Monday, 10 June 2013

Premier League 2012/13: Season review

It was always going to be difficult to follow up the events of last season, but despite this, we were still treated to some exciting football throughout the season of 12/13 in the Premier League. This season has also seen some of the finest players to grace the Premier League hang their boots up and retire. Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes alongside PSG's David Beckham the most notable. They were joined by Sir Alex Ferguson who after 26 years as manager at Manchester United, decided it was his time to retire from the game.

It was Ferguson's side that won the race for the title taking it back from rivals City making it 20 league titles for the Scot. United finished 11 points clear of Mancini's men making it the perfect send off for Sir Alex. City were far from the side that pinched the league title last year, with significant injuries and poor signings in the transfer window to blame. Games they would have coasted a year ago were lost and drawn with players putting in far too many inconsistent performances. The signing of Robin Van Persie was particularly crucial with the former Arsenal man the Premier League's top goalscorer for United with 26 league goals to his name. City's top marksman in the league was Sergio Aguero who only managed the 12 league goals.

Sir Alex claimed his 20th league title
With the title decided before the close of the season, all eyes were on the race for the final Champions League position. With Chelsea filling the third place, it was North London sides Arsenal and Spurs who were battling for the final position. It came down to the final game of the season with Arsenal holding the advantage. Spurs needed to better Arsenal's result to stand a chance, but with both sides winning their games, it was Arsenal who took the place, leaving Spurs in fifth and playing in the Europa League next year.

Down at the other end of the table, Wigan Athletic once again found themselves in another relegation battle. However it wasn't to be for them as they couldn't make another miraculous escape. Roberto Martinez's men will now play in the Championship having had eight years in the top flight. They were  joined by QPR and Reading, with the latter making an immediate return to the Football League. Just like the battle for the top four, there were several sides battling to keep their place in the Premier League. Most notably Newcastle United, who having finished sixth last season, found themselves in contention for the drop. Like them, Stoke City were also hovering dangerously as having had one win in 13 games during the second half of the season meant that Tony Pulis' men were dragged into the battle.

In the domestic cups, there was plenty of drama. In the Capital One cup, Swansea emerged as winners, as they overcame surprise finalists Bradford City, who had a cup run to remember. In the FA Cup, there was more surprises with Wigan Athletic the winners having beaten Manchester City in the final with a late goal. There was success for English clubs in Europe as Chelsea, under interim manager Rafael Benitez, were crowned winners of the Europa League winning 2-1 against Benfica.

The fixtures for the 2013/14 Premier League season will be released on Wednesday 19th June at 9am.

Look out for an in depth Premier League season preview on EnglishFootball4U in August as we look ahead to the 2013/14 season.

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