Manchester City secured fourth place and Arsenal overhauled their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur to come second on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season when a bomb scare rocked Old Trafford on Sunday.
After Manchester United’s game against Bournemouth was abandoned due to a security alert, Manchester City drew 1-1 at Swansea City, Arsenal crushed Aston Villa 4-0 and Spurs capitulated 5-1 at 10-man Newcastle United to blow their chance of finishing above their neighbours for the first time since 1995.
“First of all I would like to apologise to our fans,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said.
“I think they don’t deserve all that happened today on the pitch and I apologise.”
Champions Leicester City drew 1-1 at Chelsea to end the campaign 10 points ahead of the chasing pack, another staggering achievement in a remarkable season for Claudio Ranieri’s team.
Manchester City needed a point to make sure of claiming the final Champions League qualifying spot but their game at Swansea started in a strange atmosphere caused by the events at Old Trafford.
Two stands were evacuated 20 minutes ahead of kickoff and the game was abandoned shortly before the scheduled 1400 GMT start. A controlled explosion was later carried out on a suspect package, described by police as “an incredibly lifelike explosive device”.
Manchester City made the perfect start when Kelechi Iheanacho fired them ahead after five minutes.
Swansea equalised on the stroke of halftime through Andre Ayew’s deflected free kick and the visitors endured a few nervy moments in Manuel Pellegrini’s last match in charge before celebrating the point they needed.
“Well into this season we were well in the title race, but we let ourselves down, we will take positives of a trophy and semi-final of the Champions League, which was history for our club,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said.
“I have enjoyed our time under Manuel, it was important we finished off a good three years working with him.”
Spurs, Leicester’s closest challengers in the last few weeks, endured a dismal afternoon at relegated Newcastle.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic put the hosts 2-0 up at halftime before Erik Lamela pulled one back.
Mitrovic was shown a straight red card for a dangerous foul but Wijnaldum scored his second from the penalty spot and Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat completed the scoring at a disbelieving St James’ Park.
Arsenal took an early lead against relegated Villa through Olivier Giroud and the French striker added two late goals to complete his hat-trick before Mark Bunn’s stoppage-time own goal completed the rout.
Arsene Wenger’s side finished in the top two for the first time since 2005 after a difficult campaign in which the French manager has been heavily criticised.
“We kept our togetherness and that is part of the DNA of this club,” said Wenger, who led his team into the Champions League for the 19th consecutive season.
“We kept fighting until the end. Many big teams finished outside the top four this year.”
Cesc Fabregas’s second-half penalty for Chelsea looked set to condemn Leicester to only their fourth defeat of the season but Danny Drinkwater rescued a point for the champions with a stunning long-distance strike.
“It was a warm welcome for me, it was fantastic at the beginning and the end,” Ranieri said on his return to his former club.
“A draw is OK because we have only lost three times this season and that is an amazing achievement.”
Southampton climbed to fifth with a 4-1 victory over FA Cup finalists Crystal Palace and West Ham United’s hopes of a top-six finish ended following a 2-1 loss at Stoke City.