverpool will go to Kiev in good heart after one of their easiest wins of the season. Mo Salah scored a record-breaking 32nd league goal, while Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson added to the feelgood mood by scoring their first goals for Liverpool. Dejan Lovren was the other scorer with a towering header. Brighton were stuffed but who cares; their work for the season was done when they beat Manchester United.
90 min You wouldn’t think Jurgen Klopp will have any selection dilemmas for Kiev. Adam Lallana isn’t ready to start, and if everyone is fit the team picks itself. It’ll be today’s starting XI, with James Milner in place of Dominic Solanke.
89 min The Liverpool fans are ending the domestic season in good voice. Today couldn’t really have gone any better.
Andy Robertson gets his first goal for Liverpool! Lallana gave a reminder of his class with a neat pass down the left to Ings. He battered a cross that was only partially cleared by Dunk, and Robertson backed up the play to ram the ball into the net.
84 min Liverpool make a double change: Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino are replaced by Danny Ings and Ben Woodburn.
83 min See 81 min.
81 min Nothing is happening in this match.
80 min Harry Kane, Spurs 5-4 Leicester. He needs two more to share the Golden Boot with Mo Salah.
79 min Here’s Simon McMahon, with more on yesterday’s fun and games at Cowdenbeath. “Even the songs were wonderful. Especially the one that references the era of the Cowshed behind the goal at one end. ‘There was a coo, on yonder hill, it’s no’ there noo, it must’ve shifted.’ By the way, there was a West Brom Man United moment up here on the last day of the Scottish Premiership, as it finished Hibs 5 Rangers 5.”
77 min Liverpool are back in third place, as things stand, because James Richard Vardy has made it Tottenham 4-4 Leicester at Wembley.
75 min The match is petering out. It’s been a pretty perfect day for Liverpool: an easy win, no injuries, and Mo Salah close to his electric best after a few muted performances.
73 min A Liverpool change: the popular Adam Lallana replaces Sadio Mane.
71 min Another Brighton change: Connor Goldson replaces the injured Shane Duffy.
70 min “I’ve been a Liverpool supporter since my dad bought me a shirt with ‘Hitachi’ as the sponsors (so close to 40 years), and I don’t recall enjoying a season as much as this one before,” says David Horn. “We’ll finish fourth (or third) and haven’t won anything (yet), but the joy! It’s been off the charts. From the dugout to the pitch to the stands, it’s been lovely. And to put the whole thing in perspective, it’s less than eight years since Gillett and Hicks appointed Roy Hodgson as manager. That still makes me cringe, but how far we’ve come. It shows that progress can be measured without reference to league tables. Enjoy whatever sort of off-season you’re afforded.”
68 min No sign yet of Jurgen Klopp protecting any of his stars ahead of Kiev. Liverpool’s intensity has dropped since they went 3-0 up, though they are still almost embarrassingly dominant.
65 min “If Big Nev’s inner monologue is anything like his Twitter feed, then it would have been riveting stuff, all political musings and social commentary,” says Matt Loten. “Thoroughly worth a follow.”
64 min There’s a proper end-of-term feel now, with Liverpool knowing their domestic work is done. Salah almost makes it 4-0, scooting past Bong before slipping over when through on goal. Kevin Friend turns down yet another penalty appeal, but I think he was right to do so that time. Meanwhile, Spurs now lead Leicester 4-3 so Liverpool are back down to fourth.
61 min It’s now Newcastle 2-0 Chelsea and Spurs 3-3 Leicester. As things stand, Liverpool are third.
60 min “In pre-season, Solanke looked like a young Alan Shearer* in that he hit the ball early and with extreme prejudice,” says Niall Mullen. “He’s looked nervous in front of goal in competitive games. Glad for him today.
“*I may be guilty of a little hyperbole.”
58 min The hapless Schelotto allows Salah’s pass to run through to Firmino, whose first-time shot is tipped over by Ryan. Firmino should have scored.
57 min A double change for Brighton: Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross replace Jurgen Locadia and Beram Kayal.
56 min You have to feel for Mat Ryan, who has probably been Brighton’s best player today. It reminds me of the time Neville Southall had a blinder for Wales against the Netherlands - and they still lost 7-1. Just imagine Big Nev’s internal monologue during that fiasco.
A lovely moment for Dominic Solanke, who gets his first goal for Liverpool. It was made by Salah, who skilfully ignored a challenge from Dunk and then slid a perfectly weighted pass to Solanke in the area. He took the shot first time, battering a rising drive past Ryan at the near post.
51 min “Afternoon Rob,” says Matt Loten. “Following up on Hubert’s email, I’d just like to say that, as a Premier League neutral (until Portsmouth’s triumphant return) this season has been a thoroughly enjoyable one which I will be sorry to see go. There may not have been much drama with regards the table, but Klopp, Guardiola and co have ensured that the league has shifted towards full-throttle entertainment and as self-contained 90-minute episodes the big matches have rarely disappointed. The City-Liverpool games in particular were superb, and the only real let-down I can recall off the top of my head was Liverpool-United at Anfield.
“Compare this to a decade or so ago, when Mourinho was in his first spell at Chelsea and Rafa was at Liverpool, and 2-1 was considered a veritable goalfest in a big game. I’m sure the current situation won’t last forever, but I’m going to make sure I enjoy it while I can.”
50 min A half-cleared corner leads to a bit of pinball in the Brighton area. Eventually the ball comes to Van Dijk, whose shot on the turn is straight at Ryan.
49 min Firmino’s unexpected low shot from 25 yards is palmed behind by the diving Ryan. I think it would have hit the post but Ryan made sure.
48 min It hasn’t been the liveliest start to the second half.
46 min Peep peep! Brighton begin the second half.
Half-time chit chat
“Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “At the end of another fantastic season for the self-styled richest / best league in the world, how about a half time mention for the other end of the football scale? Was at Cowdenbeath yesterday to see the Blue Brazil extend their 113-year stretch as a Scottish league club (for another year at least) with a crazy 3-2 play off win against Highland League winners Cove Rangers. Let’s just say the Highlanders weren’t best pleased with some of the decisions and ended the game with 8 men after three red cards following a superb, old-fashioned Donnybrook in stoppage time. 1750 fans there too, more than 10 times the Fifers average home gate. To see them celebrating being confirmed as officially the worst team in Scotland for the second year running was a sight to behold. As important to them as top four places, Europe, 17th place and Champions League finals to Premiership clubs.”
Peep peep! Liverpool lead by two, have missed a number of good chances and had three excellent penalty appeals turned down. That aside, it’s been neck and neck.
44 min Liverpool have already had 16 attempts at goal.
43 min This could be a tennis score. Mane’s shot is superbly blocked by the stretching Dunk, and then Liverpool appeal for a penalty when Propper challenges Solanke. He got the ball but his foot was extremely high. In the modern game, that’s a penalty, which makes it a hat-trick of penalties that Liverpool probably should have had.
42 min “Well, there have certainly been more ups than downs, but I’m looking forward to Liverpool’s league campaign being over,” says Matt Dony, stopping just short of asking fans of every other club if they’re up to anything a week Saturday. “The last few weeks have not been too enjoyable, and let’s face it, we’re all pretty much fixated on Kiev. Glad to see Salah break the record, top four should be comfortably secured (other scorelines looking particularly tasty), so should be ending on a high. I’d like to see a goal for Big Dom, Maybe one for Ings off the bench, and a second half cameo full of flicks and spins from Lallana. And then on to two weeks of nerves/crippling fear...”
Breaking news: Liverpool will play Champions League football next season. A corner is half cleared to Robertson, who stands up a nice cross towards the far post. Lovren has the run on everyone and soars to thump an emphatic header past Ryan. That’s an excellent goal.
38 min “Hey Rob,” says Hubert O’Hearn. “Well, another season done. Have to say that even if my first club (Liverpool) and second club (Newcastle) don’t win a thing, it’s been a marvellously enjoyable season for entirely different reasons: Liverpool with its guts n’ glory attacking style, and our old mucker Rafa keeping the Magpies up with a MasterClass in Management. And thanks to you old friend (and shout out to Scott Murray et al) for keeping us informed, entertained and laughing through a season of MBM reports. Cheers and a round of Dodgy Fizz to all the good folks at Guardian Towers.”
Yes, I’d also like to thank
all the readers for making the MBMs so enjoyable. Most of the time. Some of the time. Look I’m grateful okay!
37 min March shoots straight at Karius from 20 yards.
36 min And another chance. Solanke’s backheel is miscontrolled by Mane and runs to Firmino, who blasts over from 10 yards. Liverpool have had five or six opportunities in the last 10 minutes alone.
35 min Yet another chance for Liverpool. Mane slides a through pass to Wijnaldum, whose low first-time shot is well saved to his right by Ryan.
33 min Mane muscles his way into the area and hits a shot that is blocked by the stretching Dunk. Liverpool are so good at having spells within games when they create a succession of chances; it’s exhilarating to watch.
30 min Liverpool miss another great chance. Mane runs clear on goal and tries to give the goal to Salah. His pass is a bit soft and Salah’s shot is blocked desperately by Ryan. The rebound comes to Salah, whose shot is cleared off the line by Duffy!
29 min Firmino misses an excellent chance to make it 2-0, smashing over from 15 yards after taking Mane’s square pass in his stride.
28 min Newcastle lead Chelsea through a goal from Liverpool’s old friend Dwight Gayle. As things stand Liverpool will finish five points ahead of Chelsea - and one ahead of Spurs, who are losing at home to Leicester.
27 min Salah has got the taste now. He comes onto his left and hits a curling shot that is headed away by Bong.
That’ll do. Solanke flicks a nice little pass into the area, where Salah reacts quicker than Duffy and drills a low shot on the turn past Ryan. That’s his 32nd league goal of the season.
24 min It’s still 0-0 between Newcastle and Chelsea, so Liverpool have nothing to worry about yet.
22 min Alexander-Arnold comes inside on his left foot and arrows a shot towards Row X.
19 min Brighton are all over the place. Solanke plays the ball through to Mane, whose low close-range shot is well blocked by Ryan. Mane was being tracked by Schelotto, who then decided to stop on the edge of his area for no particular reason.
18 min Kevin Friend turns down another big penalty appeal! Salah played a one-two with Firmino and seemed to be cleaned out by Duffy just inside the area. Friend had a great view and waved play on. Duffy did get something on the ball - but it was an accidental touch in his follow through after he had already tripped Salah.
17 min As with a lot of Have vs Have Not fixtures, thisresembles a training exercise: attack and defence, invasion and repulsion. Liverpool have had 72 per cent possession; Brighton will point out that Mat Ryan hasn’t had much to do.
13 min Liverpool are very dominant, though Brighton are as organised as usual in defence. The needle doesn’t have much of an eye.
11 min Liverpool have another handball appeal turned down when the ball hits the upper arm of Knockaert. It was just outside the area, so it would only have been a free-kick.
9 min “Hello from south Texas!” says Sam MB. “So I think I’ll give watching the match about 30 minutes before I feel like I’m jinxing the Reds... I tend to think I jinx my hometown San Antonio Spurs when I watch them live, so... And yeah, this formation.. 4 2 3....and whatever?”
8 min Alexander-Arnold’s dangerous cross hits the arm of the hapless Duffy, who stooped to head the ball and completely missed it, but Liverpool’s penalty appeals are turned down by Kevin Friend. That should have been a penalty.
8 min Duffy miskicks an attempted backpass in the comedy style, allowing Solanke to run through on goal. His first touch isn’t the best and Ryan smothers the danger.
7 min Henderson splatters a half-volley well wide from 25 yards. It was beautifully struck but well off target.
3 min Actually, I have no idea what formation Liverpool are playing. What I do know is they have dominated the first few minutes, with Brighton on the defensive.
1 min Mane wins a corner after 12 seconds, though nothing comes of it. It looks like Liverpool are playing a 4-2-4 formation.
1 min Liverpool kick off on a lovely afternoon in, well, Liverpool.
The familiar sound of You’ll Never Walk Alone tells us it’s almost soccer o’clock. As last days of the season go, this is fairly low key, so let’s get on with business.
“This must be peak Klopp,” says Thomas Johanessen. “Desperately needs avoid losing - starts with four strikers.”
For really peak Klopp, we need a 4-4 draw and a Brexit gag in the post-match interview.
“Liverpool’s formation might be 4-2-3-1 with Solanke up top, the Fab Three behind him then Hendo and Gini behind them,” says Patrick. “Any word of why Milner not on the bench?”
Hello. For the second year in a row, Liverpool need a result at Anfield in the last match of the season to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
They’ve clearly stagnated under Jurgen Klopp, he’s taken them as far as he can
. But the mood will be a wee bit different than it was during the 3-0 win over Middlesbrough a year ago. Liverpool were hopeful outsiders, who just wanted to experience the Champions League again; this year they are about to play in yet another final, with a chance to lift the big old beast for the sixth time.
Liverpool have let themselves go a bit in the league since a Champions League victory became a serious possibility. They have won only one of their last five games, which means there is still an outside chance they could be overtaken by Chelsea. Liverpool’s superior goal difference means they only need a point to finish fourth.
Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:38:04 +0000: Baldock signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton striker Sam Baldock agrees a new three-year contract with the club to run until the summer of 2020.
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:34:52 +0000: Keeper Ryan joins Brighton in club record - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton and Hove Albion sign Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from Valencia for an undisclosed club-record fee.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:05 +0000: Premier League fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Find out your club's full fixture list for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:30:04 +0000: Sidwell signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton midfielder Steve Sidwell signs a new one-year contract with the newly-promoted Premier League club.
Tue, 30 May 2017 14:02:01 +0000: Bong agrees one-year Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Defender Gaetan Bong agrees a new one-year contact with Brighton who were promoted to the Premier League this season.